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Current Events and Musings => Books => Topic started by: MuffyBee on November 01, 2011, 03:59:01 PM

Title: Actor James Garner's "The Garner Files: A Memoir"
Post by: MuffyBee on November 01, 2011, 03:59:01 PM
I liked both "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files".  I think this would be an interesting book.   :study:,0,5570672.story?track=lat-pick
Book review: 'The Garner Files'
At 83, James Garner pulls no punches in this candid account of his acting career.

October 31, 2011
( Actor James Garner (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Many actors have breathed life into a memorable or even iconic role but only a few are capable of reconstructing an archetype. In "Maverick" and then again "The Rockford Files," James Garner stepped into two of TV's most calcified genres the western and the detective series and set a new standard that others have been chasing down since. Bret Maverick and Jim Rockford were different in many ways Maverick was a fast-talking con man in the Old West, Rockford a modern L.A. private investigator with motivation issues but they shared an important trait: They were reluctant heroes. Each would much rather wisecrack his way out of a jam, but if you pushed him hard enough, you would invariably find yourself counting angels on the ceiling.

So it's not surprising that it's taken Garner, now 83, this long to write a memoir. But having made up his mind to write it, with the help of Jon Winokur, Garner follows his own heroic dictum: Plenty of self-deprecating, humor, a general air of live-and-let-live, but when it comes down to it, no pulled punches.

For Garner fans, "The Garner Files" is catnip; Winokur perfectly captures and sustains the actor's voice, which includes a penchant for digression, intentional understatement and occasional declarations of war (against bullies; against studio bookkeeping; against certain directors, certain actors and certain studio heads). For industry aficionados, it is a candid accounting, sometimes literally, of a process that is too often over-glamorized and under-chronicled. Two of the most fascinating chapters involve his suits against Universal over syndication of "The Rockford Files" and a description of the physical damage caused by being an action star (he eventually had to have both knees replaced).

For the rest of the world, including and especially those too young to remember even "The Rockford Files," Garner's memoir offers a rare glimpse of a certain type of man, an archetype in itself. In her introduction, Julie Andrews describes Garner as a "man's man," but that has too brutish a connotation. Garner, like his characters, is first and foremost a gentleman, the sort who lives by a personal code that preaches patience and tolerance, up to a point. "When I'm pushed, I shove," Garner writes, quoting one of his own characters, Murphy Jones of the movie "Murphy's Romance."

There are more than a few fistfights in "The Garner Files," as well as thrown furniture and golf clubs, but usually there's a reason, as when costar Tony Franciosa actually punched stuntmen during fight scenes: " he kept doing it despite my warnings to stop so I had to pop him one."

Title: Re: Actor James Garner's "The Garner Files: A Memoir"
Post by: cookie on November 01, 2011, 09:45:27 PM
I loved both of those shows too!  he is a great actor...