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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thank God For James Garner.

I contend that James Garner was perhaps the most underrated actor we've ever had.
I contend that he was the American Cary Grant, also one of the most underrated actors we've ever had.
Think about it.
Virtually any part that was right for Cary Grant, unless it was intrinsically British, like "Gunga Din",could have been carried off at least as well by Garner.
Both disarmingly handsome, disarmingly funny, totally likeable.
Can you imagine "North By Northwest" if it was Garner instead of Grant?
I think it would have been better.
But it doesn't work the other way.
Grant couldn't have played Maverick or Rockford.
The other difference is that Grant had to work at being Cary Grant.
It didn't come naturally.
Garner was who you saw.
Grant could have done "The Americanization of Emily".
But it wouldn't have been as good as Garner.
Witnessing Garner chew on Paddy Chayefsky's glorious dialogue in "Emily" was a feast on the eyes and the ears.
Thank God he got that part, and it's there to be seen.
Over and over again.
Garner was a trailblazer.
He was the first TV star to make the transition from series television to become a full-fledged movie star.
He broke the mold.
And he was not afraid to go back to TV.
And it didn't hurt his movie career when he did.
He just didn't seem to give a crap.
He just wanted to do good work.
And he didn't care what size screen it was on.
Maybe he realized that movies ended up on the small screen anyway, so it really didn't matter.
This made him smarter than most.
But none of this is why I personally thank God for James Garner.
I have my reasons, and I'll share them with you next time.
And at some point, I'll get back to the Emmy nominations, I swear.
There is just too much breaking news these days.....


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not
e-books. But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one. If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link: ""



  1. James Garner was(and still is)just about my favorite actor. And you have hit the nail right on the head in your writing about him today.

    About the only other actor who could handle other parts, yet no one could quite carry his parts, is Phil Silvers.

    Looking forward to Part 2.

  2. Interesting comparison of Garner and Grant. I can see what you're saying. But at least in Suspicion and Notorious, Grant definitely conveys that he might actually be capable of doing horrible things to others. I don't know if Garner could do that. He seemed like too good a guy while, as you say, Grant's persona was more of an invention that he worked at.

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."