VIDEO: James Garner's most memorable roles

Legendary actor James Garner died at age 86 Saturday of natural causes.

In celebration of his long career, here’s a look back at some of his best roles on TV and in movies.

Although he was adept at drama and action, Garner was best known for his low-key, wisecracking style, especially with his hit TV series, "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files,” according to the Associated Press.

Younger audiences may be more familiar with his roles in films such as "Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" and "The Notebook," and on the TV show "8 Simple Rules... For Dating My Teenage Daughter." 

“Maverick”
Bret and Bart Maverick (and in later seasons, their English cousin, Beau) are well dressed gamblers who migrate from town to town always looking for a good game. Poker (5 card draw) is their favorite but they've been known to play such odd card games as Three-toed Sloth on occasion. The show would occasionally feature both or all three Mavericks, but usually would rotate the central character from week to week.

“The Rockford Files”
Series about an ex-con-turned-private-investigator named Jim Rockford who would rather run away than fight and would rather go fishing than work. He isn't a coward, and he isn't lazy--just a bit on the cautious side, that's all. And he bears a very strong resemblance to Western TV hero Bret Maverick. Rockford is sometimes aided (and sometimes deterred) in his cases by friends Dennis Becker (a police detective), Angel (his cowardly former cellmate) and pretty Beth Davenport (his lawyer).

“Murphy’s Romance”
Emma Moriarty (Sally Field) is a 33-year-old, divorced mother who moves to a rural Arizona town to make a living by training and boarding horses. She becomes friends with the town's druggist (pharmacist), Murphy Jones (James Garner), but a romance between them seems unlikely due to Murphy's age and because Emma allows her ex-husband, Bobby Jack Moriarty (Brian Kerwin), to move back in with her and their 12-year-old son, Jake (Corey Haim).

A rivalry soon develops between Murphy and Bobby Jack. This contest of wills continues until a character shows up from Bobby Jack's recent past that surprises everyone, while forcing Murphy and Emma to reevaluate the nature of their relationship.

James Garner received his only Oscar nomination for "Murphy's Romance."

“Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”
A classic Southern tale of hilarity set in a sleepy Louisiana parish, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood follows a group of lifelong friends who stage a rather unorthodox intervention to help a young playwright unravel the truth about her complicated, eccentric mother, find forgiveness and acceptance, and let go of her painful past.

“The Notebook”
A poor and passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman and gives her a sense of freedom. They soon are separated by their social differences.
Garner is heartbreaking in his portrayal of “old Noah.”

What's your favorite James Garner role? Tweet @thekatieleone and tell me what you think.

Plot synopses via IMDB, Warner Bros., Wikipedia

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