• Born James Scott Bumgarner, on April 7, 1928 in Norman, Oklahoma
• Served in the military during the Korean War, earning two Purple Hearts
• Began acting in 1954, becoming famous through the series “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files”
• Married Lois Clarke in 1956 and had two children
• Passed away in 2014 due to a massive heart attack

Known for movies

Short Info

Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthApril 7, 1928
DiedJuly 19, 2014, Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, United States
SpouseLois Clarke
MarkPersonally honest, wisecracking, self-deprecating, reluctant, naturally masculine hero.
FactIs the youngest of three children of Weldon "Bill" and Mildred Meek Bumgarner.
PaymentsEarned $100,000 per 1 hour episode from The Rockford Files (1974)

Who is James Garner?

Born James Scott Burgarner, on the 7th of April, 1928, was an American actor, voice artist, and producer, who became famous for his roles in the series “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.” Some of his most recent works were “Space Cowboys” and “The Notebook.”

James Garner’s Early Life

Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Garner was the son of Weldon Warren Bumgarner and Mildred Scott. He also has two other brothers, Jack Garner and Charles Bumgarner. When he was just five years old, his mother died and he and his brothers went to live with their other relatives.

When his father remarried, Garner hated one of his stepmother named Wilma who used beat him and his brothers. But he did have a great relationship with his father’s last wife Grace who became kind to him and his brothers.

In terms of his studies, Garner enrolled at Hollywood High School where he was introduced to modelling by one of his gym teachers. He later on transferred to Norman High School where he became active in various sports and activities. However, he was not able to stay in school and he later on dropped out when he was 16.

Did James Garner Served in the Military?

Right after dropping out of high school, Garner tried various jobs and later on entered in the military. He first joined the United States Merchant Marine near the end of World War II and also enlisted in the California Army National Guard where he served for six months. When the Korean War broke, he joined the 5th Regimental Combat Team and went to Korea.

During his stint in Korea, Garner was wounded twice and was given two Purple Hearts for his service.

James Garner’s Career

After serving in the military, Garner started acting in the 1954 when his friend earned him a non-speaking role in the stage play “The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.” While reading lines for the actors, he was able to enjoy acting and continued with it.

After a couple of roles in various films, in 1957 Garner earned a role in the series “Maverick.” In the series, he played the role of Bret Maverick and became well-loved for his good-natured and likable demeanour. The series became a huge hit and catapulted him to stardom. Even though he left the series in 1960 due to financial disputes, it still helped his career and net worth.

After his stint in the small screen, Garner went back to making films and appeared in movies such as “The Thrill of it All” and “The Great Escape” both in 1963, and “The Americanization of Emily” in 1964 which all became huge hits. But before the ‘60s ended, he returned back into television and starred in the hit show “Support Your Local Sheriff!” in 1969.

Another television series that made Garner one of the most known actor in the United States was “The Rockford Files” that started in 1974. His portrayal of Jim Rockford earned him an Emmy award and catapulted his career to stardom even more.

Although he continued acting through the following decades, Garner started appearing less in the screen due to his declining health. Some of the most recent films he appeared in include “Space Cowboys” in 2000 with Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, and Clint Eastwood, “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” as Sandra Bullock’s father, and the older version of Noah in the hit movie “The Notebook.” His success in both film and television helped in his career and tremendously increased his net worth.

James Garner’s Net Worth

As of 2018 and based on authoritative sources, Garner’s net worth was $20 million. He was able to acquire such wealth from his years as an actor since the late 1950’s until the early 2000’s.

James Garner’s Family

Garner was married to Lois Josephine Fleischman Clarke. The two met during the “Adlai Stevenson for President” rally in 1956 and got married just 14 days later. Clarke brought her daughter Kim from her previous marriage and the two of them had their own daughter name Greta.
Although the two separated in 1979 due to Garner’s busy schedule as an actor, they later reconciled in 1981 and remarried. The two stayed together until Garner’s death.

Did James Garner Pass Away?

In 2014, Garner passed away after suffering a massive heart attack caused by coronary artery disease. But even before his death, his health was already declining due to a severe stroke he had in 2008.

General Info

Full NameJames Garner
Net Worth$20 million
Date Of BirthApril 7, 1928
DiedJuly 19, 2014, Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, United States
Height1.87 m
ProfessionTelevision producer, Film producer, Voice Actor, Soldier
EducationHollywood High School, University of Oklahoma


SpouseLois Clarke
ChildrenGigi Garner, Kimberly Garner
ParentsMildred Scott Bumgarner, Weldon Warren Bumgarner
SiblingsJack Garner, Charlie Bumgarner


AwardsPrimetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television, TCA Career Achievement Award, Golden Globe Award for Best New Star of the Year �...
NominationsAcademy Award for Best Actor, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie, Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, Screen Actors Guild Award for Ou...
MoviesThe Great Escape, The Notebook, Murphy's Romance, The Americanization of Emily, Victor/Victoria, Space Cowboys, Grand Prix, The Thrill of It All, Support Your Local Sheriff!, Maverick, Barbarians at the Gate, Move Over, Darling, Support Your Local Gunfighter, Sayonara, The Children's Hour, Divine Se...
TV ShowsMaverick, Nichols, The Rockford Files, Bret Maverick, Man of the People, Streets of Laredo, First Monday, God, the Devil and Bob, 8 Simple Rules, Space, Century of Country

Social profile links


#Marks / Signs
1Deep gravelly voice
2Personally honest, wisecracking, self-deprecating, reluctant, naturally masculine hero.
3His voice was heard at the beginning of every episode of The Rockford Files (1974) on the outgoing message for Jim Rockford's answering machine.


