James Garner

Biography

Date of Birth 7 April 1928, Norman, Oklahoma, USA Birth Name James Scott Bumgarner Height 6' 1" (1.85 m) Mini Biography The son of an Oklahoma carpet layer, James Garner (born James Bumgarner) 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, likable 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 Der må være en kant (1963), Hjælp, jeg har to koner (1963), Den store flugt (1963) and Du kan ikke købe min kærlighed (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 Sheriffen tør - hvor andre tøver (1969). He tried to repeat his success with a sequel, Vestens hurtigste finger (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 Sheriffen tør - hvor andre tøver (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 likable Garner of old. These included Skydeskæg på larvefødder (1984) and Murphy, dit hjerte er i fare (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) (TV). 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). Mini Biography Amiable and handsome James Garner has obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s. On the big screen, Garner made his film debut in Raketfly X 2 (1956), landed a good supporting role besides 'Marlon Brando' in Sayonara... farlig kærlighed (1957), and quickly established himself as leading man, starring in Commando Raid (1958) and making a strong impression as the young corporate raider in En millionær forelsker sig (1960). In the early 1960s, his tall good looks and flair for comedy made him a perfect male lead in amusing sex comedies, such as Boys' Night Out (1962), Der må være en kant (1963) and Hjælp, jeg har to koner (1963). While he did not quite make it as a top movie star, he remained very successful through most of the decade, able to play a variety of parts, although predominantly light comedy and adventure roles. His best performances were in Den store flugt (1963), as the charming "scrounger" gathering all the necessary materials for the escape; in Du kan ikke købe min kærlighed (1964), as a self-professed coward, convincing co-star Julie Andrews of the virtues of self-interest and survival in lieu of noble courage; in 36 timer (1965), as an American officer made to believe by his German captors that he is suffering from amnesia; in Seksløberens time (1967), as a cynical, vengeful Wyatt Earp (an unusually dark role for him); and in Sheriffen tør - hvor andre tøver (1969), as the likeable lawman who cleans up the town with his wits instead of his fists. He also made a relaxed, but effective Marlowe - en syl i ryggen (1969) in the screen adaption of Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister. His popularity declined in the early 1970s and after another top-notch performance in Skin Game (1971), he initiated a return to television, first with the rather unsuccessful series Nichols and then, with "The Rockford Files" (1974), which brought him a new generation of fans. In the 1980s, he had some sporadic success on the big screen with Victor/Victoria (1982) and Murphy, dit hjerte er i fare (1985), for which he was nominated for an academy award, but he could not re-establish himself as an important leading man. Nevertheless, he delivered some excellent performances in quality TV movies, Heartsounds (1984) (TV), Promise (1986) (TV) and Barbarians at the Gate (1993) (TV), demonstrating that his dramatic ability had been underestimated. He has remained fairly active and popular, often adding some darkness to his previously light characterizations and proving to be an enduring talent. His most recent films have included Maverick (1994), My Fellow Americans (1996) and Space Cowboys (2000) . IMDb Mini Biography By: pchemoc389@rogers.com Spouse Lois Fleishman Clarke (17 August 1956 - present) 1 child Trade Mark His voice was heard at the beginning of every "The Rockford Files" (1974) episode with a message to be left. Trivia Had both knees replaced. [2000] Had quintuple heart bypass surgery. [1988] Part Cherokee Indian. He has two brothers, Jack Garner & Charlie Baumgarner. Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1990. Early in his career, he appeared as one of the judges in "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" on Broadway. He said his part consisted mostly of listening to the other actors, and he said it was a great lesson. He feels listening is just as important as speaking as an actor. Before he was an actor, he did everything from work at a gas station to model men's clothing. Father of Gigi Garner, author of "The Cop Cookbook" and "Girl Talk". He and his wife Lois Clarke were married at the Beverly Hills Court House just two weeks after they met at a political rally. Has a stepdaughter, Kimberly, from his wife's first marriage. Lost his mother when he was 5, and he & his two brothers were split up & sent off to live with relatives. Learned a lot from the late John Ritter,when watching "Three's Company" (1976). After Ritter's death, Garner appeared with the cast of "Fingrene væk fra min teenagedatter" (2002) talking about the popular comedian on "Larry King Live" (1985), on the future of "8 Simple Rules.". Is involved with many humanitarian causes. Is a volunteer of Save the Children. Is an avid golfer. Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986. Was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer in 1979. He was very disappointed about his show, "The Rockford Files" (1974), being cancelled due to his illness. He accepted his doctor's advice and learned that season 6 was his last. Had helped organize Martin Luther King's famous "March on Washington" civil rights demonstration, four years before going to Vietnam. (1963). Was the first actor to co-star with Julie Andrews in three movies: Du kan ikke købe min kærlighed (1964), Victor/Victoria (1982), and One Special Night (1999) (TV). Garner has said he stood 6' 3" at his peak, but he was frequently reported as 6' 1" early in his career and, in comparison to other actors, he never seemed to loom at 6' 3". These days, since his 70s, few have seen him to be over 5' 11" and he has admitted he has shrunk an inch or two. Is a Korean War veteran and began his career as a contract player in 1956 for Warner Bros. He was attending Hollywood High in Los Angeles when his gym teacher recommended him for a job modeling Jantzen bathing suits. He got the job making $25 an hour. He starred in 3 popular TV series: "Maverick" (1957) for 3 seasons, "The Rockford Files" (1974) for 6 seasons, and "Fingrene væk fra min teenagedatter" (2002), for 2 seasons. Has played two different characters named Jim who served in the Korean War: Jim Rockford in "The Rockford Files" (1974) and Jim Egan in "Fingrene væk fra min teenagedatter" (2002). Of all his films, Du kan ikke købe min kærlighed (1964) is his favorite. Enjoyed great celebrity with his Polaroid commercial series with Mariette Hartley, which started in 1977. He and Mariette were so convincing as husband and wife that Mariette had a T-shirt made that proclaimed, "I am not James Garner's wife!" More than 300 commercials were produced. A big Oakland Raiders football fan. Could be seen on sidelines with the team during games. Quit smoking following his quintuple heart bypass on 22 April 1988. Inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978. Although Garner is a lifelong liberal Democrat, his best friend is a conservative Republican. He was a student of Bruce Lee's in his jeet kune do style of martial art after starring with Lee in the film Marlowe. In a 1973 interview, John Wayne named Garner as the best American actor. His brother Charlie Bumgarter died in 1985. Is best friends with James Coburn,Doris Day, Clint Eastwood, Julie Andrews, Robert Guillaume and Lauren Bacall. Driver of pace cars at the 59th Indianapolis 500 (May 25, 1975), the 61st Indianapolis 500 (May 29, 1977), and at the 69th Indianapolis 500 (May 26, 1985). His star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is at 6925 Hollywood Blvd. He was a good friend of the late Paul Newman. Garner has appeared together with both Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward in several movies. Was a very good friend of the late Bill Bixby. Underwent surgery after suffering a severe stroke in May 2008 and is recovering well. Once owned a four hundred acre vineyard in Santa Ynez California called "White Rhino" vineyard and bottled his own Chardonnay called "Chateau Jimbeaux". Very close friend of the late James Coburn, also knew Lee Marvin well. In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate from The University of Oklahoma, in his home town of Norman, OK. This was one month after bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. He was quoted as saying during his commencement ceremony speech, "If there's anything positive to come from this event, it is seeing the character, the toughness & the dignity of the Oklahoma people as they suffer the grief and carry on with their lives. It makes every Oklahoman, where ever we are, to be PROUD to be an Oklahoman.". James Garner adopted his wife's 9 year old daughter Kimberly after they were married. About a year later, James Garner's only biological daughter, Gigi Garner, was born in Santa Monica, California. Narrates the intro videos for the University of Oklahoma football team as they enter the stadium. Has a street named after him in his hometown of Norman. "James Garner Ave". Best known by the public for his starring role as the title character in "The Rockford Files" (1974). His older brother, Jack Garner, died in 2011. Personal Quotes About everything I ever have done, in the way of lawsuits against studios, I've won them all, because I was right every time. Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist. [Asked if he would ever do a nude scene] "I don't do horror films." They really stuck it to me. I was young and dumb. I said a couple things about being under contract that they didn't like, like that I felt like a ham in a smokehouse. They were waiting to get back at me by laying me off. We went to court and got out of my contract. I didn't want somebody in an office guiding my career. If I had a failure, I wanted it to be my failure. If I had a success, I wanted it to be my success. [on his conflicts with Warner Brothers, in relation to his contractual obligations to the "Maverick" (1957) TV series] I'm a Spencer Tracy-type actor. His idea was to be on time, know your words, hit your marks and tell the truth. Most every actor tries to make it something it isn't [or] looks for the easy way out. I don't think acting is that difficult if you can put yourself aside and do what the writer wrote. I don't like to speak in public. It scares the devil out of me. I got into the business to put a roof over my head. I wasn't looking for star status. I just wanted to keep working. [on his role as 'Bret Maverick'] I'm playing me. Bret Maverick is lazy: I'm lazy. And I *like* being lazy. (on the passing of his good friend Paul Newman) This is such a sad time, I am truly devastated and there are just not enough words to express my sorrow. (on Steve McQueen) Steve was my neighbor for some time, I called him "Crazy McQueen", because, quite frankly, he was crazy. We were friends, but he wanted to play my part in Grand Prix (1966) and because of that we didn't talk for four years. (...)He wasn't a great actor, but he was a star - McQueen had probably the highest amount of star quality I've ever seen in an actor. [When he entered Hollywood High School at the time his gym teacher recommended him for his modeling job]: I made 25 bucks an hour! That's why I quit school. I was making more money than the teachers. I never finished the ninth grade. [Who asked Melissa Gilbert warily]: How long does the speech have to be? Well, this will be shorter than others.

