James Garner Trivia

Hollywood actor James Garner passed away on Saturday July 20 at his home in Los Angeles.  He was 86. Read full story here

  • Legendary actor James Garner has passed awayJames Garner had both knees replaced.
  • James Garner had quintuple heart bypass surgery.
  • James Garner has English and German ancestry. James is also said to have Cherokee roots. It is not clear if his Native American ancestry has been verified.
  • James Garner has two brothers, Jack Garner & Charlie Bumgarner. Jack died in 2011 and Charlie died in 1985.
  • James Garner was 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 had 75 odd jobs including pumping gas to modeling 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 (1977). After Ritter’s death, Garner appeared with the cast of 8 Simple Rules (2002) talking about the popular comedian on Larry King Live (1985), on the future of “8 Simple Rules.”.

“About everything I ever have done, in the way of lawsuits against studios, I’ve won them all, because I was right every time.”  Quote ~ James Garner

  • Is involved with many humanitarian causes.
  • James Garner was  a volunteer of Save the Children.
  • His hobbies include: golfing, spending time with his family, auto racing, politics and watching sports.
  • Inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 1986.
  • Maverick Star James Garner DiesJames Garner 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: The Americanization of Emily (1964), Victor Victoria (1982), and One Special Night (1999).
  • 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.
  • James Garner starred in 3 popular TV series: Maverick (1957) for 3 seasons, The Rockford Files (1974) for 6 seasons, and 8 Simple Rules (2002), for 2 seasons.
  • James Garner Has 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).
  • Of all his films, The Americanization of Emily (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.
  • James Garner 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 oldest 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 (1969).
  • In a 1973 interview, John Wayne named Garner as the best American actor.
  • Friends with: Henry Fonda,Lauren Bacall, Clint Eastwood, Angela Lansbury, William Windom,Bill Bixby, Mac Davis, James Whitmore, Roy Huggins, Harry Belafonte, Jack Kelly, David McCallum, Marlon Brando, James Coburn, Doris Day, Joanne Woodward, Julie Andrews, and Suzanne Pleshette.

James Garner Biography

  • 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.
  • Actor James Garner MaverickJames Garner 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”.
  • 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”.
  • James Garner was best known by the public for his starring role as the title character in The Rockford Files (1974).
  • On April 21, 2006, a bronze statue of Garner as his character Bret Maverick, standing at 10 feet tall, was unveiled in Garner’s hometown of Norman, Oklahoma. He was present for the unveiling ceremony.
  • He played Wyatt Earp in both Hour of the Gun (1967) and Sunset (1988).
  • He has played the same character (Bret Maverick) in four different series: Sugarfoot (1957), Maverick (1957), Young Maverick (1979) and Bret Maverick (1981).
  • When speaking at the Summer Olympics in Norman, OK, 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”.
  • A private man.

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