The Rockford Files (1974)$100,000 per 1 hour episode


1My wife would leave me if I played a Republican.
2[About his dropping out from high school]: I was a terrible student and I never actually graduated from high school, but I got my diploma in the Army.
3When I'm pushed, I shove.
4[Who was never impressed with himself]: I don't like to watch me on the screen, I just don't have a lot of confidence in me, I guess.
5[When he was married on August 17, 1956, just 14 days after he met Lois]: We went to dinner every night for 14 nights. I was just absolutely nuts about her. I spent $77 on our honeymoon, and it about broke me.
6[About contractual problems from Universal]: The industry is like it always has been. It's a bunch of greedy people.
7[When he smoked marijuana for most of his adult life]: I started smoking it in my late teens, I drank to get drunk but ultimately didn't like the effect. Not so with grass. It had the opposite effect from alcohol: it made me more tolerant and forgiving. I did a little bit of cocaine in the Eighties, courtesy of John Belushi, but fortunately I didn't like it. But I smoked marijuana for 50 years and I don't know where I'd be without it. It opened my mind and now it eases my arthritis. After decades of research I've concluded that marijuana should be legal and alcohol illegal.
8My wife and I felt we'd just watch the sunset. But then, the phone started ringing with all these wonderful offers.
9[When he got serious into becoming an actor after returning from the Korean War]: I had a wife and an 8-year-old daughter who had just gotten out of the hospital with polio, so I took on that responsibility.
10Something funny happens as you get older, you don't hold back so much.
11[Who asked Melissa Gilbert warily]: How long does the speech have to be? Well, this will be shorter than others.
12[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.
13(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.
14(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.
15[on his role as Bret Maverick] I'm playing me. Bret Maverick is lazy: I'm lazy. And I *like* being lazy.
16I got into the business to put a roof over my head. I wasn't looking for star status. I just wanted to keep working.
17I don't like to speak in public. It scares the devil out of me.
18I'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 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.
19[on his conflicts with Warner Brothers, in relation to his contractual obligations to the television series Maverick (1957)] 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.
20[Asked if he would ever do a nude scene] I don't do horror films.
21Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who reenlist.
22About everything I ever have done, in the way of lawsuits against studios, I've won them all, because I was right every time.


