When James Garner passed away, obituaries mentioned not only his movies (The Great Escape, Grand Prix) and TV Shows (Maverick, The Rockford Files), but also commercials he made for Polaroid cameras. Polaroid partnered him with actress Mariette Hartley, who had done mainly guest star appearances on TV shows (Gunsmoke, Star Trek, Mannix) up until then.

The ads were so successful that Garner reportedly made over 300 of them between about 1977 and 1983. He and Hartley had such a winning chemistry in the spots that viewers presumed that the two were actually married to each other. They were not.

Here’s a bunch of the Christmas-themed ads that Garner and Hartley did for Polaroid.

1978
1979 Polaroid Commercial with James Garner and Mariette Hartley.
1980. With a puppy!
1981
1977 post-Christmas, pre-Hartley commercial

“The first day on the set, Garner came over and gave me a big hug and said he was thrilled I’d gotten the part. Working with him is like good tennis. Jim is sweet and very supportive of me; he didn’t sign his new contract until they offered me more money.”

Mariette Hartley – http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/hartley/hart4.html
Mariette Hartley with her actual children.
James Garner with his actual wife.

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