James Garner (born April 7, 1928) is an American film and television actor, one of the first Hollywood actors to excel in both media.
He has starred in several television series spanning a career of more than five decades. These included his roles as Bret Maverick, in the popular 1950s western-comedy series, Maverick; Jim Rockford, in the popular 1970s detective drama, The Rockford Files; and the father of Katey Sagal's character on 8 Simple Rules following the death of John Ritter. He has starred in dozens of movies, including The Great Escape, Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964). Blake Edwards' Victor Victoria (1982) and Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination.
Garner, the youngest of three children, was born James Scott Bumgarner in Norman, Oklahoma, the son of Mildred (née Meek) and Weldon Warren Bumgarner, a carpet layer. His mother, who was half Cherokee, died when he was five years old. After their mother's death, Garner and his brothers were sent to live with relatives. Garner was reunited with his family in 1934, when Weldon remarried.