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The Garner Files: A Memoir by James Garner

The Garner Files: A Memoir

by James Garner, Jon Winokur

Other authors: Julie Andrews (Introduction)

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I listened to his audio book read by Jim Garner. Love his voice. .......After suffering physical abuse at the hands of his stepmother, Garner left home at fourteen. He became Oklahoma’s first draftee of the Korean War and was awarded with two Purple Hearts before returning to the United States and settling in Los Angeles to become an actor. Working alongside some of the most renowned celebrities, including Julie Andrews, Marlon Brando, and Clint Eastwood, Garner became a star in his own right, despite struggles with stage fright and depression. In The Garner Files, this revered actor and quintessential self-made man has stories about Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, breaking Doris Day’s ribs, having a “heart-to-heart and eyeball-to-eyeball” with Steve McQueen, being “a card-carrying liberal—and proud of it,” etc. I enjoyed learning about James Garner, an actor I've always enjoyed. He seems to have earned the respect of Hollywood. ...........A couple of the chapters on auto racing and golf I had to fast forward through. Way to boring for me but someone else may really enjoy listening to specifics on those subjects. ( )
  gaillamontagne | Jul 31, 2015 |
Not overly well written but interesting. He seems to have been an all around nice guy in the sense that he stuck up for the downtrodden. He also had a temper, which you'd never know from his TV shows and movies. He stayed out of the limelight and was married to the same woman for 50 years, both rare in Hollywood. ( )
  EdGoldberg | May 11, 2015 |
In his own words James Garner talks about his childhood, time in Korea, his love of Formula One racing and his golf game. He got into acting more or less by chance and started in just wanting to make money to support his family. He was the type of guy I would have loved to have coffee with unless he was having a bad day. He says to the effect that he had a long fuse but once lit WOW. He seems to have been generous to other actors, loyal to his friends, and even though gone a lot a father who was involved with his kids. ( )
  Jane1551 | Jul 31, 2014 |
Honest and frank autobiography by James Garner. He details the terrible conditions in which he grew up (absent father, abusive stepmother, poverty) and his stints in the Merchant Marine and Army and his service in Korea. He is very frank about some of his fellow actors (Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Bruce Willis) but details his hard work and his inclination to do his own stunts. He also was someone who stuck to the lines as written and intended to have other actors working with him do the same. There is only a small amount on his wife of 57 years and his children. There is a section where his wife, children, co-stars, friends, writers, etc. provide comments about Garner which is very good. However, the best is the filmography where Garner himself provided ratings and comments about his films. This is one of the best filmographies I have ever read. ( )
1 vote knahs | Jun 30, 2014 |
James Garner is an actor and producer best known for “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.” He writes in a plan and forthright fashion about his life. Garner starts with his childhood growing up during The Great Depression in Oklahoma. He was wounded twice during the Korean War and then was reassigned to a base post office where he became a “dog robber” like the character he played in “The Great Escape.” After the war he drifted around for a while until someone suggested he try acting. He never formally studied acting and learned from observation.

Garner comes across as a strong personality who shuns the “Hollywood lifestyle” for a private life with friends and family. He doesn’t like awards and is afraid of public speaking. He is a manly sort who played football when he was younger, raced cars, and did most of his own stunts. He is an admitted “bleeding heart liberal” who fought injustice. Along with Charlton Heston , Sidney Poitier, Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, and other celebrities he participated in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Garner confesses to be an old curmudgeon; hard on the outside and soft on the inside. He is an interesting man and this book is worth reading if you are a fan. ( )
  craso | Sep 28, 2013 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Garnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Winokur, Jonmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Andrews, JulieIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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The revered actor and quintessential self-made man recalls "trying to decipher" William Wyler with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine, breaking Doris Day's ribs, having a "heart-to-heart and eyeball-to-eyeball" with Steve McQueen, being "a card-carrying liberal--and proud of it," and much more.… (more)

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