James Garner has passed away, and was a hell of a solid actor. I've seen just about everything he's done, and never once did I think he was "acting". He came across so casually, that I believe he was often overlooked when it may have been his subtle performance that made the scene work.
He came from the same place I did, and he made it big. I felt an imaginary connection. But, good actors will make you feel that. As a kid, I would wonder if we may have been related, because I thought he and my dad looked a lot alike. Until I met the guy at the hot dog stand.
One night while watching one of my older brothers playing football at Norman high school, my mom had me go down to the little concession stand to get us some hot chocolate.
I was dumbfounded when I saw Jim Rockford working the stand. I began laughing, and asked why a private eye would be selling hot chocolate. The man just smiled at me and shook his head. I was just a kid, and asked, "aren't you him? Rockford?". The man just smiled, and said he wasn't. The guy even sounded like Rockford!
I went back up to the stands where my parents were to give them their warm, tasty beverages, and told them that the guy from Rockford files was working the hot dog stand. They casually stated that I saw James Garner's brother. The family's real name was Baumgarner, or something like that and lived in the area. Now, this was far more stunning to me. The Hollywood actor came from the same little place as me, and his look-alike brother not only still lived there, but worked the freaking concession stand during high school football games! Even more incredible is that no one but me seemed to think this was interesting!
This may still be the case. Oh well, God bless you, James Garner. And, Thank you.