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James Garner

Actor

James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner) was an actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, and played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films, including The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen, Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards' Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood, and The Notebook (2004).

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James Garner (born James Scott Bumgarner) was an actor, producer, and voice artist. He starred in several television series over more than five decades, including such popular roles as Bret Maverick in the 1950s western comedy series Maverick and Jim Rockford in The Rockford Files, and played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films, including The Great Escape (1963) with Steve McQueen, Paddy Chayefsky's The Americanization of Emily (1964), Grand Prix (1966), Blake Edwards' Victor Victoria (1982), Murphy's Romance (1985), for which he received an Academy Award nomination, Space Cowboys (2000) with Clint Eastwood, and The Notebook (2004).

Garner was an owner of the "American International Racers" (AIR) auto racing team from 1967 through 1969. Motorsports writer William Edgar and Hollywood director Andy Sidaris teamed with Garner for the racing documentary The Racing Scene, filmed in 1969 and released in 1970. The team fielded cars at Le Mans, Daytona, and Sebring endurance races, but is best known for Garner's celebrity status raising publicity in early off-road motor-sports events. In 1978, he was one of the inaugural inductees in the Off-Road Motorsports Hall of Fame.

Garner signed a three-year sponsorship contract with American Motors Corporation (AMC). His shops prepared ten 1969 SC/Ramblers for the Baja 500 race. Garner did not drive in this event because of a film commitment in Spain that year. Nevertheless, seven of his cars finished the grueling race, taking three of the top five places in the sedan class. Garner also drove the pace car at the Indianapolis 500 race in 1975, 1977, and 1985.

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