1Greatly enjoyed his late in life role in sitcom '8 Simple Rules', working with such a young and vibrant cast. In his autobiography he paraphrased General Douglas MacArthur's comment on the Korea War describing his casting as "A great gift to an old campaigner'.
2He appeared in two films which concerned the D-Day landings on June 6, 1944: The Americanization of Emily (1964) and 36 Hours (1964).
3His brother Jack Garner was a week older than Julie London. His brother guest-starred with her on an episode of Emergency! (1972).
4Lifelong resident of Brentwood, Los Angeles, California.
5At age 17, Garner, along with his father, moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1945, where he was voted the most popular student.
6Robert Fuller's son, Rob, lived not too far away from him.
7He nearly lost his leg, but he had emergency surgery to unblock an artery. [1998].
8Had appeared on the front cover of TV Guide 13 times.
9He called his friend John Hodiak by the nickname "Hody".
10He was Oklahoma's very first draftee for the Korean War.
11When he was very young, he lived with his family in the back of his father's country store, in the tiny hamlet of Denver, Oklahoma, which consisted of one building, the country store, and a population of only five persons, his parents, his two brothers and himself. Denver, Oklahoma no longer exists, since it was flooded in order to create Lake Thunderbird, an Oklahoma state reservoir.
12He considered his first director, Charles Laughton, to be his acting mentor.
13James Garner passed away on July 19, 2014. A month after his passing, his lifelong best friend, Lauren Bacall died the month before what would have been her 90th birthday. Both Garner and Bacall had worked together on an episode of: The Rockford Files (1974), and in two movies: HealtH (1980) and The Fan (1981).
14During the filing of Grand Prix (1966), it was discovered that James Garner was actually too tall for Formula One racing. In order to fit in the cars, the seats had to be removed and Garner sat on the frame with just a towel or a mat protecting his posterior. Additionally, the roll bars needed to be removed and fitted with taller bars, so they would look realistic and not be noticeably shorter than the top of his helmet.
15Met Doris Day in the romance comedy Move Over, Darling (1963). The two remained close friends for over 50 years.
16Replaced John Ritter early in the second season of 8 Simple Rules (2002), when Ritter passed away in 2003.
17His eldest daughter, Kimberly, had suffered polio.
18In 2008, he was planning to come out of retirement from on camera roles when he was cast in NCIS (2003), but having a stroke soon after being cast, prevented him from doing it. The role was ultimately given to Ralph Waite, who was also born in 1928, but whose health was holding up rather better at that time. In the end, Waite passed away five months before Garner.
19Shared the same birthday as R.G. Armstrong, who was 11 years Garner's senior. Armstrong guest-starred with Garner on an episode of Maverick (1957).
20While starring on The Rockford Files (1974), he invited many of his longtime friends and new actors to the set.
21Had joked that the secret to his long-running marriage to Lois was learning the two words, "Yes, Dear!".
22Lived in the same house for nearly 58 years, from 1956 until his passing in 2014.
23Beat out Robert Blake for the lead role on The Rockford Files (1974).
24Upon his death, he was cremated at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California, and his ashes were given to his family.
25Ten days after his passing, numerous news sources reported that the Los Angeles County Coroner listed "acute myocardial infarction" (massive heart attack) as the official cause of his death.
26Garner never shaved the hair off his chest for any of his shirtless scenes.
27Even though his Cherokee Productions was the production company, or even part owner, of many of his movies and television series (in the case of The Rockford Files (1974), Cherokee owned 37.5% of the series) between 1965 and 1980, more often than not, he chose not to be listed in the on-screen credits as a producer.
28Lindsay Wagner was the primary guest star on the very first episode of The Rockford Files (1974). Through much of the 1980s, James Garner and Lindsay Wagner were considered the king or queen, respectively, of quality television movies and miniseries of that period.
29Frequently had drinks with Bill Bixby.
30Was a celebrity spokesperson for the Office of Energy Conservation in the 1970s, through the Advertising Council's Public Service Announcement (PSA) television and radio commercials.
31Relaunched his career as a contract player for United Artists in 1961, after successfully suing Warner Brothers in 1960 to be released from his contract for Maverick (1957).
32Was separated from Lois in 1979, primarily because he was pushing himself too hard and abusing his body while shooting The Rockford Files (1974). Garner was hospitalized in 1979 with an ulcer and other health problems, which eventually caused the cancellation of The Rockford Files, but Lois did not forgive him until they reconciled in 1982.
33At Norman High School, he played football, basketball, golf, and competed in track.
34He sued Universal, a second time, for $2.2 million regarding syndication royalties. The suit charged the studio with "deceiving him and suppressing information about syndication". He was supposed to receive $25,000 for each episode running in syndication, but Universal charged him "distribution fees", which was not in the contract. He also felt that the studio did not release the show to the highest bidder for the episode reruns. [1998].
35In July 1983, Garner filed suit against Universal Studios for $16.5 million (USD) in connection with an ongoing dispute from The Rockford Files (1974). The suit charged Universal with "breach of contract; failure to deal fairly and in good faith; fraud; and deceit". It was eventually settled out of court in 1989. As part of the agreement Garner could not disclose the amount of the settlement, but frequently told the story about his wife, Lois, having to remind him to wipe the silly grin off his face.
36Was closely advised by financial adviser Irving Leonard, who also advised Clint Eastwood in the late 1950s and 1960s.
37Until 1988, he was a heavy smoker.
38He dropped out of Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, but was able to earn his diploma while in the United States Army.
39At least three actresses named him as their favorite actor: Mariette Hartley, Joan Van Ark and Lauren Bacall, all three worked with him on The Rockford Files (1974).
40Was friends with Jack Kelly, for 35 years, from 1957 until his death in 1992.
41Had suffered a fall while working on 8 Simple Rules (2002). [January 7, 2004].
42Was friends with Roy Huggins, for 45 years, from 1957 until his death in 2002.
43Before his The Rockford Files (1974) co-star, Stuart Margolin, appeared with him on Rockford, they worked together on Garner's short-lived series, Nichols (1971).
44Had twice worked with Harry Morgan: in Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) and its sort of sequel, Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971).
45His ex-Maverick (1957) co-star, Jack Kelly guest-starred with him in a two-part episode of The Rockford Files (1974), in 1977.
46When Charlton Heston backed out of the lead role in Darby's Rangers (1958) before shooting began, Warner Brothers contract player Garner, who had already been cast in the film in a supporting role, was selected to replace Heston in the lead.
47Acting mentor and friends with Tom Selleck, Kaley Cuoco and Amy Davidson.
48Was Roy Huggins first choice for the lead role on the Western series Cheyenne (1955), but that role eventually went to an another largely unknown actor, Clint Walker, because the casting director could not reach Garner in time (according to Garner's autobiography), and Garner wound up playing an Army officer in the pilot instead.
49Used to play golf with James Woods and Bill Bixby.
50Is the youngest of three children of Weldon "Bill" and Mildred Meek Bumgarner.
51After his final two roles, DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection (2010) and Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010), both voice only roles, he completely retired from acting at age 82.
52Long lives ran in his family.
53When he was starring on The Rockford Files (1974), having to appear 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, all of which led to his 1979 hospitalization, with a bleeding ulcer.
54James Garner passed away on July 19, 2014, at age 86, just one month before he would have celebrated his 58th wedding anniversary with his wife, Lois.
