James Garner, the renowned American film and television actor, had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death in 2014. Garner’s career spanned decades, during which he became a beloved figure in Hollywood. From his roles in iconic TV shows like “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files” to his memorable appearances in movies such as “The Great Escape” and “The Notebook,” Garner left an indelible mark on the entertainment industry.
- James Garner amassed a net worth of $20 million during his successful career as an actor.
- He is best known for his roles in popular TV shows like “Maverick” and “The Rockford Files.”
- Garner’s talents extended to the big screen, where he appeared in notable films like “The Great Escape” and “The Notebook.”
- His contributions to the entertainment industry continue to be celebrated, and he remains a beloved figure among fans.
- Garner’s legacy as a talented and versatile actor endures, leaving a lasting impact on both television and film.
Early Life and Military Service
James Garner, born as James Scott Bumgarner in 1928 in Denver, Oklahoma, had a challenging early life. His mother passed away when he was five, and he was raised Methodist by his father and older brothers.
After serving in the California Army National Guard during the Korean War, Garner was awarded two Purple Hearts for his service.
“War is a bloody, killing business. You’ve got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts.” – James Garner
Garner’s military service shaped his character and provided him with valuable life experiences that would later influence his acting career.
Early Life Challenges
James Garner’s early life was marked by tragic loss and hardship. Losing his mother at a young age was a difficult experience, but he found solace in his faith and the support of his family. Growing up in a Methodist household, Garner developed a strong moral compass that would guide him throughout his life.
Military Service and Honors
Enlisting in the California Army National Guard during the Korean War, Garner demonstrated his bravery and dedication to his country. His service was not without sacrifice, as he was wounded twice and received two Purple Hearts for his injuries. This experience shaped Garner’s perspective and instilled in him a sense of duty that he would carry with him for the rest of his life.
Garner’s military service and the honors he received for his bravery were a testament to his strength of character and commitment to serving others. These experiences would later inform his performances on screen, as he brought authenticity and a sense of realism to his roles.
Influences on Acting Career
James Garner’s early life and military service played a significant role in shaping his acting career. The challenges he faced and the lessons he learned served as a foundation for his portrayals of complex and resilient characters. Garner’s ability to bring depth and authenticity to his roles was undoubtedly influenced by his personal experiences, allowing audiences to connect with his performances on a deeper level.
Career Beginnings and “Maverick”
After completing his military service, James Garner embarked on a promising career in the entertainment industry. His breakthrough came with his role as the charming professional gambler Bret Maverick in the hit Western television series, “Maverick.” Running from 1957 to 1962, the show showcased Garner’s acting talent and earned him critical acclaim.
As Bret Maverick, Garner captivated audiences with his wit, humor, and suave demeanor. The character became a cultural icon, and Garner’s portrayal remains one of his most memorable performances. His remarkable on-screen chemistry with fellow actor Jack Kelly added to the show’s success. “Maverick” not only brought him fame but also earned him an Emmy Award nomination, solidifying his presence in the industry.
“Playing Bret Maverick was a turning point in my career. It gave me the opportunity to showcase my abilities as an actor and establish myself in the industry. The success of ‘Maverick’ opened doors for me, and I will always be grateful for that opportunity,” Garner once shared.
Garner’s talent and charm in “Maverick” set the stage for his future endeavors, paving the way for a remarkable career that would span both television and film.
1960s on Film
In the 1960s, James Garner showcased his versatility as an actor through his appearances in various successful films. One of his notable roles was in “The Great Escape,” a war film released in 1963. Garner portrayed Flight Lieutenant Robert Hendley, a prisoner of war who played a key role in a daring escape from a German POW camp. The film received critical acclaim and achieved commercial success, solidifying Garner’s presence in the film industry.
Another noteworthy film from the 1960s featuring James Garner was “The Americanization of Emily,” released in 1964. In this romantic comedy-drama, Garner played the role of Charlie Madison, a Navy lieutenant who reluctantly becomes involved in a dangerous mission during World War II. Garner’s performance was praised for its wit and charm, further establishing him as a leading actor of his time.
Additionally, Garner starred in “Grand Prix,” a 1966 film that explored the world of Formula One racing. His portrayal of Pete Aron, a talented race car driver, showcased his ability to bring intensity and depth to his characters. The film was renowned for its realistic race sequences and earned critical acclaim for its technical achievements.
The Films of James Garner in the 1960s
|The Great Escape||1963|
|The Americanization of Emily||1964|
James Garner’s roles in these films of the 1960s exemplified his ability to captivate audiences with his talent and charisma. From war dramas to romantic comedies and sports films, Garner demonstrated his versatility as an actor, leaving a lasting impact on the film industry.
