Readers React: James Garner, celebrity and class act

To the editor: Baby boomers like myself grew up on James Garner/Doris Day comedies. Our parents had watched “Maverick,” and together we watched “The Rockford Files.” Then there were the many terrific TV movie performances, commercials, interviews and his engaging autobiography, “The Garner Files.” (“James Garner dies at 86; TV antihero of ‘Maverick,’ ‘Rockford Files,’” Obituary, July 20)

Years ago my parents were driving home from visiting friends in the San Diego area and decided to stop at an IHOP. A smiling James Garner eventually walked in with his two daughters; he’d been playing in a La Jolla celebrity golf tournament that day. My mom said the entire restaurant became noticeably quiet as Garner and his daughters took their seats. It was obvious, my mom said, that people were spending a lot of energy trying not to look in Garner’s direction.

Celebrity has to be challenging at times, but Garner seems to have handled it with grace and style — two qualities that came through in his film and television performances.

Janet Whitcomb, Rancho Santa Margarita


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