James Garner co-starred with Joanne Woodward in an excellent adaptation of Anne Tyler’s novel Breathing Lessons. Made for TV in 1994, it is a story of a middle-aged couple re-evaluating their marriage on a journey to a friend’s funeral. Garner belonged in that group of actors who always make it seem as though they are not acting at all. In Breathing Lessons he gives one of my favourite performances as a patient and devoted husband to a frustrating wife, showing no malice – but I don’t think he could do malice very well anyway.
Stephen Roberts writes: The obituary of James Garner reminded me that – perhaps surprisingly – one of the favourite television programmes of the eminent historians and peace campaigners Edward and Dorothy Thompson was The Rockford Files. Dorothy was a particular aficionado of detective stories on the page and on the screen. Those who visited them at their home at Wick Episcopi, Worcester, may well remember meeting their black dog Rocky, named Dorothy explained to me, in tribute to Jim Rockford.
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