James Garner

From Academic Kids

Missing image
James Garner on 8 Simple Rules

James Garner (born April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor.

Born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, he has found fame in both movies and television. At 16, he joined the Merchant Marine. He received a Purple Heart in the Korean War.

After modeling Jantzen bathing suits in print ads, in 1954 Garner had a non-speaking role in the Broadway production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial. He moved on to television commercials, and then to television roles. His first film role was in 1956, in two movies The Girl He Left Behind and Toward the Unknown.

Jim's big break

After four smaller roles, playing a military man, in the late 1950s he starred in a popular Western series, Maverick, starring in the role of Brett Maverick (1957-1960), co-starring with Jack Kelly as his brother Bart Maverick (1957-1962), and later on Roger Moore, as younger brother Beauregarde ("Beau") Maverick (1960-1961; for one season-1961, Robert Colbert played another brother, Brent Maverick). But Garner was the big star of the show, making him a household favorite. One of the producers for Maverick was Roy Huggins, a relationship that would again pay dividends for Garner later on. Garner's popularity eventually made him the sole star of the series. In 2004, Garner became one of the first three honorees in the World Poker Tour Walk of Fame for this portrayal.

In the 1960s he starred in such films as The Thrill of It All, Move Over, Darling, Boys' Night Out, The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Grand Prix (which gave him a car racing bug; he was also executive producer), and Support Your Local Sheriff!.

In the 1970s Roy Huggins had an idea to redo Maverick, but this time do it in the form of a "modern-day" private detective. Roy, teamed with co-creator, and TV icon Stephen J. Cannell, and the pair tapped Garner to help re-kindle the success of Maverick. Starting with the 1974 television season, Garner was back on television as private investigator Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. For six solid seasons Rockford is arguably his best role, for which he received an Emmy for Best Actor in 1977. Jim pulled the plug on the show, despite high ratings, because it was taking too much of a physical toll on his body. Being in almost every scene, and maintaining a precedent of doing many of his own stunts, one that he had started at the beginning of the show, were warring him out. A knee injury that he had received when he was in the National Guard, before he was drafted to go to Korea, was coming back to sideline him off the set of Rockford. Additionally he had hurt his back doing stunts, and he was hospitalized with a bleeding ulcer in 1979. Between his knee, back, and ulcer he was done.

In 1986, he received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actor for Murphy's Romance. In 1994, Garner co-starred with Mel Gibson and Jodie Foster, in the movie version of his original Maverick role.

On the death of John Ritter, Garner joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules, as Grandpa Egan (Cate's father). Originally intended to be a one-shot guest role, he stayed for the season and now holds a starring role.

He recently starred as "Duke" in Nicholas Spark's The Notebook.

For his contribution to the film and television industry, James Garner received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (6927 Hollywood Blvd). In 1990, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On 9 February 2005 he received the Screen Actor's Guild Lifetime Achievement Award.

Quote from Jim: "Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist."

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