James Garner (James Scott Bumgarner)

James Garner

James Garner

Garner, who had a long and storied career that spanned almost 60 years, first found success playing Bret Maverick in the ABC western ‘Maverick’ from 1957 to 1960. Born James Scott Bumgarner, he moved to Los Angeles as a teenager with his family, and joined the Merchant Marines, later joining the National Guard. He served for seven months, then joined the Army and went to Korea for 14 months during the war. He was wounded twice and awarded two purple hearts. Garner returned to Los Angeles and after landing a few roles in movies, got his big break playing the role of professional gambler Bret Maverick in the comedy Western series that made him a household name, however he quit the series in the third season because of a dispute with Warner Brothers and turned to make numerous movies instead, appearing in such films as ‘The Great Escape’ (1963), ‘Move Over, Darling’ (1963), ‘Grand Prix’ (1966), ‘Hour of the Gun’ (1967), ‘Support Your Local Gunfighter’ (1971) and ‘One Little Indian’ (1973). In 1974, he took on the role of Jim Rockford in NBC’s ‘The Rockford Files’, which would earn him four Emmy nominations in the show’s six seasons with one win in 1977. Garner would go on to appear in several more TV series including ‘Bret Maverick’, ‘Man of the People’, ‘Chicago Hope’, ‘God, the Devil and Bob’, ‘First Monday’ and ‘8 Simple Rules’. Among films he appeared in were ‘The Fan’ (1981), ‘Victor/Victoria’ (1982), ‘Murphy’s Romance’ (which would earn him an Oscar nomination in 1985), ‘Sunset’ (1988), ‘Fire in the Sky’ (1993), ‘Twilight’ (1998) and ‘The Notebook’ (2004). In February 2005, he received the Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award and also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma stands a 10-foot bronze statue of Garner as Bret Maverick. Garner, died at his home of natural causes.


  • April, 07, 1928
  • Norman, Oklahoma


  • July, 19, 2014
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • Massive heart attack



    • Unknown

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