Garner played it straight and insisted that others do so too. His departure from the TV show that made him famous, Maverick, happened after he sued Warner Bros. for breach of contract when they stopped paying him during a writers’ strike. He proved in court that the studio had been secretly stockpiling scripts.
Garner did two stints as Doris Day's husband in Universal rom-coms (one, The Thrill of it All, delightfully eviscerated TV and advertising) and charmed America as Mariotte Hartley's partner in a very successful Polaroid TV ad campaign. (Polaroid initially wanted Paul Newman, but Newman refused to sign on to a morals clause in his contract unless Polaroid did too.) From Time critic Richard Corliss' valentine:
As faithful in life as in his craft, Garner held true to the Democratic Party, for which he campaigned on behalf of civil rights and a greener Earth, and to his wife of 58 years, Lois Clarke.AKSARBENT suggests you toast Garner's life and work by watching him (and Julie Andrews) in The Americanization of Emily.