Famed actor James Garner dies at 86

Updated 9:34 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
02:25 - Source: CNN
Famed actor James Garner dies at 86

Story highlights

James Garner died of natural causes on Saturday, police say

The actor is best known for his roles in "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files"

He moved easily between film and TV before it became the norm

Garner took on acting roles well into his 80s

CNN —  

James Garner, the understated, wisecracking everyman actor who enjoyed multigenerational success on both the small and big screens, has died. He was 86.

Police, who were called to his residence Saturday night in Los Angeles, say he died of natural causes.

Garner starred in hit TV series almost 20 years apart – “Maverick” in the late 1950s and “The Rockford Files” in the 1970s.

He also had a notable film career, starring in such classics as “Sayonara” (1957), “The Great Escape” (1963), “The Americanization of Emily” (1964), “Grand Prix” (1966) and “Victor/Victoria” (1982), as well as the TV movies “My Name Is Bill W.” (1989) and “Barbarians at the Gate” (1993). More recent films included “Space Cowboys” (2000) and “The Notebook” (2004).

He was fiercely independent, challenging the studios on both “Maverick” and “Rockford” when he felt he wasn’t being treated fairly. He sued studios twice and won both times.

“The industry is like it always has been. It’s a bunch of greedy people,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1990.