James Garner


James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner; April 7, 1928 – July 19, 2014) was an American actor and producer. He made his film debut in Mervyn LeRoy’s Toward the Unknown (1956), with William Holden, Lloyd Nolan and Virginia Leith. Other early roles include David Butler’s The Girl He Left Behind (1956), with Tab Hunter, Natalie Wood, Jim Backus, Alan King, and David Janssen; Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1956), with Randolph Scott, James Craig, and Angie Dickinson; Joshua Logan’s Sayonara (1957), with Marlon Brando, Patricia Owens, Martha Scott, Miiko Taka, Miyoshi Umeki, Red Buttons, Ricardo Montalbán; William A. Wellman’s Darby’s Rangers (1958), with Jack Warden and Stuart Whitman; and Gordon Douglas’s Up Periscope (1959), with Edmond O’Brien, Andra Martin, Alan Hale Jr., Edd Byrnes, Warren Oates, and Saundra Edwards.

Films in the early 1960s include Joseph Pevney’s Cash McCall (1960), with Wood, Nina Foch, Dean Jagger, and E.G. Marshall; William Wyler‘s The Children’s Hour (1961), with Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine; John Sturges The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, John Leyton, David McCallum, and Hannes Messemer; Norman Jewison’s The Thrill of It All (1963), with Doris Day, Arlene Francis, Reginald Owen, ZaSu Pitts, and Carl Reiner; Arthur Hiller’s The Wheeler Dealers (1963), with Lee Remick, Phil Harris, Chill Wills, Backus, and Patricia Crowley; Move Over, Darling (1963), with Day, Polly Bergen, Thelma Ritter, Fred Clark, Don Knotts, Chuck Connors, Edgar Buchanan, Pat Harrington Jr. and John Astin; The Americanization of Emily (1964) with Julie Andrews, Melvyn Douglas, Coburn, Joyce Grenfell, Keenan Wynn and William Windom; George Seaton’s 36 Hours (1965), with Eva Marie Saint and Rod Taylor; and The Art of Love (1965), with Dick Van Dyke, Elke Sommer, Angie Dickinson, and Ethel Merman.

Films in the mid to late 1960s include A Man Could Get Killed (1966), with Melina Mercouri, Sandra Dee, Anthony Franciosa, and Robert Coote; Ralph Nelson’s Duel at Diablo (1966), with Sidney Poitier, Bibi Andersson, Bill Travers, Dennis Weaver, and John Hoyt; Delbert Mann’s Mister Buddwing (1966), with Jean Simmons, Suzanne Pleshette, Angela Lansbury, and Katharine Ross; John Frankenheimer’s Grand Prix (1966), with Saint, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, Brian Bedford, Jessica Walter, Antonio Sabàto, Françoise Hardy; Hour of the Gun (1967), with Jason Robards and Robert Ryan; Jerry Paris’s How Sweet It Is! (1968), with Debbie Reynolds, Maurice Ronet, and Penny Marshall; The Pink Jungle (1968), with Eva Renzi, George Kennedy, and Nigel Green; Burt Kennedy’s Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969), with Joan Hackett, Walter Brennan, Harry Morgan, Jack Elam, Bruce Dern, and Chubby Johnson; and Paul Bogart’s Marlowe (1969), with Gayle Hunnicutt, Rita Moreno, Carroll O’Connor, Sharon Farrell, Willam Daniels, Jackie Coogan, and Bruce Lee.

Films in 1970s include Vic Morrow’s A Man Called Sledge (1970), with Laura Antonelli, Dennis Weaver, Claude Akins, and John Marley; Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971), with Pleshette, Morgan, Elam, John Dehner, Marie Windsor, Joan Blondell, Kathleen Freeman, and Ellen Corby; Skin Game (1971), with Louis Gossett Jr., Susan Clark, Edward Asner, Andrew Duggan, Parley Baer, and Royal Dano; They Only Kill Their Masters (1972), with Ross, Hal Holbrook, June Allyson, Tom Ewell, Peter Lawford, Edmond O’Brien, and Arthur O’Connell; Bernard McEveety’s One Little Indian (1973), with Vera Miles, Pat Hingle, Jay Silverheels, Morgan Woodward, and Jodie Foster; and Vincent McEveety’s The Castaway Cowboy (1974), with Miles, Eric Shea, and Robert Culp.

Garner was nominated for an Academy Award for Best actor for his role in Martin Ritt‘s Murphy’s Romance (1985), with Sally Field, Brian Kerwin, and Corey Haim. Other films in the 1980s include Robert Altman‘s Health (1980), with Carol Burnett, Glenda Jackson, Lauren Bacall, Paul Dooley, and Alfre Woodard; The Fan (1981), with Bacall, Michael Biehn, and Maureen Stapleton; Blake Edwards’s Victor/Victoria (1982) with Julie Andrews, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren, Alex Karras, and John Rhys-Davies; Tank (1984), with G.D. Spradlin, Shirley Jones, C. Thomas Howell, Mark Herrier, Jenilee Harrison, and James Cromwell; and Sunset (1988), with Bruce Willis, Mariel Hemingway, Kathleen Quinlan, Jennifer Edwards, Malcolm McDowell, and M. Emmett Walsh.

