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Actor James Garner Dead at 86

Actor James Garner Dead at 86

Mark Mainz/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — James Garner, the actor who helped re-define the western and detective genres on television, died Saturday at his California home. He was 86.

Garner first gained fame in the late 1950s on the TV comedy series Maverick. At a time when traditional Westerns were a staple of primetime TV fare, Garner’s wisecracking Bret Maverick — a gambler who’d rather run than fight but who could outdraw most gunfighters — was a tremendous hit, and made Garner a star.

Garner left Maverick after three seasons and built a film career, starring in both comedies and dramas, including the classic 1963 war drama The Great Escape and two hit romantic comedies opposite Doris Day.

In 1974, Garner returned to television in the comedy-drama The Rockford Files. Garner’s take on Jim Rockford, a Los Angeles detective who lived with his father in a run-down mobile home and drove a Pontiac Firebird, was an even bigger hit than Maverick, airing for six seasons and earning Garner a best actor Emmy in 1977. Like Maverick did with Westerns, The Rockford Files in many ways redefined the TV private detective show, and paved the way for similar hits, such as Magnum P.I.

Garner continued to switch between TV and film in his later years, and was nominated for an Oscar in 1985 for starring opposite Sally Field in the romantic comedy Murphy’s Romance.

His later films included 1994’s Maverick, with Mel Gibson playing the title role and Garner starring as his father.

Garner also appeared in 2000’s Space Cowboys opposite Clint Eastwood, 2004’s The Notebook, and had a role on the TV sitcom 8 Simple Rules.

Garner’s autobiography, The Garner Files: A Memoir, was published in 2011. In 2005, Garner received the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

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“30 Rock” Star Tracy Morgan in Critical Condition After NJ Car Crash

“30 Rock” Star Tracy Morgan in Critical Condition After NJ Car Crash

ABC/Randy Holmes(CRANBURY, NJ) —  Actor and comedian Tracy Morgan was injured in a car crash on the N.J. Turnpike early Saturday morning, a State Police spokesperson told ABC News.

A spokesman at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital said Morgan, who starred in NBC’s 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live, is listed in critical condition. He and his party were riding in a chauffeured Mercedes Sprinter, a limo-type bus, and were returning from a tour date in Delaware when the multi-car accident occurred.  There were seven people on the bus at the time of the collision.

One person, identified by New Jersey State Police as James McNair, 63, was killed in the crash. Three others, including Morgan’s assistant Jeff Millea and comedians Ardie Fuqua and Harris Stanton, were injured, police said. McNair was a comedy writer for Morgan and the two were longtime friends. Millea is also listed in critical condition, said an official briefed on the investigation.

Lewis Kay, a representative for Morgan, released a statement on Saturday morning, saying that the comedian “remains in critical condition at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital,” adding, “His family is now with him and he is receiving excellent care.”

Morgan’s representatives do not expect “much of a change in his condition today,” but added that they will “provide a further update once more information becomes available.”

The six-vehicle crash happened in the northbound lanes at mile marker 71.5 near New Brunswick about 1 a.m., according to N.J. State Police. The crash was essentially a chain reaction that began when the driver of a tractor trailer “failed to observe slow-moving traffic” ahead of him — possibly because he had dozed off. The driver tried to swerve away from the vehicle containing Morgan and others at the last moment, but failed, and rear-ended Morgan’s vehicle.  All of those injured in the crash were on board the bus,  the New Jersey State Police said. 

Multiple charges have now been filed against the truck driver, identified as Kevin Roper, including one count of death by auto and four counts of assault by auto. 

Morgan’s performance Saturday night in Charlotte, N.C., was cancelled.

Among the celebrities tweeting prayers and get-well wishes to Morgan: frequent SNL guest host Steve Martin, former SNL cast members Rachel Dratch and Chris Rock, 30 Rock guest star Chloe Grace Moretz, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Marlon Wayans, George Lopez, Bob Saget, Mike Epps, Rob Riggle, Questlove of The Roots, Andy Richter, Russell Simmons, Mary J. Blige, Ice T, Rosanne Barr, Joan Rivers, Josh Groban and actors Kevin Brown and Grizz Chapman, who played Dot Com and Grizz, members of Morgan’s character’s entourage, on 30 Rock.

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Comedian David Brenner Dead at 78

Comedian David Brenner Dead at 78

DavidBrennerSite.com(NEW YORK) — David Brenner, a comedian who appeared on The Tonight Show more often than any other guest, has died, ABC News Radio has confirmed.  He was 78.
Brenner died in New York City surrounded by his children, according …

Robots, Rappers, Beatles & “Royals” Rule 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Robots, Rappers, Beatles & “Royals” Rule 56th Annual Grammy Awards

Bret Hartman/CBSAmerica: Meet your robot overlords. Your French robot overlords.  The French electronic duo Daft Punk — the guys who dress like robots, don’t speak and are never seen without their helmets — were among the big winners at the 56…

The Grammy Awards: The Performances

The Grammy Awards: The Performances

Cliff Lipson/CBSSure, there were plenty of trophies handed out at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, held Sunday night in Los Angeles. But as always, the real focus of the more than three-and-a-half hour telecast was the performances.  Here’s a …

Grammy Backstage Report

Grammy Backstage Report

The Recording AcademyHere’s what the stars had to say backstage at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards, held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday night:
— Daft Punk let their music do the talking for them throughout the night. The helmet-weari…

Madonna Apologizes for Using the “N” Word on Instagram, Says “I Am Not a Racist”

Madonna Apologizes for Using the “N” Word on Instagram, Says “I Am Not a Racist”

Madonna.comFew people would use the word “racist” to describe Madonna, but she found herself being forced to apologize for using the “N” word in a caption on Instagram on Friday.