55He changed his last name from Bumgarner to Garner when he became a Warner Brothers contract player. He was credited as Jim Bumgarner for his two stage roles. First as a non-speaking Member of the Court (Martial Tribunal), in the Broadway production of "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial", and second, a featured speaking role in the national touring company of the same play. In part because he hated speaking in public, he never again took a stage role, and the name Bumgarner "died" when his Warner Brothers contract was signed in 1956.
56Garner survived a series of health problems, from a knee operation, to a bleeding ulcer, to quintuple bypass heart surgery, to a fall, to emergency surgery to unblock an artery and finally to a stroke.
57James Garner passed away on July 19, 2014, at age 86, and within five months of four other television legends, also born in 1928, either aged 85 or 86: Shirley Temple, Ralph Waite, Maya Angelou, and Horace Silver, and just twenty-four days before his close friend Lauren Bacall, born 1924.
58He was absent from his role on Maverick (1957), when filming for the fourth season began, because of a contract dispute with Warner Brothers. Garner fought with the studio consistently in court, and his tenacity was rewarded at the end of 1960, when the case was decided in his favor, and the court ordered him to be released from his contract because Warner Brothers had violated several of the provisions in the contract.
59In the four years (1985-89), he was the television and radio commercial spokesman for Mazda cars, he was reportedly paid $1 million per year, plus one Mazda vehicle of his choice per year. He chose three Mazda RX-7's and one Mazda truck, all of which he was known to drive frequently.
60He began his film career in 1956 (the same year he got married), as a contract player for Warner Brothers, at a rate of $200 per week.
61The name of his most famous character, James Scott Rockford, from The Rockford Files (1974), shared his own first and middle name.
62He was widely known to be a very private man.
63When speaking at the Summer Special Olympics in Norman, Oklahoma, he took the opportunity to remind the Oklahoma officials, who invited him to speak, of the circumstances of his original departure. "It's nice to be invited back as a VIP after being run out of town on a rail." This was a reference to him being "asked" to leave for his "extracurricular activities".
64Had played the same character (Bret Maverick) on four different series: Sugarfoot (1957), Maverick (1957), Young Maverick (1979) and Bret Maverick (1981).
65Had played Wyatt Earp in two movies: Hour of the Gun (1967) and Sunset (1988).
66A ten foot bronze statue of Garner, as his character Bret Maverick, was unveiled in Garner's hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. He was present for the unveiling ceremony. [21 April 2006].
67Best known by the public for his starring roles as the title characters on both Maverick (1957) and The Rockford Files (1974).
68Has a street named after him in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma: James Garner Avenue.
69Narrated the intro videos for the University of Oklahoma football team as they entered the stadium.
70James Garner adopted his wife's 8 year-old-daughter, Kimberly, after he and Lois were married. About a year later, Jim's biological daughter, Gigi Garner, was born in Santa Monica, California. So, Kimberly and Gigi are 9 years apart.
71In 1995, he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Oklahoma, in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. 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 with 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.".
72Once owned a four hundred acre vineyard in Santa Ynez California called "White Rhino" vineyard and bottled his own Chardonnay called "Chateau Jimbeaux".
73Underwent surgery after suffering a mild stroke in May 2008 and was recovering well enough, his voice was no longer impaired, that he was able to resume voice acting parts, such as DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection (2010).
74His hobbies included: golfing, spending time with his family, auto racing, liberal causes, political activism and watching sports.
75He was good friends with the late Paul Newman and his wife Joanne Woodward. Garner appeared with both Newman and Woodward in various productions, although all three of them never appeared in the same production.
76He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6927 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
77Driver 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).
78Friends with: Shirley Jones, Angela Lansbury, Dick Van Dyke, William Windom, Adam West, Alan Hale Jr., Henry Fonda, Lauren Bacall, Clint Eastwood, Lloyd Nolan, Bill Bixby, Mariette Hartley, Ed Bruce, Mac Davis, James Whitmore, James Whitmore Jr., Roy Huggins, Robert Conrad, Larry Manetti, Harry Belafonte, Jack Kelly, David McCallum, Marlon Brando, James Coburn, Abby Dalton, Ruta Lee, Doris Day, Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Julie Andrews, Tom Selleck, Stuart Margolin, Luis Delgado, Meta Rosenberg, Juanita Bartlett, Suzanne Pleshette, James Arness, Red West, Mickey Rooney, Beverly Garland and next-door neighbor Steve McQueen.
79In a 1973 interview, John Wayne named Garner as the best American actor.
80He was a student of Bruce Lee's in his "jeet kune do" style of martial art, after starring with Lee in the film, Marlowe (1969).
81Although Garner was a lifelong liberal Democrat, his oldest friend was a conservative Republican.
82Inducted into the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986.
83Quit smoking following his quintuple heart bypass. [April 22, 1988].
84Is a huge fan of the Oakland Raiders. Could be seen on sidelines with the team during games.
85Enjoyed 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.
86Of all his films, The Americanization of Emily (1964) was his favorite.
87Had played two different characters named Jim who served in the Korean War: Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files (1974) and Jim Egan in 8 Simple Rules (2002).
88Had starred on three popular television series: Maverick (1957) for three seasons, The Rockford Files (1974) for six seasons, and 8 Simple Rules (2002), for two seasons.
89He was attending Hollywood High School in Los Angeles when his gym teacher recommended him for a job modeling Jantzen bathing suits. He got the job making $25 an hour.
90Was a Korean War veteran and began his career as a contract player in 1956 for Warner Brothers.
91Was the first actor to co-star with Julie Andrews in three movies: The Americanization of Emily (1964), Victor Victoria (1982) and One Special Night (1999).
92Had helped organize the Hollywood contingent of Martin Luther King's famous "March on Washington" civil rights demonstration.
93He was very disappointed about his series, The Rockford Files (1974), being cancelled due to his illness. He accepted his doctor's advice and learned that season 6 was his last.
94Was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer, during filming for the 1979-1980 season of The Rockford Files (1974). [1979].
95Was a volunteer with Save the Children.
96Was involved with many humanitarian causes.
97Lost his mother when he was 5, and he and his two brothers were split up and sent off to live with relatives.
98He and his wife Lois Clarke were married at the Beverly Hills Court House just two weeks after they met at a political rally for 1956 Democratic Presidential Candidate Adlai Stevenson.
99Biological father of Gigi Garner, wrote two books "The Cop Cookbook" and "Girl Talk". Ms. Garner continues her father's legacy through the production company he started, Cherokee Productions and runs her own successful talent management company.
100Before he was a very successful actor, he had 75 different jobs including everything from pumping gas to modeling men's clothing.
101Early 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, even though he sometimes had to fight to stay awake during the evening performances. He felt listening was just as important as speaking as an actor.
102Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1990.
103Has two older brothers: Jack Garner and Charlie Bumgarner. Jack died in 2011 and Charlie died in 1985.
104James had English, and some German and Irish, ancestry. James's maternal grandfather, Charles Bailey Meek, was described in James's New York Times obituary as a "full-blooded Cherokee". However, James's grandfather had no documented Native American ancestry, and Charles Meek and his own parents, Thomas Jefferson Meek and Delilah Frances Bailey, were all listed as "White" on United States Censuses.
105Had quintuple heart bypass surgery. [1988].
106Had both knees replaced. [2000].




Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend1957Sgt. John Maitland
Cheyenne1955-1957TV SeriesWillis Peake / Bret / Lt. Lee Rogers / ...
Conflict1956-1957TV SeriesRed Donnelly / Jim Curtis
Zane Grey Theater1956TV SeriesLt. Jim Collins
The Girl He Left Behind1956Preston
Toward the Unknown1956Lt. Col. Joe Craven
Warner Brothers Presents1956TV Series
DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection2010VideoShazam (voice)
Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam2010Video shortShazam (voice)
First Night2007ShortDr. Curtis
Battle for Terra2007Doron (voice)
The Ultimate Gift2006Howard 'Red' Stevens
8 Simple Rules2003-2005TV SeriesJim Egan C.J. Barnes
Al Roach: Private Insectigator2004ShortAl Roach
The Notebook2004Duke
The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration2003VideoPat (voice)
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood2002Shepard James 'Shep' Walker
First Monday2002TV SeriesChief Justice Thomas Brankin
Roughing It2002TV MovieSamuel Clemens (Mark Twain)
God, the Devil and Bob2000-2001TV SeriesGod
Atlantis: The Lost Empire2001Commander Lyle Tiberius Rourke (voice)
The Last Debate2000TV MovieMike Howley
Space Cowboys2000Tank Sullivan
Chicago Hope2000TV SeriesHubert 'Hue' Miller
One Special Night1999TV MovieRobert Woodward
Shake, Rattle and Roll: An American Love Story1999TV MovieAudience Member (uncredited)
Streets of Laredo1999TV Mini-SeriesCaptain Woodrow Call
The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads1999TV MovieJim Rockford
Legalese1998TV MovieNorman Keane
Twilight1998Raymond Hope
The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda1997TV MovieJim Rockford
Dead Silence1997TV MovieJohn Potter
My Fellow Americans1996President Matt Douglas
The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime1996TV MovieJim Rockford
The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play1996TV MovieJim Rockford
The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best1996TV MovieJim Rockford
The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits...1996TV MovieJim Rockford
The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise1995TV MovieJim Rockford
The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A.1994TV MovieJim Rockford
Maverick1994Marshal Zane Cooper
Breathing Lessons1994TV MovieIra Moran
Barbarians at the Gate1993TV MovieF. Ross Johnson
Fire in the Sky1993Frank Watters
The Distinguished Gentleman1992Jeff Johnson
Man of the People1991-1992TV SeriesCouncilman Jim Doyle
Decoration Day1990TV MovieAlbert Sidney Finch
My Name Is Bill W.1989TV MovieDr. Bob
Sunset1988Wyatt Earp
Promise1986TV MovieBob Beuhler
Murphy's Romance1985Murphy Jones
Space1985TV Mini-SeriesSen. Norman Grant
The Glitter Dome1984TV MovieSgt. Aloysius Mackey
Heartsounds1984TV MovieHarold Lear
Bret Maverick1981-1982TV SeriesBret Maverick
Victor Victoria1982King Marchand
The Long Summer of George Adams1982TV MovieGeorge Adams
The Fan1981Jake Berman
HealtH1980Harry Wolff
The Rockford Files1974-1980TV SeriesJim Rockford
Young Maverick1979TV SeriesBret Maverick
The New Maverick1978TV MovieBret Maverick
The Castaway Cowboy1974Lincoln Costain
One Little Indian1973Keyes
They Only Kill Their Masters1972Abel Marsh
Nichols1971-1972TV SeriesNichols Sheriff Frank Nichols
Skin Game1971Quincy
Support Your Local Gunfighter1971Latigo
A Man Called Sledge1970Luther Sledge
Marlowe1969Philip Marlowe
Support Your Local Sheriff!1969Jason
How Sweet It Is!1968Grif Henderson
The Pink Jungle1968Ben Morris
Hour of the Gun1967Wyatt Earp
Grand Prix1966Pete Aron
Mister Buddwing1966Mister Buddwing
Duel at Diablo1966Jess Remsberg
A Man Could Get Killed1966William Beddoes
The Art of Love1965Casey Barnett
36 Hours1964Maj. Jefferson Pike
The Americanization of Emily1964Lt. Cmdr. Charles Edward Madison
Move Over, Darling1963Nicholas Arden
The Wheeler Dealers1963Henry Tyroon
The Thrill of It All1963Dr. Gerald Boyer
The Great Escape1963Hendley 'The Scrounger'
Boys' Night Out1962Fred Williams
Maverick1957-1962TV SeriesBret Maverick / Beau 'Pappy' Maverick
The Children's Hour1961Dr. Joe Cardin
Angel1961TV SeriesJim
Cash McCall1960Cash McCall
Alias Jesse James1959Bret Maverick (scenes deleted)
Up Periscope1959Lt. J.G. Kenneth M. Braden
Darby's Rangers1958Col. William Orlando Darby
Sugarfoot1957TV SeriesBret Maverick
Sayonara1957Captain Bailey


