I was saddened to learn last night that actor Jack Garner, James Garner's older brother, has passed away at the age of 84.
His death was announced on the Official James Garner Fan Page. Since I don't have a Facebook account, I very much appreciate longtime reader (and much longer-time friend!) Mrs. UGN letting me know.
Casual TV fans may not immediately be able to connect the less well-known Garner's name and face, but he played small parts on TV for decades. In THE ROCKFORD FILES, he had the recurring role of Captain McEnroe, and on BRET MAVERICK, the short-lived early '80s resurrection of Garner's MAVERICK series, he played Jack the Bartender. He also turned up in an uncredited role in the movie MAVERICK (1994).
Jack Garner also had the recurring role of Ned the Bartender in a few episodes of SCARECROW AND MRS. KING. His other credits included a wide range of TV shows including DANIEL BOONE, MEDICAL CENTER, ALIAS SMITH AND JONES, MURDER SHE WROTE, and more.
The Norman Transcript has published an obituary. The James Garner Facebook page has additional photos of the brothers, as well as video of the brothers in a Mazda commercial.
(September 15th Update: The Norman Transcript has published an updated, longer article, noting that Jack Garner was, according to a friend, "the greatest all-around athlete that ever came out of Norman High.")
I had the pleasure of meeting Jack Garner at the 30th anniversary party for James Garner's official fan club. Like his brother, Jack Garner seemed to be a very nice, friendly man.
My sincere condolences to the Garner family.
Update: Variety has posted an obituary. Variety lists Mr. Garner's age as 85.
September 22nd Update: The Los Angeles Times has now posted an obituary.
Fans should be sure to keep visiting the Official James Garner Facebook Page. Some wonderful family photos have been posted by Jim's daughter, Gigi.
July 20, 2014 Update: A very sad day. James Garner has died. Please visit my tribute looking back at favorite James Garner memorabilia.