‘Rockford Files’ Star James Garner Dies

Veteran actor James Garner died Saturday. He was 86.

Garner, who was known for his television roles on The Rockford Files and Maverick, was found in his Los Angeles home.

His cause of death was not immediately known but the Oklahoma-born leading man had had a stroke in 2008 and had been suffering from poor health. The longtime smoker had undergone a quintuple bypass in 1988.

In 1977, Garner won an Emmy for his portrayal of Jim Rockford, an ex-con who started working as a private investigator, in The Rockford Files. He first started working in Hollywood in the mid-50s with a small roles on the big and small screen before making his break on Maverick, a Western series that ran from 1957-1962.

Garner is survived by his wife of nearly 60 years Lois Fleishman Clarke as well as daughters Kimberly and Gigi.

Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco, who played opposite Garner in 8 Simple Rules, tweeted Sunday: “I say this with a heavy broken heart.was an honor working beside u receiving ur bear hugs every day. [love] u Grampa Jim”

“James Garner was the definition of the smooth, dashing leading man, but his talents were so much more than skin deep,” said SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard. “He was a hard worker who dedicated himself wholly to whatever he set out to accomplish, whether it was serving his country or performing for the camera.”

Garner was a recipient of the SAG Life Achievement Award.

(John Eggerton contributed to this report.)

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is an analyst for TVREV and Fabric Media. She previously served in various roles at Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV, working with the brands since 2013. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects in the media and entertainment space, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.