The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads1999TV Movie producer
The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda1997TV Movie executive producer
The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime1996TV Movie executive producer
The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play1996TV Movie executive producer
The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best1996TV Movie executive producer
The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits...1996TV Movie executive producer
The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise1995TV Movie executive producer
The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A.1994TV Movie executive producer
My Name Is Bill W.1989TV Movie executive producer
Promise1986TV Movie executive producer
Off the Minnesota Strip1980TV Movie executive producer - uncredited
Scott Free1976TV Movie executive producer - uncredited
Sidekicks1974TV Movie executive producer - uncredited
Cops1973TV Movie executive producer - uncredited
Skin Game1971executive producer - uncredited
Support Your Local Gunfighter1971executive producer - uncredited
The Racing Scene1969Documentary producer
Marlowe1969executive producer - uncredited
Support Your Local Sheriff!1969executive producer - uncredited
How Sweet It Is!1968executive producer - uncredited
The Pink Jungle1968executive producer - uncredited
Grand Prix1966executive producer - uncredited
Mister Buddwing1966executive producer - uncredited
Duel at Diablo1966producer - uncredited
A Man Could Get Killed1966executive producer - uncredited
The Art of Love1965producer - uncredited
36 Hours1964executive producer - uncredited


Maverick1994performer: "Amazing Grace"
Bret Maverick1981TV Series performer - 1 episode
Move Over, Darling1963music: "Beautiful Dreamer 1862" - uncredited / performer: "Bridal Chorus Here Comes The Bride" 1850, "Beautiful Dreamer 1862" - uncredited
MaverickTV Series 1 episode, 1957 performer - 2 episodes, 1958


The Rockford Files1975TV Series 1 episode


Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon2013Documentary special thanks
Pushing the Limit: The Making of 'Grand Prix'2006Video documentary short special thanks
American Masters2000TV Series documentary thanks - 1 episode