Expand
Person Photo

Birth Name

James Scott Bumgarner

Birth Place

Norman, Oklahoma, USA

Birth Date

4/7/1928

Death Date

7/19/2014
Known For
Movie Poster

Space Cowboys

Tank Sullivan

Movie Poster

Support Your Local Sheriff

Jason McCullough

Movie Poster

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Rourke (voice)

Movie Poster

Grand Prix

Pete Aron

Movie Poster

My Fellow Americans

President Matt Douglas

Movie Poster

Victor Victoria

King Marchand

Movie Poster

Tank

Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Zack Carey

Movie Poster

Support Your Local Gunfighter

Latigo

Movie Poster

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam

Shazam (voice)

Movie Poster

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Shepard James 'Shep' Walker

Starring In
Movie Poster

Steve McQueen: The Lost Movie

Self (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Jay Sebring.... Cutting to the Truth

Self (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Disclosure: Trans Lives on Screen

King Marchand (archive footage)

Movie Poster

The Coolest Guy Movie Ever: Return to the Scene of The Great Escape

Self - The Great Escape - Hendley 'The Scrounger'

Movie Poster

Ich bin Steve McQueen

Hendley 'The Scrounger' (in 'The Great Escape') (archive footage)

Movie Poster

The Ultimate Life

Howard 'Red' Stevens (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Sing Your Song

Self (archive footage) (uncredited)

Movie Poster

Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam

Shazam (voice)

Movie Poster

Battle for Terra

Doron (voice)

Movie Poster

The Ultimate Gift

Red Stevens

Movie Poster

The Notebook

Duke

Movie Poster

Dust to Glory

Himself (archive footage)

