Sometimes, an interview just clicks. James Garner and I communicated directly only once, during an extended conversation for a 2004 cover-story profile I wrote for Cowboys & Indians magazine. But right from the start, I felt like I was conversing with an old friend who was forthcoming and unfiltered.
Maybe it was because we discovered we had something in common – each of us lost his mother at an early age, dealt with an abusive stepmother, and remained forever shaped by those tragedies. Or maybe, just maybe, Garner turned on his irresistible charm for anyone and everyone he ever met. Whatever the reason, he was an exceptionally gracious gentleman, and an absolute dream of an interview subject, while we chatted.
It is my custom to celebrate lives, not mourn deaths. On the occasion of Garner’s passing at age 86, I would like to recall the man and his work by sharing this interview, here.