Thursday, November 3, 2011

Garner Shoots From Hip -- Collateral Damage Results

James Garner, AKA Jim Rockford, the trailer park dwelling TV detective from "The Rockford Files," has published a biography. Instead of the usual Hollywood glad-handing, he talks about suing the studios, and he dishes dirt about co-stars, including Tony Franciosa, whom Garner clocked when Franciosa wouldn't stop punching stunt men instead of pulling his punches. He's also got some unflattering words for king of cool Steve McQueen. Much like his Rockford Files persona, Garner shoots from the hip -- what else would you expect from him?

Rockford was quite likeable, even as gruff as he sometimes could be. He was the antithesis of the cool, urban detective who drove sports cars and lived in penthouses. Rockford was no James Bond. He was too honest to make the real money that shadier characters in his profession could pocket on the sly. His trailer home by the sea -- you can still visit the trailer park where the show was filmed in Malibu -- was testament to his lack of interest in making the "big score." He was too much of a working class hero to go for the easy bucks. And let's face it, too much of a curmudgeon to fit in with the monied swells. He was an original.

"The Rockford Files" episodes are available on disc, of course, and are streamable on Netflix -- if anybody out there is still subscribing to Netflix.

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