James Garner

Highest Rated: 100% Grand Prix (1966)
Lowest Rated: 0% The Art of Love (1965)
Birthday: Apr 7, 1928
Birthplace: Norman, Oklahoma, USA
The son of an Oklahoma carpet layer, James Garner did stints in the Army and merchant marines before working as a model. His professional acting career began with a non-speaking part in the Broadway play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1954), in which he was also assigned to run lines with stars Lloyd Nolan, Henry Fonda, and John Hodiak. Given that talent roster, and the fact that the director was Charles Laughton, Garner managed to earn his salary and receive a crash course in acting at the same time. After a few television commercials, he was signed as a contract player by Warner Bros. in 1956. He barely had a part in his first film, The Girl He Left Behind (1956), though he was given special attention by director David Butler, who felt Garner had far more potential than the film's nominal star, Tab Hunter. Due in part to Butler's enthusiasm, Garner was cast in the Warner Bros. TV Western Maverick. The scriptwriters latched on to his gift for understated humor, and, before long, the show had as many laughs as shoot-outs. Garner was promoted to starring film roles during his Maverick run, but, by the third season, he chafed at his low salary and insisted on better treatment. The studio refused, so he walked out. Lawsuits and recriminations were exchanged, but the end result was that Garner was a free agent as of 1960. He did quite well as a freelance actor for several years, turning in commendable work in such films as Boys' Night Out (1962) and The Great Escape (1963), but was soon perceived by filmmakers as something of a less-expensive Rock Hudson, never more so than when he played Hudson-type parts opposite Doris Day in Move Over, Darling and The Thrill of It All! (both 1963).Garner fared rather better in variations of his Maverick persona in such Westerns as Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) and The Skin Game (1971), but he eventually tired of eating warmed-over stew; besides, being a cowboy star had made him a walking mass of injuries and broken bones. He tried to play a more peaceable Westerner in the TV series Nichols (1971), but when audiences failed to respond, his character was killed off and replaced by his more athletic twin brother (also Garner). The actor finally shed the Maverick cloak with his long-running TV series The Rockford Files (1974-1978), in which he played a John MacDonald-esque private eye who never seemed to meet anyone capable of telling the truth. Rockford resulted in even more injuries for the increasingly battered actor, and soon he was showing up on TV talk shows telling the world about the many physical activities which he could no longer perform. Rockford ended in a spirit of recrimination, when Garner, expecting a percentage of the profits, learned that "creative bookkeeping" had resulted in the series posting none. To the public, Garner was the rough-hewn but basically affable fellow they'd seen in his fictional roles and as Mariette Hartley's partner (not husband) in a series of Polaroid commercials. However, his later film and TV-movie roles had a dark edge to them, notably his likable but mercurial pharmacist in Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Oscar nomination, and his multifaceted co-starring stints with James Woods in the TV movies Promise (1986) and My Name Is Bill W. (1989). In 1994, Garner came full circle in the profitable feature film Maverick (1994), in which the title role was played by Mel Gibson. With the exception of such lower-key efforts as the noir-ish Twilight (1998) and the made-for-TV thriller Dead Silence (1997), Garner's career in the '90s found the veteran actor once again tapping into his latent ability to provoke laughs in such efforts as Space Cowboys (2000) while maintaining a successful small-screen career by returning to the role of Jim Rockford in several made-for-TV movies. He provided a voice for the popular animatedfeature Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) and appeared in the comedy-drama The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002).

