James Garner facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Garner at the 39th Primetime Emmy Awards in September 1987
James Scott Bumgarner
April 7, 1928
Norman, Oklahoma, U.S.
|Died||July 19, 2014
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
|Other names||James Scott Garner
James Scott Bumgarner
|Occupation||Actor, producer, voice artist|
|Political party||Democratic Party|
Lois Josephine Fleischmann Clarke (m. 1956)
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|| United States Merchant Marine
United States Army
|Years of service||1944–1952|
James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014) was an American actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western series Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, and played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films.
James Garner was born James Scott Bumgarner on April 7, 1928, in Norman, Oklahoma, the youngest of three sons. After the war, Garner joined his father in Los Angeles and enrolled at Hollywood High School, where he was voted the most popular student. He played football and basketball at Norman High School, and competed on the track and golf teams. However, he dropped out in his senior year. In a 1976 Good Housekeeping magazine interview, he admitted, "I was a terrible student and I never actually graduated from high school, but I got my diploma in the Army."
After working at several jobs he disliked, Garner joined the United States Merchant Marine at age 16 near the end of World War II. He liked the work and his shipmates, but he suffered from chronic seasickness.
Garner enlisted in the California Army National Guard, serving his first 7 months in California. He then went to Korea for 14 months, as a rifleman in the 5th Regimental Combat Team during the Korean War. He was wounded twice, first in the face and hand by shrapnel from a mortar round, and the second time from friendly fire from U.S. fighter jets as he dove headfirst into a foxhole.
Garner received the Purple Heart in Korea for the first wound. He qualified for a second Purple Heart as the result of friendly fire while actively engaging the enemy, but he did not actually receive it until 1983, 32 years after the event.
In 1954 a friend whom Garner had met while attending Hollywood High School, persuaded Garner to take a nonspeaking role in the Broadway production of The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial, where he was able to study Henry Fonda night after night. Fonda's gentle, sincere persona rubbed off on Garner, greatly to Garner's benefit.
Garner subsequently moved to television commercials and eventually to television roles. In 1957, he had a supporting role in the TV anthology series episode on Conflict entitled "Man from 1997. The series' producer Roy Huggins cast Garner as the lead in Maverick due to his comedic facial expressions while playing scenes in Man from 1997 that were not originally written to be comical. He changed his last name from Bumgarner to Garner after the studio had credited him as "James Garner" without permission.
When Charlton Heston turned down the lead role in Darby's Rangers, Garner was selected and performed well in the role. As a result of Garner's performance in Darby's Rangers, coupled with his Maverick popularity, Warners subsequently gave him lead roles in other films.
In the 1970s, Roy Huggins had an idea to remake Maverick, but this time as a modern-day private detective. Garner was selected to attempt to rekindle the success of Maverick, eventually recycling many of the plots from the original series. Starting with the 1974 season, Garner appeared as private investigator Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. He appeared for six seasons, for which he received an Emmy Award for Best Actor in 1977.
After six seasons, The Rockford Files was cancelled in 1980. Although low ratings were primarily to blame, the physical toll on Garner was also an issue. Appearing in nearly every scene of the series, doing many of his own stunts—including one that injured his back was wearing him out. A knee injury from his National Guard days worsened in the wake of the continuous jumping and rolling.
Awards and nominations
Nominated for 15 Emmy Awards during his television career, Garner received the award in 1977 as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (The Rockford Files) and in 1987 as executive producer of Promise.
For his contribution to the film and television industry, Garner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In 1990, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame that same year. In February 2005, he received the Screen Actors Guild's Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2010, the Television Critics Association gave Garner its annual Career Achievement Award.
Garner was married to Lois Josephine Fleischman Clarke. When Garner and Clarke married, her daughter Kim from a previous marriage was seven years old. Garner had one daughter with Lois, Greta "Gigi" Garner.
Garner's knees became a chronic problem during the filming of The Rockford Files in the 1970s, with six or seven knee operations during that time. In 2000, he underwent knee replacement surgery for both of them. In April 22, 1988, Garner had heart surgery. Though he recovered rapidly, he was advised to stop smoking. Garner quit smoking 17 years later.
Garner was an owner of the "American International Racers" (AIR) auto racing team from 1967 through 1969. Motorsports writer William Edgar and Hollywood director Andy Sidaris teamed with Garner for the racing documentary The Racing Scene, filmed in 1969 and released in 1970. The team fielded cars at Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring endurance races, but is best known for Garner's celebrity status raising publicity in early off-road motor-sports events. In 1978, he was one of the inductees in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.
