The loss of James Garner has left me nostalgic for the Polaroid ads he did with Mariette Hartley in the late 70s. As a girl, I used to enjoy his sexy, slightly grumpy Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files (Maverick was a bit before my time). My heart went out to kind, handsome “Hendley the Scrounger” when his stolen airplane crashed in The Great Escape.
In Murphy’s Romance, I wondered why on earth Sally Field would have anything to do with her jackass ex-husband when gorgeous older man James Garner was right there, waiting for her to recognize his manly virtues. I cried watching Garner’s portrayal of the sweet, devoted husband in The Notebook.
But he had such amazing chemistry with Mariette Hartley… people were utterly convinced that they were married in real life! They made 250 commercials together. As Michael Phillips said, they were the Beatrice and Benedick of the ad world.
Farewell, Beautiful Man! There will always be a brilliant Polaroid instamatic photo of you in my heart!