Photos

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

CREDIT
No Score Yet DC Showcase Original Shorts Collection Actor 2010
No Score Yet Superman/Shazam! The Return of Black Adam Shazam 2010
No Score Yet For Love of Liberty: The Story of America's Black Patriots Actor 2010
49% Battle For Terra Doron $1.7M 2009
32% The Ultimate Gift Red Stevens $3.5M 2006
No Score Yet Pushing the Limit: The Making of 'Grand Prix' Actor 2006
56% Glory Road Director $42.5M 2006
60% Dust to Glory Actor $0.7M 2005
53% The Notebook Duke $81.1M 2004
No Score Yet Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration Pat 2003
No Score Yet One Special Night Robert Woodward 2002
44% Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood Shep Walker $69.6M 2002
No Score Yet Roughing It Sam Clemens/Mark Twain 2002
49% Atlantis - The Lost Empire Cdr. Lyle Rourke $83.6M 2001
78% Space Cowboys Tank Sullivan 2000
No Score Yet The Last Debate Mike Howley 2000
No Score Yet Clint Eastwood: Out of the Shadows Actor 2000
No Score Yet Legalese Norman Keane 1998
60% Twilight Raymond Hope 1998
No Score Yet The Hidden Dimension Narrator 1997
47% My Fellow Americans Matt Douglas 1996
No Score Yet Streets of Laredo Captain Woodrow Call 1995
No Score Yet Wild Bill Hollywood Maverick Actor 1995
66% Maverick Marshal Zane Cooper 1994
No Score Yet Breathing Lessons Ira Moran 1994
71% Barbarians at the Gate F. Ross Johnson 1993
39% Fire in the Sky Frank Watters 1993
No Score Yet Return to 'The Great Escape' Actor 1993
13% The Distinguished Gentleman Jeff Johnson 1992
No Score Yet Decoration Day Albert Sidney Finch 1990
No Score Yet My Name Is Bill W. Dr. Bob Executive Producer 1989
17% Sunset Wyatt Earp 1988
No Score Yet Smoke That Cigarette Actor 1987
No Score Yet Promise Bob Buehler Executive Producer 1986
72% Murphy's Romance Murphy Jones 1985
No Score Yet Tank Zack 1984
No Score Yet The Glitter Dome Sgt. Aloysius Mackey 1984
96% Victor Victoria King Marchand 1982
43% The Fan Jake Berman 1981
No Score Yet Health Harry Wolff 1980
No Score Yet The Castaway Cowboy Lincoln Costain 1974
No Score Yet One Little Indian Keyes 1973
No Score Yet They Only Kill Their Masters Chief Abel Marsh 1972
No Score Yet Skin Game Quincy 1971
No Score Yet A Man Called Sledge Luther Sledge 1971
62% Support Your Local Gunfighter Latigo Smith 1971
69% Support Your Local Sheriff! Jason McCullough 1969
71% Marlowe Philip Marlowe 1969
No Score Yet Bruce Brown Moto Classics - Baja 1000 Classic Actor 1968
No Score Yet How Sweet It Is! Grif Henderson 1968
No Score Yet The Pink Jungle Ben Morris 1968
83% Hour of the Gun Wyatt Earp 1967
100% Grand Prix Pete Aron 1966
No Score Yet Duel at Diablo Jess Remsberg 1966
No Score Yet Mister Buddwing Mister Buddwing 1966
No Score Yet A Man Could Get Killed (Welcome, Mr. Beddoes) William Beddoes 1966
0% The Art of Love Casey Barnett 1965
No Score Yet 36 Hours Major Jefferson Pike 1965
100% The Americanization of Emily Lt. Cmdr. Charles Edward Madison 1964
No Score Yet Move Over Darling Nick Arden 1963
No Score Yet The Wheeler Dealers Henry Tyroon 1963
86% The Thrill of It All Dr. Gerald Boyer 1963
94% The Great Escape Hendley 1963
No Score Yet Boys' Night Out Fred Williams 1962
86% The Children's Hour Dr. Joe Cardin 1961
No Score Yet Cash McCall Cash McCall 1960
No Score Yet Alias Jesse James Bret Maverick 1959
No Score Yet Up Periscope Kenneth M. Braden 1959
No Score Yet Darby's Rangers Col. William Orlando Darby 1958
100% Sayonara Capt. Mike Bailey 1957
No Score Yet The Girl He Left Behind Preston 1956
No Score Yet Toward the Unknown Lt. Col. Joe Craven 1956

TV

CREDIT
No Score Yet Maverick
1957-1962
Bret Maverick
  • 2019
  • 2018
  • 1960
  • 1959
  • 1958
  • 1957
No Score Yet Tavis Smiley
2013-2018
Guest
  • 2013
No Score Yet 8 Simple Rules
2002-2005
Jim
  • 2005
  • 2004
  • 2003
No Score Yet The Tonight Show With Jay Leno
1992-2014
Guest
  • 2004
  • 2002
  • 2000
No Score Yet Chicago Hope
1994-2000
Hubert `Hugh' Miller Hugh Miller
  • 2000
No Score Yet The Rockford Files
1974-1980
Director Jim Rockford
  • 1980
  • 1979
  • 1978
  • 1977
  • 1976
  • 1975
  • 1974

QUOTES FROM James Garner CHARACTERS