He was an avid golfer for many years. Along with his brother, Jack, he played golf in high school. Garner took it up again in the late 1950s to see if he could beat Jack. He was a regular for years at Pebble Beach Pro-Am. In February 1990 at the AT&T Golf Tournament, he won the Most Valuable Amateur Trophy. Garner appeared on Sam Snead's Celebrity Golf TV series which aired from 1960 – 1963. These matches were 9-hole charity events pitting Snead against Hollywood celebrities.
A private and introverted man, according to family and friends, on Saturday evening, July 19, 2014, police and rescue personnel were summoned to Garner's Los Angeles-area home, where they found the actor dead at the age of 86. He had been in poor health since a severe stroke in 2008. He died less than a month before his 58th wedding anniversary.
|1956||Toward the Unknown||Major Joe Craven|
|1956||The Girl He Left Behind||Preston|
|1957||Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend||Sgt. John Maitland|
|1957||Sayonara||Capt. Mike Bailey, USMC|
|1958||Darby's Rangers||Col. William Orlando Darby|
|1959||Up Periscope||Lt. j.g. Kenneth M. Braden|
|1959||Alias Jesse James||Bret Maverick||Scenes deleted from some later reissue prints|
|1960||Cash McCall||Cash McCall|
|1961||The Children's Hour||Dr. Joe Cardin|
|1962||Boys' Night Out||Fred Williams|
|1963||The Great Escape||Flt. Lt. Robert Hendley "The Scrounger"|
|1963||The Thrill of It All||Dr. Gerald Boyer|
|1963||The Wheeler Dealers||Henry Tyroon|
|1963||Move Over, Darling||Nick Arden|
|1964||Action on the Beach||Himself||Short documentary|
|1964||The Americanization of Emily||Lt. Cmdr. Charles Edward Madison|
|1965||36 Hours||Major Jefferson F. Pike|
|1965||The Art of Love||Casey Barnett|
|1966||Grand Prix: Challenge of the Champions||Himself (uncredited)||Short documentary|
|1966||A Man Could Get Killed||William Beddoes||Also executive producer|
|1966||Duel at Diablo||Jess Remsberg|
|1966||Mister Buddwing||Mr. Buddwing|
|1966||Grand Prix||Pete Aron||Also executive producer|
|1967||Hour of the Gun||Wyatt Earp|
|1968||Once Upon a Wheel||Himself||Documentary|
|1968||The Man Who Makes the Difference||Himself (uncredited)||Short documentary|
|1968||How Sweet It Is!||Grif|
|1968||The Pink Jungle||Ben Morris|
|1969||The Racing Scene||Narrator||Also producer; documentary|
|1969||Support Your Local Sheriff!||Jason McCullough|
|1970||A Man Called Sledge||Luther Sledge|
|1971||Support Your Local Gunfighter!||Latigo Smith||Also executive producer|
|1971||Skin Game||Quincy||Also executive producer|
|1972||They Only Kill Their Masters||Abel Marsh|
|1973||One Little Indian||Keyes|
|1974||The Castaway Cowboy||Lincoln Costain|
|1981||The Fan||Jake Berman|
|1982||Victor Victoria||King Marchand|
|1984||Heartsounds||Harold Lear||TV film|
|1984||Tank||Sgt Maj Zack Carey|
|1985||Murphy's Romance||Murphy Jones|
|1985||Promise||Bob Beuhler||TV film; also executive producer|
|1989||My Name is Bill W.||Dr. Robert 'Dr. Bob' Holbrook Smith||TV film; also executive producer|
|1990||Decoration Day||Albert Sidney Finch|
|1990||Take Me to your Leaders||Narrator||Documentary|
|1992||The Distinguished Gentleman||Jeff Johnson|
|1993||Fire in the Sky||Frank Watters|
|1993||Barbarians at the Gate||F. Ross Johnson||TV film|
|1994||Breathing Lessons-||Ira Moran||TV film|
|1994||Maverick||Marshal Zane Cooper|
|1995||Larry McMurtry's Streets of Laredo||Texas Ranger Woodrow F. Call||Miniseries|
|1996||Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick||Himself||Documentary|
|1996||My Fellow Americans||President Matt Douglas|
|1997||The Hidden Dimension||Narrator||Documentary|
|1997||Dead Silence||John Potter||TV film|
|1998||Legalese||Norman Keane||TV film|
|1999||One Special Night||Robert Woodward||TV film|
|2000||The Last Debate||Mike Howley||TV film|
|2000||Space Cowboys||Tank Sullivan|
|2001||Atlantis: The Lost Empire||Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke (voice)|
|2002||Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood||Shepard James Walker "Shep"|
