Los Angeles (AP) — Actor James Garner, whose whimsical style in the 1950s TV Western "Maverick" led to a stellar career in TV and films such as "The Rockford Files" and his Oscar-nominated "Murphy's Romance," has died, police said. He was 86.
Garner received a Purple Heart in 1983. He was wounded in April 1951 while with U.S. forces in Korea, but his medal was never presented to him
He was found dead of natural causes at his home in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles Saturday evening, Los Angeles police officer Alonzo Iniquez said early Sunday.
Police responded to a call around 8 p.m. PDT and confirmed Garner's identity from family members, Iniquez told The Associated Press.
There was no immediate word on a more specific cause of death. Garner had suffered a stroke in May 2008, just weeks after his 80th birthday.
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."
His quick-witted avoidance of conflict provided a refreshingly new take on the American hero, contrasting with the steely heroics of John Wayne and the fast trigger of Clint Eastwood.
Well into his 70s, the handsome Oklahoman remained active in both TV and film. In 2002, he was Sandra Bullock's father in the film "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." The following year, he joined the cast of "8 Simple Rules ... For Dating My Teenage Daughter," playing the grandfather on the sitcom after star John Ritter, who played the father, died during the show's second season.
When he received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award in 2005, he quipped, "I'm not at all sure how I got here."
Garner starred as the title character in the long-running TV show "Maverick." He also appeared in the Mel Gibson film of the same name