James Garner Remembered by His Fellow Actors

Pam WrightLife

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Hollywood is taking the death of veteran actor James Garner hard.

The Maverick, Rockford Files and Notebook star, who died on Saturday at his home in Los Angeles at 86, has left a lasting mark on the hearts of his fellow actors.

Julie Andrews remembered her longtime friend — with whom she co-starred in several films, including The Americanization of Emily in 1964, Victor Victoria in 1982, and One Special Night in 1999 — in a statement to Access Hollywood.

“Jimmy was my friend for over 50 years. We made three movies together," the Sound of Music actress said.

"He was not only a wonderful actor, he was a great reactor on film. Working with him was easy and fun and always a joy. I am deeply sad that he is no longer with us and my heart goes out to his wife, Lois, and his daughter, Gigi,” Julie continued in the statement.

Sally Field, who co-starred with Garner in 1985's Murphy's Romance, for which he earned his one and only Oscar nomination, remembered her good friend.

"My heart just broke," Field said after learning of Garner's death. "There are few people on this planet I have adored as much as Jimmy Garner. I cherish every moment I spent with him and relive them over and over in my head. He was a diamond."

Shirley Jones remembered the first time she met the actor in the mid-1950s. She said she had just arrived in Hollywood and was to begin work as Laurie in Oklahoma! Before location shooting began, she was invited by a photographer to join him for dinner with another promising young star — Garner.

"I see this gorgeous man and I said, 'Oh, my!' He was very sweet. We went to this little restaurant and I told him, 'You're gonna be a giant star.' He said, 'How? I'm not sure I know how to act.'"

Jones said she didn't run into Garner again until they co-starred together in the 1984 film Tank.

"Not only was he a great actor, but he didn't hit on me," she said. "He didn't have that reputation, like a lot of actors I worked with. He was very married, a family man. And a real straight-on guy."

Tom Selleck, who early on in his career guest-starred on Garner's 1970's series, The Rockford Files, remembered the lessons he learned from Garner

"Jim was a mentor to me and a friend, and I will miss him," he said.

Many, many other actors had something to say about the loss of Garner, whether they knew him or not. He was just that kind of actor and man.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Pam Wright