American Masters2000-2012TV Series documentaryHimself / Himself - Actor
Pioneers of Television2011TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots2010TV Movie documentary voice
TV Land Moguls2009TV Mini-Series documentaryHimself
Legends2007TV Series documentaryHimself
Pushing the Limit: The Making of 'Grand Prix'2006Video documentary shortHimself
Hollywood Greats2006TV Series documentaryHimself
The Trail of Tears: Cherokee Legacy2006VideoHimself (voice)
James Garner On-Camera Interview: Rockford Files Season 1 DVD2005Video documentary shortHimself
11th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2005TV SpecialHimself - Recipient: Life Achievement Award / Nominee: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno1993-2005TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Jimmy Kimmel Live!2004TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Late Night with Conan O'Brien2004TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Larry King Live2004TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Entertainment Tonight2003TV SeriesHimself
Intimate Portrait2002TV Series documentaryHimself
HBO First Look1994-2002TV Series documentaryHimself
The Rosie O'Donnell Show1998-2002TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Making of 'Atlantis: The Lost Empire'2002Video documentaryHimself
Private Screenings2001TV SeriesHimself
The 10th Annual Ella Award Presented a Salute to Julie Andrews2001TV MovieHimself
Bravo Profiles2001TV Series documentaryHimself
The Making of 'Space Cowboys'2000TV Movie documentaryHimself
Biography1998-2000TV Series documentaryHimself
Nulle part ailleurs: midi2000TV SeriesHimself
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards2000TV Special documentaryHimself
Hollywood Salutes Jodie Foster: An American Cinematheque Tribute1999TV MovieHimself
The Howard Stern Radio Show1999TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Century of Country1999TV Mini-SeriesHimself - Host
5th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards1999TV SpecialHimself
Byron Nelson: The Legend Series, a Texas Gentleman1999TV MovieHimself - Narrator
The 50th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1998TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Outstanding Drama Series
Spirit of American1998Documentary shortNarrator (voice)
Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western1997TV Movie documentaryHimself - Host
The Hidden Dimension1997Documentary shortGrandfather's Voice (voice)
Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick1995DocumentaryHimself
Great Performances1995TV SeriesHimself
1995 VH1 Honors1995TV MovieHimself
Amy Grant: Building the House of Love1994Video documentaryHimself
Golf: The Greatest Game1994TV Movie documentary
The 46th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1994TV SpecialHimself - Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Special
100 Years of the Hollywood Western1994TV Movie documentaryHimself
The Arsenio Hall Show1994TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Today1993TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Return to 'The Great Escape'1993Video documentary shortHimself
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson1963-1991TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
The 43rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1991TV SpecialHimself - Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special
The 48th Annual Golden Globe Awards1991TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV
The TV Academy Annual Tribute: A Salute to Angela Lansbury1990TV MovieHimself - Speaker
Donahue1989TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Good Morning America1989TV SeriesHimself - Guest
A Conversation with Dinah1989TV SeriesHimself (1991)
The 60th Annual Academy Awards1988TV SpecialHimself - Co-Presenter: Best Foreign Language Film
The 39th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1987TV SpecialHimself - Winner: Outstanding Drama / Comedy Special & Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Special
The 58th Annual Academy Awards1986TV SpecialHimself - Nominee: Best Actor in a Leading Role
The 12th Annual People's Choice Awards1986TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Favourite Actress in Motion Picture
The Dick Cavett Show1986TV SeriesHimself
CBS Early Morning News1984TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Sunday Night Live1984TV MovieHimself - Host
James Bond: The First 21 Years1983TV Movie documentaryHimself
Lily for President?1982TV SpecialBret Maverick
Sixty Years of Seduction1981TV Movie documentaryHimself - Host
Waylon1980TV MovieHimself
The 37th Annual Golden Globe Awards1980TV SpecialHimself
The 31st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1979TV SpecialHimself - Nominee: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
The 30th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1978TV SpecialHimself - Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Henry Fonda1978TV Special documentaryHimself
The Carol Burnett Show1978TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The 35th Annual Golden Globe Awards1978TV Movie documentaryHimself
Superstunt1977TV Special
The Mike Douglas Show1976TV SeriesHimself - Actor
Just to Prove It1972DocumentaryHimself
The Dick Cavett Show1971TV SeriesHimself
The David Frost Show1971TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Once Upon a Wheel1971DocumentaryHimself
Changing Scene1970TV SpecialHimself
The Andy Williams Show1969-1970TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Laugh-In1968-1970TV SeriesHimself
The Racing Scene1969DocumentaryHimself - Narrator
The Merv Griffin Show1969TV SeriesHimself
The Ed Sullivan Show1969TV SeriesHimself - Audience Bow
The Joey Bishop Show1968-1969TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Man Who Makes the Difference1968Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
First Annual All-Star Celebrity Baseball Game1967TV SpecialHimself - Celebrity
Grand Prix: Challenge of the Champions1966Documentary shortHimself (uncredited)
The Eamonn Andrews Show1966TV SeriesHimself
The 38th Annual Academy Awards1966TV SpecialHimself - Presenter: Costume Design Awards
Searchers for a Special City1965Documentary shortHimself
The Bob Hope Show1960-1965TV SeriesHimself - Guest / Himself
Action on the Beach1964Short documentaryHimself
What's My Line?1964TV SeriesHimself - Mystery Guest #2
Juke Box Jury1964TV SeriesHimself - Panellist
I've Got a Secret1962-1963TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Lee Phillip Show1963TV SeriesHimself - Guest
Here's Hollywood1962TV SeriesHimself
The Jack Paar Tonight Show1962TV SeriesHimself
The Tonight Show1962TV SeriesHimself
The Writers Guild Awards1962TV SpecialHimself - Performer
The New March of Dimes Presents: The Scene Stealers1962TV SpecialHimself
The Dinah Shore Chevy Show1961TV SeriesHimself
Celebrity Golf1960TV SeriesHimself
77 Sunset Strip1959TV SeriesHimself
The 11th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards1959TV SpecialHimself - Presenter
The Bing Crosby Special1959TV MovieHimself
This Is Your Life1958TV SeriesHimself
Wide Wide World1958TV Series documentaryHimself

