They rave about Brando and (George C.) Scott, but they couldn’t hold a candle to him.
That was John Wayne talking, and the him referred to is one of the most successful yet underrated actors of mid-20th century America — the subject of our Monday Quiz, James Garner.
As we noted last year in our July 24 blog, “Star of Stage, Screen and Television,” Garner –who died July 19, 2014 at age 86 — could legitimately be called a STAR of television and the big screen. For much of his active career, he juggled successes in both at the same time.
Garner was part of a rare breed, a man who started in films, then made it BIG in TV, returned to films to become a top-billed leading man, then returned to TV to another hit series, then returned once more to re-succeed in films.
We are inspired here by the actor’s chatty and most entertaining 2011 memoir, The Garner Files coauthored by Jon Winokeur, an excellent read for those who wonder (as we often do) about Hollywood’s byzantine business mores. Garner challenged some of those arcane practices in court, and against all odds, won his case.
As usual, questions today and answers tomorrow. On with our quiz:
1) Question: When the 25-year-old Garner decided to try an acting career, he was met with which one of the following assessments from a studio acting coach. a) “Your looks trump your talent.”; b) “Your promise is evident if you work at it.” c) “You are very good.” or d) “You’ll never be an actor.”
2) Question: Garner mentions that there was only ONE part in his lengthy career that “I’ve ever gone after.” Which one of the following was it? a) As Marlon Brando’s pal in Sayonara; b) As a cowpoke in Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend; c) As an Army major in Darby’s Rangers; or d) As a doctor in The Children’s Hour.
3) Question: Garner is outspoken about his distaste for the behavior of certain actors. Which of the following did he actually like? a) Charles Bronson; b) Steve McQueen; c) Anthony Franciosa; or d) Henry Fonda.
4) Question: In his memoir, Garner is critical of certain bosses of major Hollywood studios. Which one in particular earned his wrath? a) Samuel Goldwyn; b) Daryl Zanuck; c) Lew Wasserman; or d) Jack Warner.
5) Question: Garner broke the ribs of Doris Day while filming a love scene with her. a) True; or b) False?
6) Question: Garner was also outspoken about Audrey Hepburn’s lack of taste in husbands. Which her her spouses didn’t he care for? a) Mel Ferrer; b) Robert Wolders; or c) Andrea Dotti.
7) Question: Garner regarded which one of the following tv series as “the training ground where I learned by craft.” a) The Rockford Files; b) Nichols; or c) Maverick.
8) Question: Garner confessed to working in a movie western with an actor who was terrified of horses. Which one of the following fits the bill? a) Jason Robards; b) Sidney Potier; c) Phil Harris; or d) Bruce Dern.
9) Question: Garner said which one of the following was the absolutely worst movie he ever made? a) 1966’s A Man Could Get Killed; 1963’s The Wheeler Dealers; c) 1959’s Cash McCall; or d) 1966’s Mister Buddwing.
10) Question: Which one of the following did NOT appear on the Garner-starred tv series, Maverick, which ran from 1957 to 1961? a) Robert Redford; b) Hans Conreid; c) Marcel Dalio or d) Sean Connery.