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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.

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