James Garner, the Emmy and Golden Globe award winning actor best known for his role on the long-running drama series The Rockford Files, has died aged 86. The actor, who had suffered a stroke in 2008, reportedly died of natural causes yesterday at his Los Angeles home.
James Garner was born the youngest of three children in Norman, Oklahoma. After joining the National Guard and serving seven months in the United States, he was deployed with the army to Korea. Garner was awarded two Purple Hearts for his service in Korea.
James Garner's many film and television credits over his five decade career include the 2004 film The Notebook, the 1963 World War Two classic The Great Escape, and the 1950s Western TV series Maverick. He won two Golden Globe awards in the nineties for TV movies Barbarians at the Gate and Decoration Day, and a Primetime Emmy Award for his role as Jim Rockford on The Rockford Files.
James Garner joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules in 2003, after the death of its star John Ritter. Garner played Jim Egan, father of Katey Sagal's Kate Hennessy, who came to live with his daughter and family as they recovered from the loss of their father. Garner remained with the show through to its cancellation in 2005.
In 2004, James Garner received the Screen Actors Guild lifetime achievement award in recognition of his long and illustrious career. In 2006, a 10-foot-tall statue of Garner as Bret Maverick, his iconic character in Maverick, was unveiled in Garner's hometeown.
James Garner is survived by his wife, Lois Clarke, whom he married in 1956, his daughter Greta "Gigi" Garner, and an adopted daughter, Kimberly, from Clarke's first marriage.
Amy Yasbeck, John Ritter's widow, will release a book detailing her life with John Ritter next Tuesday, September 7th. The book includes chapters detailing their early lives, how they met, their life and work together, and her life after John's death.
The pair met while working on the popular film series Problem Child and married in 1999. John Ritter passed away at the age of 54 while filming 8 Simple Rules. A foundation set up by Yasbeck after Ritter's death continues to educate about aortic dissection and save lives.
You can read a wonderful review of the book at SitcomsOnline.com. The book is available to order now from Amazon.com. A digital edition is available in the UK for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.co.uk or you can order the hardcover edition which is currently out of stock.
We are running a series of episode tournaments to find the fans' favourite episodes from each season of 8 Simple Rules. We are now able to announce the result of our Season 3 tournament.
Secrets defeated The Teachers' Lounge by a convincing margin. Thanks to everybody who voted.
To recap our tournaments: the best episode of Season 1 was judged to be Come and Knock on our Door, the Season 2 winner was Mall in the Family, the Season 3 winner was Secrets, and our tournament of all the seasons was also won by Secrets.
We are running an episode tournament to find the fans' favourite episodes from each season of 8 Simple Rules. The second round of our Season 3 tournament has just closed.
The two episodes going head-to-head in the final round are The Teachers Lounge and Secrets. The two episodes knocked out were Freaky Friday and CJ's Real Dad.
You can cast your vote now. The result of the tournament will be announced next Thursday.
We are running an episode tournament to find the fans' favourite episode from Season 3 of 8 Simple Rules. The first round has just closed.
The two pairs going head-to-head in the second round are: Secrets vs. Freaky Friday, and C.J.'s Real Dad vs. The Teachers Lounge.
Cast your vote now. The round is open for one week.
We're running an episode tournament to find the fans' favourite episodes from each season of 8 Simple Rules. The nominations round of our Season 3 tournament has just closed.
Eight episodes have come through to the knock-out rounds where they'll go head-to-head in four pairs. The pairs are: First Day of School vs. Secrets, Car Trouble vs. Freaky Friday, Ditch Day vs. CJ's Real Dad, and Sleepover vs. The Teachers Lounge.
Cast your vote now. The round will be open for one week.
8 Simple Rules: Season 2 DVD went on sale today in the United States & Canada, almost two years since the first season of 8 Simple Rules debuted on DVD. The second DVD contains all 24 episodes of the show's second season, including the 3 final episodes of John Ritter, presented on 3 discs. No special features were included.
The reason for the long delay was the imminent deal between Buena Vista Home Entertainment (BVHE), the distributor of the show and its first season DVD, and Lions Gate Home Entertainment, a smaller independent firm who now handle 8 Simple Rules' release on DVD. BVHE wished to focus its attention on its current & more popular series, the likes of Scrubs & Desperate Housewives, so licensed out older and less popular fare, such as 8 Simple Rules.
As we mentioned earlier in the post, there are no special features on this DVD. That will come as a great disappointment to fans hoping for a tribute to John Ritter to be included with his final episodes. The reason for the lack of special features remains a mystery. A feature was produced in 2007 for a DVD planned by BVHE, but its production by BVHE might have prevented it from being included on this release. Similarly, the ABC special 'John Ritter: A Life of Laughter' may not have been possible either. It is a shame that Lions Gate weren't able to produce any special features for this release.
It is crucial that we buy this release, even with its faults, to try ensure all episodes of 8 Simple Rules will one day be on DVD. We can only hope that it might get some special features next time around, for its third and final season. 8 Simple Rules: Season 2 can be ordered from Amazon.com for $19.99 (~£13.10).
Those of us hoping that the change of distributor, from Buena Vista to Lionsgate, might mean better special features, will be disappointed. As Pavan Badal, owner of Pavan's 8 Simple Rules site, reveals in the review, there are no special features. Not the ABC 'John Ritter: A Life of Laughter' special, not the feature Buena Vista produced for DVD back in 2007, nothing at all.
The DVDs have actually worsened. The sound goes from Dolby Digital 5.1 to 2.0 Surround Sound and introductions the cast made for John Ritter's final three episodes are missing.
I hope you'll still buy it, in the hope that all episodes will be released, but it is clearly a disappointing release. You can pre-order the DVD from Amazon.com.
Amazon.com have posted more details about 8 Simple Rules: Season 2. The DVD can now be pre-ordered for $19.99 (~£14.50). The DVD will be released May 19th in the United States & Canada.
The cover-art has also been revealed, although this has not been confirmed by Lionsgate Home Entertainment. The DVD background colour is yellow, with a picture of the family (sans Paul) around a chair and a picture of Paul (John Ritter) hanging in the background.
TVShowsonDVD.com reports that Lionsgate Home Entertainment have confirmed the April 21st release of 8 Simple Rules: Season 2 in the U.S. & Canada.
The 3-disc set will cost $29.98 and there is no word on any extras.
Chris Mann, author of the tell-all book "Come and Knock on Our Door" which went behind the scenes of "Three's Company" - Ritter's biggest TV show - revealing the full extent of the bitter feuds, anger & sorrow that affected the show, is writing a new book about John Ritter.
Speaking to SitcomsOnline.com, the bona fide Three's Company expert revealed he will be working on the book in 2009.
John Ritter's widow, actress Amy Yasbeck, is also working on a book about the late actor.