Films in the 1990s include Jonathan Lynn’s The Distinguished Gentleman (1992), with Eddie Murphy, Lane Smith, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Joe Don Baker, Victoria Rowell, Grant Shaud, Kevin McCarthy, Charles S. Dutton, Victor Rivers, Chi McBride, Sonny Jim Gaines, and Noble Willingham; Fire in the Sky (1993), with D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Scott MacDonald, Henry Thomas, and Peter Berg; Richard Donner‘s Maverick (1994), with Mel Gibson, Foster, Graham Greene, Coburn, Alfred Molina; Peter Segal’s My Fellow Americans (1996), with Jack Lemmon, Dan Aykroyd, Bacall, Esther Rolle, John Heard, Wilford Brimley, Bradley Whitford, and Jeff Yagher; and Robert Benton’s Twilight (1998), Paul Newman, Susan Sarandon, Gene Hackman, Stockard Channing, Reese Witherspoon, Giancarlo Esposito, Liev Schreiber, Margot Martindale, and Clint Howard.

Films in the 2000s include Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood (who also directed), Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland, Marcia Gay Harden, William Devane, Loren Dean, Courtney B. Vance, and Cromwell; Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002), with Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Fionnula Flanagan, Ashley Judd, Shirley Knight, Angus Macfadyen, and Maggie Smith; Nick Cassavetes’s The Notebook (2004) with Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, Gena Rowlands, James Marsden, Kevin Connolly, Sam Shepard, and Joan Allen; and The Ultimate Gift (2007), with Drew Fuller, Ali Hillis, Bill Cobbs, Abigail Breslin, and Brian Dennehy.

Garner also starred in several television series over more than five decades, including popular roles such as Bret Maverick in the Western series Maverick (1957-1962) and as Jim Rockford in the 1970s private detective show, The Rockford Files (1974-1980). He would reprise both roles in various TV movies. Later TV roles include Jim Egan in 8 Simple Rules (2003-2005). TV movie and miniseries include Heartsounds (1984), with Mary Tyler Moore; The Glitter Dome (1984), with Margot Kidder and John Lithgow; Space (1985), with Beau Bridges, Blair Brown, Dern, Harry Hamlin, Michael York; Promise (1985), with James Woods and Piper Laurie; Barbarians at the Gate (1993), with Jonathan Pryce, Peter Riegert, Joanna Cassidy, and Fred Dalton Thompson; Breathing Lessons (1994), with Joanne Woodward; Streets of Laredo (1995), with Sissy Spacek, Shepard, Ned Beatty, Randy Quaid, Wes Studi, Charles Martin Smith, George Carlin, and Alexis Cruz; and Dead Silence (1997), with Marlee Matlin and Kim Coates.

