James Garner’s Daughter on His Life: ‘He Had a Core Sense of Moral Values’

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

James Garner’s Daughter on His Life: ‘He Had a Core Sense of Moral Values’

By Tess Farrand, Associate Content Editor

James Garner’s daughter Gigi Garner said that her late Hollywood father “had a core sense of moral values.”

Garner’s popularity has seen a resurgence in recent weeks and months, with audiences watchings or rewatching movies like MAVERICK, THE ROCKFORD FILES, THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE NOTEBOOK during quarantine.

MAVERICK was selected as one of 1994’s Best Movies for Mature Audiences at the Movieguide® Awards.

“He had a core sense of moral values… He was truly an exemplary human being,” said Garner. “My dad was very convinced in his beliefs and if he believed he was in the right, he was going to stand up for that.”

Although Garner was raised as a Methodist, he never considered himself religious. Gigi’s mother Lois was Jewish.

Garner added, “The truth about my dad is that people think he’s like he was on TV, but there were many sides to his personality. He was funny and jovial; in fact, the funniest person I ever knew, so witty and so quick. At the same time, he was shy and introverted in some respects.”

“The way he asked people to remember him was with a smile,” said Garner, who set up the James Garner Animal Rescue Fund in her father’s honor.

Garner had many facets to his life that reinforce his daughter’s kind words.

Before getting his start on camera, Garner earned two purple hearts during his service in the army during the Korean war.

Garner’s parents were married for over 50 years too, a rarity in Hollywood.

Garner died in 2014 of a heart attack at 86 years old.

At the time of his death, SAG-AFTRA President Ken Howard said, “[Garner] was a hard worker who dedicated himself wholly to whatever he set out to accomplish, whether it was serving his country or performing for the camera.”