James Garner

D.O.B: Apr 07, 1928 |  Norman, Oklahoma, USA

44Credit Score

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s. James Garner was born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, to Mildred Scott (Meek) and Weldon Warren Bumgarner, a carpet layer.

Biography

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s. James Garner was born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, to Mildred Scott (Meek) and Weldon Warren Bumgarner, a carpet layer. He dropped out of high school at 16 to join the Merchant Marines. He worked in a variety of jobs and received 2 Purple Hearts when he was wounded twice during the Korean War. He had his first chance to act when a friend got him a non-speaking role in the Broadway stage play The Caine Mutiny Court Martial (1954). Part of his work was to read lines to the lead actors and he began to learn the craft of acting. This play led to small television roles, television commercials and eventually a contract with Warner Brothers. Director David Butler saw something in Garner and gave him all the attention he needed when he appeared in The Girl He Left Behind (1956). After co-starring in a handful of films during 1956-57, Warner Brothers gave Garner a co-starring role in the the western series Maverick (1957). Originally planned to alternate between Bart Maverick (Jack Kelly) and Bret Maverick (Garner), the show quickly turned into the Bret Maverick Show. As Maverick, Garner was cool, good-natured, likable and always ready to use his wits to get him in or out of trouble. The series was highly successful, and Garner continued in it into 1960 when he left the series in a dispute over money.