Movie Poster

The Land Before Time: The Great Longneck Migration

Pat (voice)

Movie Poster

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Shepard James 'Shep' Walker

Movie Poster

Roughing It

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain)

Movie Poster

Atlantis: The Lost Empire

Rourke (voice)

Movie Poster

Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey

Philip Marlowe (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Space Cowboys

Tank Sullivan

Movie Poster

One Special Night

Robert Woodward

Movie Poster

Twilight

Raymond Hope

Movie Poster

Legalese

Norman Keane

Movie Poster

Dead Silence

John Potter

Movie Poster

The Hidden Dimension

Narrator (voice)

Movie Poster

My Fellow Americans

President Matt Douglas

Movie Poster

Maverick

Marshal Zane Cooper

Movie Poster

BREATHING LESSONS

Ira Moran

Movie Poster

Ang Lee - "Father Knows Best" Trilogy

Jim Rockford

Movie Poster

Amy Grant: Building the House of Love

Self

Movie Poster

Barbarians at the Gate

F. Ross Johnson

Movie Poster

Fire in the Sky

Frank Watters

Movie Poster

The Distinguished Gentleman

Jeff Johnson

Movie Poster

My Name is Bill W

Dr. Robert 'Dr. Bob' Holbrook Smith

Movie Poster

Sunset

Wyatt Earp

Movie Poster

Murphy's Romance

Murphy Jones

Movie Poster

The Glitter Dome

Al

Movie Poster

Tank

Cmd. Sgt. Maj. Zack Carey

Movie Poster

Victor Victoria

King Marchand

Movie Poster

The Fan

Jake Berman

Movie Poster

The Rockford Files - Season Five

Jim Rockford

Movie Poster

The Castaway Cowboy

Lincoln Costain

Movie Poster

One Little Indian

Keyes

Movie Poster

Support Your Local Gunfighter

Latigo

Movie Poster

Once Upon a Wheel

Himself

Movie Poster

Skin Game

Quincy

Movie Poster

A Man Called Sledge

Luther Sledge

Movie Poster

King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis

Self (archive footage)

Movie Poster

Support Your Local Sheriff

Jason McCullough

Movie Poster

Marlowe

Philip Marlowe

Movie Poster

The Pink Jungle

Ben Morris

Movie Poster

Hour of the Gun

Wyatt Earp

Movie Poster

Grand Prix

Pete Aron

Movie Poster

Duel at Diablo

Jess Remsberg

Movie Poster

D is for Diamonds

William Beddoes

Movie Poster

Mister Buddwing

Mister Buddwing

Movie Poster

The Art of Love

Casey Barnett

Movie Poster

36 Hours

Major Jefferson Pike

Movie Poster

The Americanization of Emily

Lt. Commander Charles Edward Madison

Movie Poster

The Thrill of It All!

Dr. Gerald Boyer

Movie Poster

The Great Escape

Hendley 'The Scrounger'

Movie Poster

Move Over, Darling

Nicholas Arden

Movie Poster

The Wheeler Dealers

Henry Tyroon

Movie Poster

Sexy!

Fred Williams

Movie Poster

The Children's Hour

Dr. Joe Cardin

Movie Poster

Cash McCall

Cash McCall

Movie Poster

Up Periscope!

Lt. j.g. Kenneth M. Braden

Movie Poster

Alias Jesse James

Bret Maverick (scenes deleted)

Movie Poster

Darby's Rangers

Col. William Orlando Darby

Movie Poster

Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend

Sgt. John Maitland

Movie Poster

Sayonara

Capt. Mike Bailey - USMC

Movie Poster

Bombers B-52

Anchor - Search and Rescue Operation (uncredited) (voice)

Movie Poster

Toward the Unknown

Lt. Col. Joe Craven

Movie Poster

The Girl He Left Behind

Preston

Movie Poster

Solo Matan a su Dueño

Abel Marsh

MobileIcon
app store google play