James Garner passes

| July 20, 2014

James Garner

Actor James Garner passed yesterday at the age of 86. According to Wiki, he joined the Merchant Marines at the age of 16 near the end of the Second World War and discovered that he was susceptible to sea sickness. So, a few years later, he joined the National Guard;

Later, he joined the National Guard serving seven months in the United States. He then went to Korea for 14 months in the Regular Army, serving in the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the Korean War. He was wounded twice, first in the face and hand from shrapnel fire from a mortar round, and second on April 23, 1951 in the buttocks from friendly fire from U.S. fighter jets as he dove headfirst into a foxhole. Garner was awarded the Purple Heart in Korea for the first injury. For the second wound, he received a second Purple Heart (eligibility requirement: “As the result of friendly fire while actively engaging the enemy”), although Garner received the medal in 1983, 32 years after his injury. Garner was a self-described “scrounger” for his company in Korea, a role he later played in The Great Escape and The Americanization of Emily.

He’ll always be Jim Rockford to me.

Category: Blue Skies

Comments (34)

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  1. OWB says:

    RIP Mr. Garner. Save a place for the rest of us.

  2. Al T. says:

    God speed Sir.

  3. 68W58 says:

    It’s a little late, but I’m up for celebrating the 4th of July again:

  4. rb325th says:


  5. Dana says:

    He will always be Maverick to me. Rest in Peace.

  6. MustangCryppie says:

    RIP Rockford. You were awesome.

  7. Sparks says:

    Rest In Peace James Garner. Great guy and great actor. One of my favorites. Yes, he will always be Jim Rockford to me as well.

  8. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    His bio includes the info that he was married 14 days after meeting the woman of his dreams. As of 2012, they were still married, 56 years later! Garner was quoted as saying that marriage is like the Army: Everyone complains about it but many re-enlist. I’m with Dana–he’ll always be Maverick to me. He was funny and smooth and not always a winning poker player.

  9. Thunderstixx says:

    Godspeed to a great American and a Patriot.

  10. NHSparky says:

    Dual Purple Heart recipient as well–one from friendly fire.

  11. MCPO NYC USN Ret. says:

    Jim Rockford … For a guy who lived in a trailor … Damn he could attrack tail!

    Oh and who can forget “Monte Carlo”.


    • Hack Stone says:

      Quite a few of the stolen valor guys reside in trailers. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    • Climb to Glory says:

      I know, right. He did have a sweet looking ride, so that usually helps. RIP sir. A true patriot.

  12. MAJMike says:

    Among my favorites were “Support Your Local Sheriff” and “Support Your Local Gunfighter.”

    He is certainly missed.

    RIP, Mr. Maverick.

  13. Ex-PH2 says:

    He’ll always be Maverick to me. The rest is just details.

  14. Eggs says:

    This is Jim Rockford. At the tone, leave your name and message. I’ll get back to you. Beeep.

  15. UpNorth says:

    Rest in Peace, sir.

  16. Hayabusa says:

    RIP to one of my favorite actors of all time.

  17. George V says:

    Always interesting to me to hear about the older actors who were veterans, and like Mr. Garner, served and were often wounded in combat. Different times, I guess.

    RIP, Maverick. (The REAL Maverick!!!!!)

    George V.

    • Betsy says:

      Well stated! Most all of the 70, 80 and 90 y.o. actors were genuine folk, unlike the “I love me’s” of today! Was a fan of Mr. Garner’s forever, as an actor and as a real person! God bless him!

  18. royh says:

    He was my grandfather’s favorite actor. The Rockford Files was his favorite show. I heard the music from that show every day for years.

  19. Jonn Lilyea says:

    Netflix has The Rockford Files complete. That’s what I’m doing today.

  20. Eggs says:

    I may have to watch Grand Prix today

  21. COB6 says:

    When he received his second PH a reporter asked him where he got shot.

    Garner chuckled and said, “We were fighting the North Koreans and I was running south!”


  22. Old Grunt says:

    There is an episode of The Rockford Files I recall where he meets and old army buddy who is trying to wrangle him into some kind of deal by stroking his ego about his wartime service and Rockford replies sarcastically “Let’s hear if for the 5th Regimental Combat Team” downplaying his service and heroism just like a lot of vets do. At the time I had no idea he was really a veteran.

  23. GDcontractor says:

    I am 51 and a slow learner. Today I realized that part of getting old is seeing your heroes die. RIP Mr. Garner. I’m sure you were a hero to many besides myself.

  24. Bubblehead Ray says:

    My absolutely favorite Jim Garner moment was in the movie “Marlowe”. In it, he is being threatened by Bruce Lee and, eventually, they end up on the rooftop of a high rise restaurant owned by Bruce Lee’s boss. Garner gets Bruce Lee so pissed at him, that Bruce tries for a flying kick, Garner dodges, and Bruce Lee goes over the side and falls to his death.

    The kicker is when Garner goes back inside, the boss looks around trying to figure out where Bruce Lee went. Garner looks him in the eye, gives that little Jim Garner frown, shakes his head, and motions an “up and over” with his finger. It was the funniest dead pan piece of acting I’ve ever seen.

    RIP Jimbo

  25. tavern knight says:

    Rest in Peace, Maverick.

  26. David says:

    Maverick, Rockford, Henley “the Scrounger”, even loved his character in “Murphy’s Romance” -if all aging liberals were like that the work would be a better place.

  27. NR Pax says:

    What? No mention of “Tank”?

  28. Ovens says:

    I will miss “Ole Jimmy” and Rockford files is one of my favorite old shows. He was one of the oldies but goodies. I’m sad to hear he died. Another ‘end-of-an-era’. Rest In Peace! James.