1970s and “The Rockford Files”
James Garner’s career reached new heights in the 1970s when he starred as private investigator Jim Rockford in the hit television series “The Rockford Files.” The show, which first aired in 1974, followed the adventures of Rockford as he solved cases in Los Angeles. Garner’s portrayal of the quick-witted and charming detective captivated audiences and earned him critical acclaim. “The Rockford Files” became one of the most successful television shows of the time and solidified Garner’s status as a leading actor in the industry.
Set against the backdrop of 1970s Los Angeles, “The Rockford Files” combined elements of action, suspense, and humor to create a unique blend of crime drama. The show’s clever writing and Garner’s charismatic performance drew viewers in week after week. Garner’s portrayal of Jim Rockford, a private investigator with a knack for getting into trouble, resonated with audiences and made the character an iconic figure in television history.
“The Rockford Files” ran for a total of six seasons, from 1974 to 1980. During this time, Garner’s portrayal of Jim Rockford earned him numerous accolades, including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series in 1977. The show’s success also led to several made-for-television movies based on the character, further cementing Garner’s legacy as Jim Rockford.
In addition to his role in “The Rockford Files,” Garner continued to appear in successful movies throughout the 1970s. He starred alongside Clint Eastwood in the 1978 film “Every Which Way But Loose” and its sequel “Any Which Way You Can” in 1980. Garner’s versatility as an actor allowed him to seamlessly transition between television and film, solidifying his status as one of the industry’s most sought-after talents.
1980s and 90s
Throughout the 1980s and 90s, James Garner continued to captivate audiences with his remarkable performances in both television and film. He showcased his range as an actor and received critical acclaim for his work.
In 1985, Garner received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor for his role in “Murphy’s Romance.” This heartfelt film showcased his ability to bring depth and authenticity to his characters. Garner’s portrayal of a small-town pharmacist in a complicated romantic relationship touched the hearts of many viewers.
During this time, Garner also appeared in other memorable movies, including “Space Cowboys” in 2000 and “The Notebook” in 2004. His performances in these films further solidified his status as a beloved and respected actor.
Additionally, Garner reprised his iconic role as Jim Rockford in several television movies based on “The Rockford Files.” These films, which aired in the 1990s, delighted fans of the original series and showcased Garner’s talent and charm once again.
The Impact of Garner’s Films in the 1980s and 90s
The films that James Garner starred in during the 1980s and 90s left a lasting impact on both audiences and the film industry. His ability to effortlessly transition between drama and comedy showcased his versatility as an actor.
Garner’s nomination for an Academy Award for “Murphy’s Romance” solidified his reputation as a talented and respected actor. His portrayal of a lovable and flawed character captured the hearts of viewers and received critical acclaim.
Furthermore, Garner’s continued success in both film and television demonstrated his enduring popularity and talent. His performances in movies such as “Space Cowboys” and “The Notebook” showcased his ability to connect with audiences and deliver powerful performances.
In the later years of his career, James Garner continued to leave a lasting impact on the entertainment industry. He took on a range of diverse roles and appeared in several notable films and television shows.
One of Garner’s memorable film roles during this period was in the 2000 movie “Space Cowboys,” where he starred alongside legendary actors Clint Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, and Donald Sutherland. The film tells the story of a group of retired pilots who are called back into action for a space mission. Garner’s performance showcased his ability to bring depth and humor to his characters.
Another significant role for Garner was in the 2004 film “The Notebook,” based on the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks. In the movie, Garner played the older version of the main character, Noah, portrayed by Ryan Gosling. His portrayal of the elderly Noah captivated audiences and added emotional depth to the love story. “The Notebook” became a beloved romantic drama and further solidified Garner’s reputation as a talented actor.
Aside from his film work, Garner also took on television roles in the later years of his career. In 2003, he joined the cast of the sitcom “8 Simple Rules,” playing the grandfather of the main characters. His presence brought warmth and humor to the show, and his talent shone through even in a supporting role.
|2000||Space Cowboys||Tank Sullivan|
|2004||The Notebook||Older Noah Calhoun|
|2003-2005||8 Simple Rules||Jim Egan|
James Garner’s later career showcased his versatility as an actor, with standout performances in films such as “Space Cowboys” and “The Notebook.” He also made a memorable impression on television in the sitcom “8 Simple Rules.” With each role, Garner continued to captivate audiences and solidify his place as a revered figure in the world of entertainment.
James Garner’s Personal Life
James Garner, born as James Scott Bumgarner in 1928, had a rich and fulfilling personal life alongside his successful acting career. He was married to Lois Josephine Fleischman Clarke, and the couple had one daughter named Greta. Garner’s family was an important source of support and joy throughout his life.
Although Garner achieved great fame and success, he faced his fair share of health challenges. He underwent several knee operations and even had quintuple bypass heart surgery. Despite these difficulties, he remained resilient and continued to pursue his passion for acting.