|2003||The Land Before Time X||Pat (voice)||Direct-to-DVD|
|2004||The Notebook||Old Noah Calhoun "Duke"|
|2004||Al Roach: Private Investigator||Al Roach||Short|
|2007||The Ultimate Gift||Red Stevens|
|2007||Battle for Terra||Doron (voice)|
|2010||Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam||Shazam (voice)||Short film|
|1955||Cheyenne||Lt. Brad Forsythe||Еpisode: "Mountain Fortress"|
|1956||Zane Grey Theater||Lt. Jim Collins||Episode: "Star Over Texas"|
|1956||Cheyenne||Lt. Lee Rogers||Еpisode: "Decision"|
|1956||Cheyenne||Bret||Еpisode: "The Last Train West"|
|1956–1957||Conflict||Red / Jim Curtis||3 episodes: The People Against McQuade, Man from 1997, and Girl on the Subway|
|1957–1962||Maverick||Bret Maverick / Beau 'Pappy' Maverick||60 episodes|
|1957||Sugarfoot||Bret Maverick||Episode: "Misfire"|
|1957||Cheyenne||Willis Peake||Еpisode: "War Party"|
|1958||Wide Wide World||Himself||Episode: "The Western"|
|1958||This Is Your Life||Himself||Episode: "James Garner"|
|1959||77 Sunset Strip||Himself||Episode: "Downbeat"|
|1960–1964||The Bob Hope Show||Himself||Episodes: 4-20-1960, and 12-18-1964|
|1961–1962||The Dinah Shore Chevy Show||Himself||Episodes: 2-26-61, 4-16-61 and 11-11-62|
|1971–1972||Nichols||Sheriff Frank Nichols||24 episodes|
|1974||Backlash of the Hunter||Jim Rockford||TV movie, Pilot for "The Rockford Files"|
|1974–1980||The Rockford Files||Jim Rockford||122 episodes; director of episode: "The Girl in the Bay City Boys Club"|
|1978||The New Maverick||Bret Maverick||TV movie|
|1979||Young Maverick||Bret Maverick||Episode: "Clancy"|
|1981–1982||Bret Maverick||Bret Maverick||18 episodes|
|1991–1992||Man of the People||Councilman Jim Doyle||10 episodes|
|1993||Return to 'The Great Escape'||Himself/Hendley "The Scrounger"||Video Documentary Short|
|1994||The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A.||Jim Rockford||TV movie (also executive producer – uncredited)|
|1994||HBO First Look||Himself/Bret Maverick||TV series Documentary Episode: "Maverick"|
|1994||100 Years of the Hollywood Western||Himself||Documentary TV movie|
|1995||The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise||Jim Rockford||TV movie (also executive producer)|
|1995||Streets of Laredo||Woodrow F. Call||Mini-series|
|1996||The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits...||Jim Rockford||TV movie|
|1996||The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best||Jim Rockford||TV movie|
|1996||The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play||Jim Rockford||TV movie (also executive producer)|
|1996||The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime||Jim Rockford||TV movie (also executive producer)|
|1996||The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda||Jim Rockford||TV movie|
|1999||Century of Country||Host||Mini-series (13 episodes)|
|1999||The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads||Jim Rockford||TV movie (also producer)|
|2000||Chicago Hope||Hubert "Hue" Miller||4 episodes|
|2000||Biography||Himself||Episode: "James Garner: Hollywood Maverick"|
|2000–2011||God, the Devil and Bob||God||13 episodes|
|2002||"Roughing It"||Mark Twain||TV Movie|
|2002||First Monday||Chief Justice Thomas Brankin||13 episodes|
|2002||The Making of 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire'||Himself/Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke||Video/Documentary|
|2003–2005||8 Simple Rules||Jim Egan||45 episodes|
|2005||James Garner On-Camera Interview: Rockford Files Season 1 DVD||Himself/Jim Rockford||Video Documentary Short|
|2006||The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy||Himself||Video|
|2011||Pioneers of Television||Himself/Jim Rockford||TV series Documentary episode: Crime Dramas|
|2011||Pioneers of Television||Himself/Bret Maverick||TV series Documentary episode: Westerns|
|2013||The Ultimate Life||Howard "Red" Stevens||sequel to The Ultimate Gift|
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James Garner Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.