Garner also did voice in the short lived animated series God, the Devil and Bob (2000), with Alan Cumming and French Stewart; and the animated films Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001), with Michael J. Fox, Cree Summer, Leonard Nimoy, Don Novello, Phil Morris, Claudia Christian, Jacqueline Obradors, Jim Varney, Florence Stanley, John Mahoney, David Ogden Stiers, and Corey Burton; The Land Before Time X: The Great Longneck Migration (2003), with Alec Medlock, Kenneth Mars, Miriam Flynn, Anndi McAfee, Aria Noelle Curzon, Rob Paulsen, John Ingle, Brandon Michael DePaul, Jeff Bennett, Bernadette Peters, and Kiefer Sutherland; Battle for Terra (2009), with Evan Rachel Wood, Brian Cox, Chris Evans, Danny Glover, Amanda Peet, David Cross, Justin Long, Dennis Quaid, and Luke Wilson; and Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010), with George Newbern, Jerry O’Connell, Arnold Vosloo, Zach Callison, Kevin Michael Richardson, Danica McKellar, and Josh Keaton.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Toward the Unknown (1956) – directed by Mervyn LeRoy
  • The Girl He Left Behind (1956) – directed by David Butler
  • Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend (1957) – directed by Richard L. Bare
  • Sayonara (1957) – directed by Joshua Logan
  • Darby’s Rangers (1958) – directed by William A. Wellman
  • Up Periscope (1959) – directed by Gordon Douglas
  • Cash McCall (1960) – directed by Joseph Pevney
  • The Children’s Hour (1961) – directed by William Wyler
  • Boys’ Night Out (1962) – directed by Michael Gordon
  • The Great Escape (1963) – directed by John Sturges
  • The Thrill of It All (1963) – directed by Norman Jewison
  • The Wheeler Dealers (1963) – directed by Arthur Hiller
  • Move Over, Darling (1963) – directed by Michael Gordon
  • The Americanization of Emily (1964) – directed by Arthur Hiller
  • 36 Hours (1965) – directed by George Seaton
  • The Art of Love (1965) – directed by Norman Jewison
  • A Man Could Get Killed (1966) – directed by Ronald Neame & Cliff Owen
  • Duel at Diablo (1966) – directed by Ralph Nelson
  • Mister Buddwing (1966) – directed by Delbert Mann
  • Grand Prix (1966) – directed by John Frankenheimer
  • Hour of the Gun (1967) – directed by John Sturges
  • How Sweet It Is! (1968) – directed by Jerry Paris
  • The Pink Jungle (1968) – directed by Delbert Mann
  • The Racing Scene (1969) – directed by Andy Sidaris – himself – documentary
  • Support Your Local Sheriff! (1969) – directed by Burt Kennedy
  • Marlowe (1969) – directed by Paul Bogart
  • A Man Called Sledge (1970) – directed by Vic Morrow
  • Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971) – directed by Burt Kennedy
  • Skin Game (1971) – directed by Paul Bogart & Gordon Douglas (uncredited)
  • They Only Kill Their Masters (1972) – directed by James Goldstone
  • One Little Indian (1973) – directed by Bernard McEveety
  • The Castaway Cowboy (1974) – directed by Vincent McEveety
  • The New Maverick (1978) – directed by Hu Averback – TV movie
  • Health (1980) – directed by Robert Altman
  • The Fan (1981) – directed by Edward Bianchi
  • The Long Summer of George Adams (1982) – directed by Stuart Margolin – TV movie
  • Victor/Victoria (1982) – directed by Blake Edwards
  • Tank (1984) – directed by Marvin J. Chomsky
  • Heartsounds (1984) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
  • The Glitter Dome (1984) – directed by Stuart Margolin – TV movie
  • Space (1985) – directed by Lee Philips & Joseph Sargent – miniseries
  • Murphy’s Romance (1985) – directed by Martin Ritt
  • Promise (1986) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
  • Sunset (1988) – directed by Blake Edwards
  • My Name Is Bill W. (1989) – directed by Daniel Petrie – TV movie – also executive producer
  • Take Me to Your Leaders (1990) –
  • Decoration Day (1990) – directed by Robert Markowitz – TV movie
  • The Distinguished Gentleman (1992) directed by Jonathan Lynn
  • Fire in the Sky (1993) – directed by Robert Lieberman
  • Barbarians at the Gate (1993) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
  • Return to The Great Escape (1993)
  • Breathing Lessons (1994) – directed by John Erman – TV movie
  • Maverick (1994) – directed by Richard Donner
  • The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A. (1994) – directed by James Whitmore Jr. – TV movie
  • The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise (1995) – directed by Jeannot Szwarc – TV movie
  • Streets of Laredo (1995) – directed by Joseph Sargent – miniseries
  • Wild Bill: Hollywood Maverick (1996)
  • The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits… (1996) – directed by Jeannot Szwarc – TV movie
  • The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best (1996) – directed by Tony Wharmby – TV movie
  • The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play (1996) – directed by Stuart Margolin – TV movie
  • The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime (1996) – directed by David Chase – TV movie
  • My Fellow Americans (1996) – directed by Peter Segal
  • The Hidden Dimension (1997) –
  • Dead Silence (1996) – directed by Daniel Petrie Jr. – TV movie
  • The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda (1997) – directed by Tony Wharmby – TV movie
  • Twilight (1998) – directed by Robert Benton
  • Legalese (1998) – directed by Glenn Jordan – TV movie
  • The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds… It Leads (1999) – directed by Stuart Margolin – TV movie
  • One Special Night (1999) – directed by Roger Young – TV movie
  • Space Cowboys (2000) – directed by Clint Eastwood
  • The Last Debate (2000) – directed by John Badham – TV movie
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) – directed by Gary Trousdale & Kirk Wise
  • Roughing It (2002) – directed by Charles Martin Smith – TV movie
  • Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (2002) – directed by Callie Khouri
  • The Land Before Time X (2003) – directed by Charles Grosvenor – straight to video
  • The Notebook (2004)* – directed by Nick Cassavetes
  • Al Roach: Private Insectigator (2004) – directed by Obie Scott Wade – short
  • The Ultimate Gift (2007) – directed by Michael O. Sajbel
  • First Nighy (2007) – directed by Martin Spanjers – short
  • Battle for Terra (2009) – directed by Aristomenis Tsirbas
  • Superman/Shazam!: The Return of Black Adam (2010) – directed by Joaquim Dos Santos – short