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Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…: James Garner (S2022EP5 REELZ Sun May 15, 2022)



On July 19th 2014, the world was shocked and saddened by the news that beloved American actor and producer James Garner had died at the age of 86. James had made a name for himself as one of the most genuine stars of his generation boasting a career that spanned 6 decades. Starring in over 85 movies and television shows James created some of our most loved TV characters including Maverick and Jim Rockford from The Rockford Files.

Born into poverty, James had a difficult childhood growing up in the small town of Norman Oklahoma at the start of the great depression. His teenage years were tough due to an abusive stepmother and a lack of interest in any of the numerous jobs he tried. Then In 1950 he became the first man from Oklahoma to be drafted to the Korean War where he sustained numerous injuries.

James then caught his first acting break by chance after discovering an old friend had become an actor’s agent and following a contract with legendary film company ‘Warner Brothers’ the role of Maverick catapulted him to Hollywood stardom. He was one of the few actors that made it big in both film and television, in a time when it was rare to do so. James became a folk hero to other actors when he won huge legal battles against two of the biggest studios, breaking his contract and clawing back hidden revenues.

Known for his effortless acting and his humorous anti-heroes he was one of Hollywood’s highest ranked actors but behind James’ smile there was hidden pain and we discover he had secretly battled ill health for over 35 years. James suffered from multiple life-threatening conditions, he underwent numerous surgeries and struggled both mentally and physically. James died of a heart attack at the age of 86. Why did one of our most treasured actors succumb to this fate? And how did he battle ill health for so long? World renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Hunter needs to analyze James’ history, lifestyle and medical past in order to find the answers.

Airdate: Sun May 15, 2022 at 22:00 on REELZ

Season 2022 Episode 5

Autopsy: The Last Hours Of… is a documentary series that reveals the truth behind the controversial deaths of global icons and people whose untimely deaths were surrounded by scandal and intense media attention. Fact and fiction are forever separated through reconstructions of their final hours using crucial medical evidence from the actual autopsies to explain how and why they died while interviews with friends and family shed light on the events that led to death—finally putting an end to the speculation.