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James Garner dead at 86; a look back at his iconic roles

Actor James Garner, left, smiles as he holds

Actor James Garner, left, smiles as he holds up the Purple Heart medal awarded to him during a ceremony in Los Angeles, Calif., on Jan. 24, 1983. Garner was wounded in April 1951 while with U.S. Forces in Korea, but his medal was never presented to him. Photo Credit: AP / Lennox McLendon

James Garner, one of TV's great and iconic actors, has died age 86 — and before we get to the appreciation, please appreciate these series of clips that illustrate Garner's natural ability to convey sex appeal, intelligence, authority and, above all, charisma in dozens of TV roles, and many, many movie ones as well.

As his old pal (and co-star) Julie Andrews has written of Garner, "he owns his place on the screen." Indeed. And don't forget, as if you could, there was always that patina of edge and scrappiness — other elements that made Garner's appeal so special. He was famously — or I suppose infamously, if you happened to be on the receiving end of it — a scrapper who had his fair share of battles with major studios and producers. Garner never backed down from a fight.

Let's start with a few iconic film roles, then on to TV! Also head further south to watch the Emmy Legends recollections by Garner himself. (If you are accessing this blog post from a mobile device, the clips are not viewable here.)

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