Madonna had posted a photo of her son Rocco in the boxing ring, along w…

“Fast and The Furious” Star Paul Walker Dead at 40, Killed in Car Accident

“Fast and The Furious” Star Paul Walker Dead at 40, Killed in Car Accident

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images
(LOS ANGELES) — Actor Paul Walker, star of the Fast and The Furious movies, died in a car accident Saturday in Santa Clarita, Calif., his rep confirms to ABC News. He was 40.
Earlier on Sat…

Conrad Murray Leaves Jail

Conrad Murray Leaves Jail

Barcroft Media /Barcoft Media via Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Two years after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson, Conrad Murray left jail early Monday. He exited a Los Angeles facility just after midnight West …

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Behind the Candelabra’ Top Surprising 65th Primetime Emmy Awards

‘Breaking Bad,’ ‘Modern Family,’ ‘Behind the Candelabra’ Top Surprising 65th Primetime Emmy Awards

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — On Sunday night, you could’ve tuned into the next-to-last episode of Breaking Bad, or you could’ve tuned into the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards to see the show win its first-ever trophy for best drama series…

Emmys Backstage Report

Emmys Backstage Report

Photo by Marc Bryan-Brown/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — Here’s what the winners had to say backstage Sunday night at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles:
— Riding a wave of momentum from its captivating final season, AMC’s Breaking Bad was named…

Emmy Winners List

Emmy Winners List

Mathew Imaging/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Here are the winners in the top categories at the 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, held Sunday at the NOKIA Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles. A full list of winners is available at Emmys.com.
Drama SeriesBreaking B…

Contractor Sues Jennifer Aniston over Unpaid Bill

Contractor Sues Jennifer Aniston over Unpaid Bill

Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — A contractor has slapped actress Jennifer Aniston with a lawsuit claiming the We’re The Millers star never paid him for constructing a deck at her Bel Air mansion.
J.R. Darnall Associates, Inc. says in…

Nick Cannon to Amanda Bynes: ‘I’m Here! Call Me!’

Nick Cannon to Amanda Bynes: ‘I’m Here! Call Me!’

Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage(LOS ANGELES) — The 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold on Amanda Bynes, 27, was apparently the last straw for Nick Cannon, 32.The America’s Got Talent host wrote a heartfelt letter Wednesday on his website to addr…

DMX Arrested for Alleged DUI

DMX Arrested for Alleged DUI

iStockPhoto/Thinkstock(CHARLESTON, S.C.) — Rapper DMX was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of driving under the influence.
The 41-year-old DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was pulled over in South Carolina after officers saw him driving errat…

Michael Jackson’s Mother Denounces ‘The Biggest Lie’ About Her Son

Michael Jackson’s Mother Denounces ‘The Biggest Lie’ About Her Son

Carlo Allegri/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Katherine Jackson said her son, Michael Jackson, was a loving father and a doting son, and said it is hard to hear what she believes are misconceptions of the King of Pop, who died in 2009 at the age of 50 after …

Kanye West Allegedly Assaults Paparazzi

Kanye West Allegedly Assaults Paparazzi

George Napolitano/FilmMagic(LOS ANGELES) — Police are investigating reports that rapper Kanye West was involved in a scuffle with paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport Friday night.
Alleged pictures of the incident have surfaced online. LAX P…

Justin Bieber on New Tattoo: Mom’s Always Watching

Justin Bieber on New Tattoo: Mom’s Always Watching

JustinBieber/Instagram(NEW YORK) — Usually teenage boys will do anything to avoid their mothers. Justin Bieber, 19, wants his watching his every move.
After months of acting out, including run-ins with the paparazzi and angry neighbors, the “Bab…

“Glee” Star Cory Monteith Found Dead at 31

“Glee” Star Cory Monteith Found Dead at 31

Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) — Cory Monteith, who played the football-hero turned singing heartthrob Finn Hudson in the Fox hit show Glee, was found dead in his Vancouver hotel room this weekend, authorities said. He was 31.
Th…

Photographer Imagines Kate Middleton’s Life Using Royal Impersonators

Photographer Imagines Kate Middleton’s Life Using Royal Impersonators

Alison Jackson/Rex USA
(LONDON) — Kate Middleton and Prince William are staying out of the public eye as they prepare to welcome their first child, and one photographer is taking a guess as to what they might be up to.Alison Jackson, the same photogra…

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