Archive Footage

A Football Life2015TV SeriesHimself
Trumbo2015Himself (uncredited)
The 87th Annual Academy Awards2015TV SpecialHimself - Actor (In Memoriam)
The 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards2015TV SpecialHimself - In Memoriam
Entertainment Tonight2014TV SeriesHimself
The 66th Primetime Emmy Awards2014TV SpecialHimself - In Memoriam
Días de cine2014TV Series
Inside Edition2014TV Series documentaryHimself
Tavis Smiley2014TV SeriesHimself - Guest
The Insider2014TV SeriesHimself
I Am Steve McQueen2014DocumentaryHendley 'The Scrounger' (in 'The Great Escape')
Colorshop: 100 Vintage TV Ads, Vol.12013VideoHimself
Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon2013DocumentaryHimself
The Ultimate Life2013Howard 'Red' Stevens
The March2013TV Movie documentaryHimself
I Am Bruce Lee2012TV Movie documentaryHimself - Training with Bruce Lee
Sing Your Song2011DocumentaryHimself (uncredited)
Wrangler: Anatomy of an Icon2008DocumentaryHimself
Brando2007TV Movie documentaryHimself (uncredited)
Dust to Glory2005DocumentaryHimself
The Unbeatable Bruce Lee2001Video documentaryHimself
Hollywood Remembers2000TV Series documentary
Bruce Lee: A Warrior's Journey2000Video documentaryPhilip Marlowe
Biography1995-1999TV Series documentaryHimself
Bruce Lee: In His Own Words1998Video documentary shortPhillip Marlowe
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: 25th Anniversary Reunion1993TV MovieHimself
The Carol Burnett Show: A Reunion1993TV Movie documentaryHimself
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - 'The Thrill of It All' (uncredited)
Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color1976-1977TV SeriesCorporal Clint Keyes / Lincoln Costain


Won Awards

2010Career Achievement AwardTelevision Critics Association Awards
2006OFTA TV Hall of FameOnline Film & Television AssociationActors and Actresses
2005Movies for Grownups AwardAARP Movies for Grownups AwardsBest Grownup Love StoryThe Notebook (2004)
2005Life Achievement AwardScreen Actors Guild Awards
1999Honorary BambiBambi AwardsLifetime Achievement
1999Golden BootGolden Boot Awards
1996Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsTelevision Feature FilmStreets of Laredo (1995)
1994Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionBarbarians at the Gate (1993)
1991Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionDecoration Day (1990)
1987Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Drama/Comedy SpecialPromise (1986)
1987Golden AppleGolden Apple AwardsMale Star of the YearTogether with James Woods
1982People's Choice AwardPeople's Choice Awards, USAFavorite Male Performer in a New TV Program
1978People's Choice AwardPeople's Choice Awards, USAFavorite Male TV Performer
1977Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesThe Rockford Files (1974)
1977BambiBambi AwardsTV Series InternationalThe Rockford Files (1974)
1960Star on the Walk of FameWalk of FameTelevisionOn 8 February 1960. At 6927 Hollywood Blvd.
1958Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USAMost Promising Newcomer - MaleSayonara (1957)

Nominated Awards

2008Career Achievement AwardTelevision Critics Association Awards
2005ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting RoleThe Notebook (2004)
2005TV Land AwardTV Land AwardsFavorite Private EyeThe Rockford Files (1974)
2003Movies for Grownups AwardAARP Movies for Grownups AwardsBest Grownup Love StoryDivine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002)
2001Blockbuster Entertainment AwardBlockbuster Entertainment AwardsFavorite Action Team (Internet Only)Space Cowboys (2000)
1999ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or MiniseriesLegalese (1998)
1996ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or MiniseriesThe Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise (1995)
1995Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionBreathing Lessons (1994)
1995ActorScreen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a TV Movie or MiniseriesThe Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. (1994)
1994Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a SpecialBreathing Lessons (1994)
1993Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a SpecialBarbarians at the Gate (1993)
1993American Television AwardAmerican Television AwardsBest Actor in a Made for TV MovieBarbarians at the Gate (1993)
1991Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a SpecialDecoration Day (1990)
1989Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Drama/Comedy SpecialMy Name Is Bill W. (1989)
1989Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a SpecialMy Name Is Bill W. (1989)
1987Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionPromise (1986)
1987Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a SpecialPromise (1986)
1986OscarAcademy Awards, USABest Actor in a Leading RoleMurphy's Romance (1985)
1986Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or MusicalMurphy's Romance (1985)
1985Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for TelevisionHeartsounds (1984)
1985Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a SpecialHeartsounds (1984)
1982Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Comedy or MusicalBret Maverick (1981)
1982Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesBret Maverick (1981)
1980Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Television Series - DramaThe Rockford Files (1974)
1980Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesThe Rockford Files (1974)
1979Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Television Series - DramaThe Rockford Files (1974)
1979Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesThe Rockford Files (1974)
1978Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor in a Television Series - DramaThe Rockford Files (1974)
1978Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesThe Rockford Files (1974)
1976Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Drama SeriesThe Rockford Files (1974)
1966Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsMale Star13th place.
1964Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Actor - Comedy or MusicalThe Wheeler Dealers (1963)
1964Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Male Star9th place.
1964Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsTop Action PerformanceThe Great Escape (1963)
1959Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsBest Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic SeriesMaverick (1957)

2nd Place Awards

1970Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsMale Comedy PerformanceSupport Your Local Sheriff! (1969)
1965Golden LaurelLaurel AwardsDramatic Performance, MaleThe Americanization of Emily (1964)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

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