This is Jim Rockford. At the tone leave your name and message, I’ll get back to you.

“For the same price I can get an actor with two eyes.” (Studio Boss Harry Cohn, upon rejecting Peter Falk’s screen test for columbia Pictures. One of the wrongest guys ever.)

For a guy who gets mighty nostalgic about ’70s television, whose Tivo more often than not tops out with content from MeTV, it’s been quite a week. First, James Garner, primarily known as private eye Jim Rockford, dies. Second, filed under “Hollywood is out of ideas,” talk of a Columbo re-tread surfaces.

Of course, when a guy as iconic as Garner discorporates, it makes a guy like me go look him up. Here are a few things I found in his Wiki you might not expect:

  • He was a veteran, having served 14 months in Korea with the 5th Regimental Combat Team in the Korean War.
  • He was a Sooners fan. Garner was a native of Oklahoma and frequently attended football games at OU. He never graduated high school but received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at OU in 1995.
  • He marched on Washington with Martin Luther King Jr. “In his autobiography, Garner recalled sitting in third row listening to King’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.”
  • He was a lifelong Democrat. “For his role in the 1985 CBS miniseries Space, the character’s party affiliation was changed from Republican as in the book to reflect Garner’s personal views. Garner said, ‘My wife would leave me if I played a Republican.'”
  • Garner died one month prior to his 58th wedding anniversary. The story goes that he met her at an Adlai Stevenson political rally in 1956 and they married two weeks later.

Seems to me the guy was every bit as likeable as he seemed on the TV machine.


Aaron has mixed feelings about the idea of a Columbo remake with Mark Ruffalo in the title role. I got a better idea: Let’s do Baretta first.

Now. Let’s get to one more little thing you may or may not have known: One of Steven Spielberg’s first jobs? Directing the first episode of “Columbo.”


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Creationist Ken Ham calls to end space program because aliens are going to hell anyway


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