« Birdman | Main | "Robert De Niro: Anatomy of an Actor" publication date nears... »

July 20, 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Another performance where he "swung a little", as you put it, was the made-for-HBO movie "Barbarians at the Gate". F. Ross Johnson, the chairman of RJR Nabisco, was apparently the type of guy who could sell a dying man a glass of water, and that was definitely in Garner's wheelhouse, but he also showed the dark side that existed underneath that charm; when a character late in the movie says at one point, "Now I know what the 'F' in F. Ross Johnson stands for," it's thanks to Garner's performance that you believe that line.


What lipranzer said.


The opening of 'The Rockford Files', with its quintessentially 70s theme and stuttering, semi-dissolve freeze frames, remains one of my earliest televisual memories. R.I.P.


One of my favorite Garner vehicles was the short-lived TV series "Nichols"(1971-72). Like its leading lady, the incredibly sexy young Margot Kidder, it may have been too quirky and offbeat for TV at the time. The last episode was a real shocker.

The single season of "Nichols" is available from Warner Archive, and last time I checked, all the episodes could be viewed online.


George -

The NYT Obit says that when the network canceled "Nichols," Garner was so angry he had his character killed in the last episode.

I watched a Rockford Files re-run a couple weeks ago (S02E07), and that experience crystallized Garner for me. He was a more easy-going Jimmy Stewart: genial but not particularly friendly, somewhat indifferent, smarter than he let on. Reading that NYT obit, it sounds as if Garner's attitude towards acting was somewhat similar.


Yep, that was the last-episode shocker in "Nichols," and it happens at the beginning of the episode. (Then Garner shows up as Nichols' twin brother to avenge the murder, IIRC). Garner described the show as his favorite TV experience.

Looks like the "Nichols" episodes have been removed from YouTube. But you can order it here:



Mister Buddwing. similar to Mirage and Seconds.

Tony Dayoub

His Wyatt Earp in Sturges' HOUR OF THE GUN is one of the nastiest, and that's saying something considering Garner's easygoing persona, Sturges' previous stab at the Earp legend, and some of the darker, revisionist takes on Earp in more recent years.


See Robert Benton's TWILIGHT (1998) for the darkest Garner character I can recall.

Ayush Chandra

A great performer he was, we all always remember his contribution to the entertainment world....

The comments to this entry are closed.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar
Blog powered by Typepad