So how much did you know about James Garner?
Sure, he was the centerpiece of two of the most popular 20th century tv series ever shown in the U.S. And, yes, he had a long movie career.
But did you realize just how highly Garner was regarded by his peers as an actor, and how profound is his legacy regarding combating dubious Hollywood studio business practices?
Ok, enough of our hectoring. Let’s see how you actually did on this week’s Monday Quiz. To review the questions, just scroll down to the blog below. Here we go with the answers:
1) Answer: Like many big stars, Garner was told at the beginning of his career that he had no future, that d) he’d “never be an actor.” The culprit here was a Columbia Pictures acting coach, another of classic Hollywood’s acting “experts” getting it wrong.
2) Answer: The only part that Garner personally pushed for, he writes, was as a) Marlon Brando’s pal in 1957’s Sayonara, “the first ‘serious’ film I had ever done.” He was wise to do so.
3) Answer: d) Henry Fonda, who was a close friend, a personal and professional mentor for Garner.
4) Answer: c) and d). Garner had little good to say about Jack Warner and Lew Wasserman, the powerhouse super-agent and head of MCA, former parent of Universal Pictures. Garner took on both Warners and Universal in court over various contractual disputes, and won.
5) Answer: a) True. The movie was 1963’s Move Over, Darling, a remake of a 1940 screwball comedy in which Garner and Doris Day played a married couple. Day, wrote Garner, was so sweet and so professional — she made everyone around her look good. Day described Garner as funny and nice . Even though he broke two of my ribs.
6) Answer: a) Actor Mel Ferrer, the first of Audrey Hepburn’s two husbands to whom she was married from 1954 to 1968. She costarred with Garner in 1961’s The Children’s Hour, inspiring the actor to write: I fell in love with her. (I could never figure out how she could have married that guy Mel Ferrer. She was way too good for him.) After her second marriage ended, Hepburn lived until her death in 1993 with Dutch actor Robert Wolders.
7) Answer: c) The Maverick tv series, which ran from 1957 to 1961.
8) Answer: b) Sidney Poitier, who costarred with Garner in 1966’s Duel at Diablo, and didn’t know anything about horses and I think he was a little afraid of them, the actor wrote.
9) Answer: d) Mister Buddwing, which Garner described as the worst picture I ever made. What were they thinking? What was I thinking? For the record, the movie was directed by Delbert Mann and costarred Jean Simmons and Suzanne Pleshette.
10) Answer: d) Sean Connery did not appear in Maverick, the Warner Bros. tv series which Garner departed after its third season. Recalled the actor: They (then) tried to get Sean Connery to replace me (in the lead) and they even flew him over from England, but he ultimately passed.