Mostly Credited As: James Garner
Birth Name: James Scott Baumgarner
Date Of Birth: April 07, 1928 (Age 86)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Norman, Oklahoma
Date Of Death: July 19, 2014
Cause Of Death: Heart Attack
Height: 6' 3" (1.9 m)
At 16, James Garner left high school to join the Merchant Marine. He later served in the Korean War, was wounded and received a Purple Heart. He worked different jobs until being offered a non-speaking role in a Broadway production of "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial" in 1954. While helping the other actors learn their lines, Garner got a feel for acting. He eventually got roles in television commercials and shows which led to a contract with the Warner Brothers studio.
While under contract to Warner Brothers, he was given the co-starring role in Maverick, a western series that began in 1957. He played Brett Maverick a likeable character who would preferred using his wits over weapons. Although he only played Brett Maverick until 1960 because of a contract dispute, Garner would continue to play men who preferred to use their wits instead of resorting to violence on television and in movies.
After years of varying success in movies and being off television for a prolonged period, Garner returned to television in 1974 as private eye Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files. In 1977, he won an Emmy for his protrayal of the likeable Jim Rockford, who didn't like to carry a gun and tried his best to avoid a fight.
Garner continues to divide his time between movies and television. In 1994's big screen remake of Maverick, Garner reprised his role as Brett Maverick opposite Mel Gibson as Brett Maverick, Jr. In 2000, he made Space Cowboys with Clint Eastwood and Tommy Lee Jones. 2002 found him as the Chief Justice of the Supreme court, Thomas Brankin, in First Monday (2002). After the untimely death of John Ritter in 2003, Garner joined the cast of 8 Simple Rules as Grandpa Jim Egan.