James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014) was an American actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, and played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films, including The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen, Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards' Victor/Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood, and The Notebook (2004).
A private and introverted man, according to family and friends, on Saturday Evening, July 19, 2014, police and rescue personnel were summoned to Garner's Los Angeles-area home, where they found the actor dead at the age of 86. He had suffered a massive heart attack caused by coronary artery disease. He had been in poor health since a severe stroke in 2008. He was survived by his wife, Lois, and his daughters, Greta and Kimberly.
Longtime friends Tom Selleck (who worked with Garner on The Rockford Files), Sally Field (who worked with Garner in Murphy's Romance) and Clint Eastwood (who guest-starred with Garner on Maverick and starred in Space Cowboys) reflected on his death. Selleck said, "Jim was a mentor to me and a friend, and I will miss him." Field said, "My heart just broke. 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." Eastwood said, "Garner opened the door for people like Steve McQueen and myself."