James Garner

James Garner

86 (passed away Jul. 19th, 2014)
Apr. 7th, 1928
Born in
Norman, Oklahoma, USA
6' 1

James Garner's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
8 Simple Rules TV Show
8 Simple Rules
The Rockford Files TV Show
The Rockford Files
Maverick TV Show
God, the Devil and Bob TV Show
God, the Devil and Bob
First Monday TV Show
First Monday
Bret Maverick TV Show
Bret Maverick
Nichols TV Show
Space TV Show
Man of the People TV Show
Man of the People
Young Maverick TV Show
Young Maverick

Main Movie Roles

2014 - Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon
2013 - The Ultimate Life
2006 - The Ultimate Gift
2005 - Dust to Glory
2004 - The Notebook
2002 - Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
2001 - Atlantis: The Lost Empire
2000 - Space Cowboys
1998 - Twilight
1996 - My Fellow Americans
1994 - Maverick
1993 - Fire in the Sky
1992 - The Distinguished Gentleman
1988 - Sunset
1985 - Murphy's Romance
1984 - Tank
1982 - Victor Victoria
1971 - Skin Game
1971 - Support Your Local Gunfighter
1969 - Marlowe
1967 - Hour of the Gun
1966 - Duel at Diablo
1966 - Grand Prix
1964 - The Americanization of Emily
1963 - The Thrill of It All
1963 - The Great Escape
1963 - The Wheeler Dealers
1963 - Move Over, Darling
1962 - Boys' Night Out
1961 - The Children's Hour
1960 - Cash McCall
1959 - Alias Jesse James
1959 - Up Periscope
1958 - Darby's Rangers

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
Willis Peake
Hubert 'Hue' Miller
Corporal Clint Keyes
Jim Curtis
Lt. Jim Collins
Bret Maverick
[Complete List]


James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014) was an American actor. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series Maverick and Jim Rockford in the 1970s detective drama series The Rockford Files.

The son of an Oklahoma carpet layer, Garner dropped out of high school at 16 to join the Merchant Marine. He worked in a variety of jobs and received the Purple Heart when he was wounded during the Korean War. He had his first chance to act when a friend got him a non-speaking role in the Broadway stage play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1954). Part of his work was to read lines to the lead actors and he began to learn the craft of acting. This play led to small television roles, television commercials and eventually a contract with Warner Brothers. Director 'David Butler' saw something in Garner and gave him all the attention he needed when he appeared in The Girl He Left Behind (1956). After co-starring in a handful of films during 1956-57, Warner Brothers gave Garner a co-starring role in the the western series Maverick (1957). Originally planned to alternate between Bart Maverick ('Jack Kelly') and Brett Maverick (Garner), the show quickly turned into the Brett Maverick Show. As Maverick, Garner was cool, good-natured, likeable and always ready to use his wits to get him in or out of trouble. The series was highly successful, and Garner continued in it into 1960 when he left the series in a dispute over money.

In the early 1960s Garner returned to films, often playing the same type of character he had played on "Maverick". His successful films included _The Thrill of It All (1963), Move Over, Darling (1963), The Great Escape (1963) and The Americanization of Emily (1964). After that, his career wandered and when he appeared in the automobile racing movie Grand Prix (1966), he got the bug to race professionally. Soon, this ambition turned to supporting a racing team, not unlike what 'Paul Newman' would do in later years.

Garner found great success in the western comedy Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969). He tried to repeat his success with a sequel, Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), but it wasn't up to the standards of the first one. After 11 years off the small screen, Garner returned to television in a role not unlike that in _Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969). The show was Nichols (1971) and he played the sheriff who would try to solve all problems with his wits and without gun play. When the show was canceled, Garner took the news by having Nichols shot dead, never to return in a sequel. In 1974 he got the role for which he will probably be best remembered, as wry private eye Jim Rockford in the classic The Rockford Files (1974). This became his second major television hit, with 'Noah Beery Jr.' and 'Stuart Margolin', and in 1977 he won an Emmmy for his portrayal. However, a combination of injuries and the discovery that Universal Pictures' "creative bookkeeping" would not give him any of the huge profits the show generated soon soured him and the show ended in 1980. In the 1980s Garner appeared in few movies, but the ones he did make were darker than the likeable Garner of old. These included Tank (1984) and Murphy's Romance (1985). For the latter, he was nominated for both the Academy Award and a Golden Globe. Returning to the western mode, he co-starred with the young 'Bruce Willis' in Sunset (1988), a mythical story of Wyatt Earp, 'Tom Mix' and 1920s Hollywood.

In the 1990s Garner received rave reviews for his role in the acclaimed television movie about corporate greed, Barbarians at the Gate (1993). After that, he appeared in the theatrical remake of his old television series, Maverick (1994), opposite 'Mel Gibson'. Most of his appearances after that were in numerous TV movies based upon The Rockford Files (1974).

On Saturday, July 19, 2014, police and rescue were summoned to Garner's Los Angeles area home. Authorities declared Garner had passed away in his residence of natural causes at the age of 86.

  • Is best friends with 'Doris Day (I)' (qv), 'Clint Eastwood' (qv), 'Julie Andrews (I)' (qv), and 'Lauren Bacall' (qv).
  • Of all his films, _The Americanization of Emily (1964)_ (qv) is his favorite.
  • His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6925 Hollywood Blvd.
  • Although Garner is a lifelong liberal Democrat, his best friend is a conservative Republican.
  • Is a very good friend of the late 'Bill Bixby (I)' (qv).
  • Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1990.
  • He adopted daughter Kimberly at nine years old. Kimberley is Lois Clarke's daughter from her first marriage.
  • Inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978.

Related sites for this celeb
» BuddyTV
» TVGuide
» AceShowbiz
» Celebrity-Mania
» Zap2it.com
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