This post is part of a series on celebrity spokespeople who ended up doing serious harm to the brands they were hired to promote, or vice versa. See how we rank the 20 top spokesperson fiascos.
A lot of people, including me, thought that actor James Garner gave up the ghost some time ago. Doing the "Rockford Files" TV series must have taken a lot out of him. Then there were all those times he was shot playing Western gambler "Maverick." He was so good at it, he even got a role in the movie version.
Garner's one Oscar nomination was for "Murphy's Romance," in which he played an old man chasing a younger woman, a role for which he seemed particularly well suited.
In April 1988, Garner underwent quadruple by-pass surgery.That worked out OK for him, but he happened to be at that time a spokesman for The Beef Industry Council of the Meat Board and the Cattlemen's Beef Board. Fatty meat was being blamed for a great deal of the cholesterol that was clogging arteries and leading to heart attacks. Garner was not considered much of an effective front man for red meat once the news about his health got out.
Ironic as it may seem, lean meat is now recommended as the protein portion of many diets. Maybe the beef people could bring him back to talk about that.
Douglas A. McIntyre is an editor at 24/7 Wall St.
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