Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Happy Birthday James Garner!


Here's a guy I never get tired of sketching, and I've done quite a few of him over the years. As I've mentioned before, James Garner is my all-time favourite actor. Last year on his 80th birthday I wrote a more detailed tribute to the man, which can be found here. When I'm looking to just relax in front of the TV and put on an old series from my youth, nothing beats watching an episode of "The Rockford Files". Garner was just so great as Jim Rockford, the LA private detective who lived in a beat up mobile home permanently parked on the beach, never quite sure whether he'd get enough work to cover that month's expenses.

I did this sketch a couple days ago while watching a "Rockford Files" episode, though I had hoped to ink it and colour it up like what I'd done last year. Instead, I opted to leave it as a pencil sketch and just fool around with some Photoshop textures and brushes to approximate the look of a pastel drawing. It's not entirely successful, but I need to practice with those tools some more before I know what I'm doing!

I remember hearing sometime last year that Jim Garner had suffered a stroke that required some surgery to correct, but that he seemed to be recovering. I sure hope he's doing better now and I would love to see him back on screen again someday soon. By the way, in honour of his birthday, Turner Classic Movies is running a bunch of his films today including "The Americanization of Emily", Jim's personal favourite of his films. Though generally light in tone, it has a very serious underlying message about the insanity of war - a sentiment that the liberal-minded Jim Garner shares. I've already got that film in my DVD library, but I'll be setting my recorder for "36 Hours", which I have never seen before.

So, Happy Birthday Jim! I hope you're doing well!

Here's a speech from "The Americanization of Emily" that's very dear to Jim Garner's heart. Please celebrate the man by watching it:

10 comments:

Suzanne said...

Hi, Pete ~ I'm a James Garner fan that has a slight inside track to Jim, and I'm happy to let you know that he is doing great. He is completely recovered, and his health is just fine.

Keep up the great sketches. He's my favorite all-time actor too.

Pete Emslie said...

A big welcome to you, Suzanne! I'm so happy to hear from another big fan of Jim Garner, as I think he's really been quite underrated as a film star. I'm very relieved to hear that he's doing well after that stroke he suffered last May. I've been very concerned about him and still hold out hope to see him onscreen again. They sure don't make actors like Jim anymore - so much charm and personality!

By the way, I checked out your blog dedicated to Jim. I've bookmarked it so that I can go back and read it in my leisure once I have the time to do so. Again, thanks for dropping in here!

Edward said...

Hi Pete,
i love your drawings. You really seem to capture the essence of a personality. I particular like this one of James Garner. I agree he is an underrated actor. i always loved his performance in The Great Escape.

By the way i loved your Leonard Maltin drawing. I remember him from Entertainment Tonight way back in 1985 when he used to appear with Lizza Gibbons and Rona Barrett.

By the way have you posted about how you create your linework. Do you use a sable brush and Indian ink?
cheers
Ed
http://ecofugal.blogspot.com/

Suzanne said...

Thanks for the welcome, Pete! I call myself an "original" Garner fan because he has been absolutely my favorite since "Maverick" hit the air in September 1957. I was 13. ;o)

I couldn't agree more about his being underrated his entire career. Fortunately in the last few years, he has been getting the recognition he's deserved all along. Critics have - finally! - realized that he is so good, so natural that he makes it look too easy - and they didn't realize what they were seeing. Better late than never I guess. I address this in several posts in my blog.

Also on the blog are some pictures of Jim taken late last year when he attended old friend Efrem Zimbalist Jr's birthday party. As you'll see, he looks great. They sure don't make actors like him anymore - or people, for that matter. He is an exceptional human being as well as actor.

I hope you enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy yours!

Jorge Garrido said...

Don't you hate when you tune in to Maverick and it turns out to be a Roger Moore episode?

Suzanne said...

Oh, man! Do I ever! Roger Moore is okay, but he is NOT a Maverick!

Of course, I only want to see the ones with Jim Garner anyway, although I really like the ones with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Dandy Jim Buckley. ;o)

Pete Emslie said...

Gee, we've never even had the original "Maverick" play here in syndication, so I'd be happy to see any of them! As it is, all I've ever seen of that show are the trio of episodes that are available on DVD. Funnily enough, the one where Bret enlists the help of brother Bart to pull a sting on a corrupt banker was remade as an episode of "The Rockford Files".

Suzanne said...

Actually, it's been a long time for me to have Maverick available on TV. Here in rural Indiana where I live now, we can't even get cable at all, so even if it was on I couldn't get it. I used to get it occasionally in Dallas, but I haven't lived there since 1992!

There are lots of places online where you can watch entire episodes of Rockford Files, but I'm not sure I've seen anything but clips of Maverick. I couldn't watch them anyway 'cause my web connection is too slow. But, I'll pay more attention, and if I find a place, I'll let you know, Pete.

Oh, Maverick was fantastic!

Pavel Jakubec said...

Beautiful your works,
I added your blog in my link lisk!

ChrisW said...

Hey Pete, lovely work, as usual. I wonder if Bea Arthur will receive a tribute from you? I hope so, I'll miss her...

Not sure if you check my blog, but I recently wrote about Doug Wright's work. I'm just a fan, not a pro, and I'd love any insights or comments you might have about his work (if you care to comment).

Cheers!