James Garner, the understated, wisecracking everyman actor who enjoyed multigenerational success on both the small and big screens, has died. He was 86.
Police, who were called to his residence Saturday night in Los Angeles, say he died of natural causes.
Garner starred in hit TV series almost 20 years apart -- "Maverick" in the late 1950s and "The Rockford Files" in the 1970s.
He also had a notable film career, starring in such classics as "Sayonara" (1957), "The Great Escape" (1963), "The Americanization of Emily" (1964), "Grand Prix" (1966) and "Victor/Victoria" (1982), as well as the TV movies "My Name Is Bill W." (1989) and "Barbarians at the Gate" (1993). More recent films included "Space Cowboys" (2000) and "The Notebook" (2004).
He was fiercely independent, challenging the studios on both "Maverick" and "Rockford" when he felt he wasn't being treated fairly. He sued studios twice and won both times,
"The industry is like it always has been. It's a bunch of greedy people," he told The Los Angeles Times in 1990.
Garner was given a Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award in 2004. The actors' union head issued a statement about his death Sunday.