Tragically, James Garner passed away in 2014 at the age of 86. His death was a great loss to the entertainment industry and his fans around the world. However, his legacy lives on through his memorable performances and contributions to the world of film and television.
The Brentwood home served as Garner’s primary residence until his passing in 2014. Known for its elegant architecture and stunning views, the property was a testament to Garner’s refined taste and success.
In 2020, the iconic property changed hands, and it was sold for an impressive $10 million. This sale not only highlighted the desirability and value of Garner’s former home but also cemented his legacy as a savvy real estate investor.
James Garner’s Real Estate Holdings
|Brentwood Home||Los Angeles, California||$10 million (sold in 2020)|
|(Additional Property)||(Location)||(Estimated Value)|
|(Additional Property)||(Location)||(Estimated Value)|
While the extent of Garner’s real estate holdings is not fully documented, it is evident that he had a keen eye for valuable properties and made wise investments.
Achievements and Honors
Throughout his illustrious career, James Garner received numerous accolades and honors for his exceptional contributions to the world of entertainment. His talent, versatility, and dedication to his craft made him a beloved figure in both television and film. Here are some of the notable achievements and awards that Garner received:
Television Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award
In recognition of his outstanding body of work in television, James Garner was honored with the Television Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award. This prestigious award celebrates individuals who have made a significant impact on the television industry and have demonstrated exceptional talent and dedication throughout their careers.
Induction into the Western Performers Hall of Fame
Garner’s memorable performances in Western-themed productions earned him a well-deserved place in the Western Performers Hall of Fame. This honor celebrates his contributions to the genre and recognizes his ability to bring authenticity and depth to his Western roles.
Emmy Award Nominations
Over the course of his career, James Garner received a total of 15 Emmy Award nominations. Garner’s remarkable portrayal of Jim Rockford in “The Rockford Files” garnered him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series. His nominations and recognition in various categories highlight his exceptional talent and the impact he had on the television landscape.
James Garner’s achievements and honors serve as a testament to his incredible talent, hard work, and lasting impact on the entertainment industry. His legacy as a versatile actor and beloved television and film star continues to inspire and entertain audiences around the world.
James Garner’s Legacy
James Garner, a talented and versatile actor, left an indelible legacy in the entertainment industry. Throughout his career, he made a significant impact on both television and film, showcasing his remarkable acting ability and captivating audiences with his performances.
Garner’s contributions to television were particularly noteworthy. His portrayal of Jim Rockford in the hit series “The Rockford Files” earned him widespread acclaim and an Emmy Award. His charismatic and relatable portrayal of the private investigator endeared him to audiences and solidified his status as a television icon.
In film, Garner showcased his versatility through a wide range of roles, seamlessly transitioning between comedic and dramatic performances. From his breakout role in “Maverick” to his memorable appearances in movies such as “The Great Escape” and “The Notebook,” Garner’s talent never failed to captivate audiences.
James Garner’s legacy lives on, inspiring future generations of actors and leaving an indelible mark on the entertainment industry. His memorable performances, undeniable talent, and lasting impact continue to be celebrated, cementing his place as one of the greatest actors of his generation.
What was James Garner’s net worth at the time of his death?
James Garner had a net worth of $20 million at the time of his death in 2014.
What are some of James Garner’s most famous roles?
James Garner is known for his roles in “Maverick,” “The Rockford Files,” “The Great Escape,” and “The Notebook.”
What was James Garner’s early life like?
James Garner had a challenging early life, losing his mother at a young age and being raised by his father and older brothers.
Did James Garner serve in the military?
Yes, James Garner served in the California Army National Guard during the Korean War and was awarded two Purple Hearts for his service.
Which TV series earned James Garner an Emmy Award nomination?
James Garner received an Emmy Award nomination for his role as Bret Maverick in the Western series “Maverick.”
What successful films did James Garner appear in during the 1960s?
James Garner appeared in films such as “The Great Escape,” “The Americanization of Emily,” and “Grand Prix” during the 1960s.
What was James Garner’s most iconic role in the 1970s?
James Garner starred as private investigator Jim Rockford in the hit television series “The Rockford Files” during the 1970s.
What notable films did James Garner appear in during the 1980s and 90s?
James Garner appeared in films such as “Murphy’s Romance,” “Sunset,” and “Twilight” during the 1980s and 90s.
What were some of James Garner’s later works?
In his later years, James Garner appeared in films such as “Space Cowboys,” “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood,” and “The Notebook.”
Was James Garner married?
Yes, James Garner was married to Lois Josephine Fleischman Clarke.
Where did James Garner live?
James Garner primarily lived in his home in LA’s Brentwood neighborhood until his death.
What honors did James Garner receive in his career?
James Garner was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame and received the Television Critics Association’s Career Achievement Award, among other honors.
What is James Garner’s legacy?
James Garner is remembered as a talented and versatile actor who made a significant impact on both television and film.