James Garner, legendary actor, dies

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Legendary actor James Garner was found dead of natural causes, police confirm. He was 86. (Nick Ut)

Hollywood is mourning the loss of beloved actor James Garner, who died Saturday night at his home in Brentwood.

He was charming, strong, and always funny. In the hit 1970's series, "The Rockford Files," Garner played an L.A. private detective who was often drawn into trouble.

The actor's easygoing demeanor, quick wit and ability to give a heroic character "everyman" qualities won the hearts of viewers. He earned an Emmy for the role.

Garner, a native of Oklahoma, burst onto the scene playing a gambler in the 1950s TV western, "Maverick." His disarming style made the character unique.

During his more than 50-year career, Garner starred in several successful films, including the 1960s war drama, "The Great Escape."

He co-starred with Doris Day in the comedy, "Move Over Darling."

Garner made three films with Julie Andrews, including "The Americanization of Emily," and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in "Murphy's Romance."

Garner continued to work well into his 70s, co-starring in the 2004 romantic drama, "The Notebook."

In 2005 the Screen Actors Guild gave Garner a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Flowers will be placed on Garner's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame sometime Monday.

Fellow stars remember Garner

Actress Mariette Hartley was paired with Garner in a long-running series of Polaroid camera commercials in the 1970s. Their banter was so convincing, many viewers mistakenly believed they were married.

Hartley had T-shirts made declaring the truth. She cherishes the time she spent with Garner.

"It was like going to work in a playground. It was the happiest work probably of my life," she said.

Actress Sally Field also fondly remembered Garner.

"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," she said.

Other people in Hollywood took to Twitter to honor Garner.

"RIP James Garner. Admired by all who knew him. When starring in Grand Prix the people around F1 said he had the talent to be a pro driver," Ron Howard tweeted.

"Jim Rockford was THE coolest. Farewell, James Garner," Jimmy Kimmel said.

"OMG James Garner...I love you!! What fun we had at the races!! You are the best of the best! RIP Rockstar!!! Xxxxxooo," tweeted Kirstie Alley.

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