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James Garner
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Biography

Nickname
"Slick" -- as a teen
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Height
6' 3"
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Mini biography

The son of an Oklahoma carpet layer, Garner 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 lead to small Television roles, Television commercials and a contact with Warner Brothers. Garner would find that Director David Butler would see something in him and give him all the attention that he needed when he appeared in Girl He Left Behind, The (1956). After co-starring in a handful of films during 1956-57, Warner Brothers gave Garner a co-starring role in the Television series "Maverick" (1957). Originally cast as an alternating series between Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly (I)) and Brett Maverick (Garner), the show quickly turned into the Brett Maverick Show. As Maverick, Garner was cool, good-natured, likeable and always ready to use his wits to get him in or out of trouble. Highly successful, Garner would continue in the Western into 1960 when he left the series in a dispute over money. Laid back, humorous and handsome, Garner moved in films as a Star. In the early 60's, his persona transferred over to films which were mostly the same type of character he had played on "Maverick". His successful films included Thrill of It All, The (1963), Move Over, Darling (1963), Great Escape, The (1963) and Americanization of Emily, The (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. It would take a few years, but Garner would finally find success with his role in a Western comedy Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969). He would try to repeat his success with the film Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), but that film was not as funny. After 11 years, Garner would return to Television in a role not unlike his role in Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969). The show was the Television Series "Nichols" (1971) and he would play the Sheriff who would try to solve all problems with his wits and without gun play. After all, it was the 1900's. When the show was cancelled, Garner took the news by having Nichols shot dead, never to return in a sequel. In 1974, Garner became the classic Television private eye in "Rockford Files, The" (1974). This would be his second major Television hit with Noah Beery Jr. and Stuart Margolin. Rockford would be hired by people who lied, cheated and were usually unable to pay for his services. He would be the king of creating business cards spawning a computer program which did the same thing. In 1977, he would win an Emmy for Best Actor in his portrayal of Rockford. But injuries and the realization that "creative bookkeeping" would not give him any of the profits soon soured him and the show ended in 1980. In the 80's, Garner appeared in few movies, but the ones that he did appear in were darker than the likeable Garner of old. His films included Tank (1984), 0087340 and Murphy's Romance (1985). For the latter, he would be 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 20's Hollywood. In the 90's, Garner would gain great reviews for his role in the Television movie about corporate greed Barbarians at the Gate (1993) (TV). After that, he would appear in the Hollywood remake of his old Television series Maverick (1994), where he would play pa to Mel Gibson. Most of his appearances after that would be in numerous Television movies based upon "Rockford Files, The" (1974).
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Spouse
'Lois Clarke' (1956 - ?); two daughters
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Trivia


(2000) Had both knees replaced

(1988) Had quintuple bypass surgery

Part Cherokee Indian.

James Garner stared in:

Title Year Saw with/at: Own On? Rating
Up Periscope 1959 Digital ** 1/2
Cash McCall 1960 On plane to Atlanta Digital ** 1/2
The Great Escape 1963 Digital ** 1/2
The Wheeler Dealers 1963 Digital ***
The Art of Love 1965 Suzy Digital **
How Sweet It Is! 1968 Digital ** 1/2
Marlowe 1969 Digital ***
Support Your Local Sherriff 1969 Digital *** 1/2
Support Your Local Gunfighter 1971 On TV while babysitting Digital *** 1/2
They Only Kill Their Masters 1972 Flight from Phoenix Digital ***
One Little Indian 1973 Hanna Digital ***
Victor/Victoria 1982 With Peter and others. at Whitney Theatre Digital **** 1/2
Tank 1984 Don't Remember Digital ***
Murphy's Romance 1985 With Jessica Digital ****
Sunset 1988 With Jessica DVD ***
Maverick 1994 With Greta Digital ***
Space Cowboys 2000 Showcase Orange w/ Neil and Bill Olsen Digital ***
Atlantis: The Lost Empire 2001 At Berlin Hoyts w/ Suzy + Kendra Digital ***
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood 2002 w/ Suzy at Berlin Showcase ***
The Notebook 2004 family on DVD **