He described their courtship, "We went to dinner every night for 14 nights. I was just absolutely nuts about her. I spent $77 on our honeymoon, and it about broke me." According to Garner, "Marriage is like the Army; everyone complains, but you'd be surprised at the large number of people who re-enlist".
They were unalike. He was an outdoorsman, practical and determined. Lois was petite and pretty, an indoors sort of person and a dreamer. He was Methodist, she was Jewish. But it worked.
They had two daughters, Kimberley from Lois' first marriage whom James adopted and another, Gigi born a year after their marriage
James Garner was born in 1928 and grew up in Depression era Oklahoma. His mother died when he was four from a botched abortion. His father was a violent drunkard. The children were split up to live with relatives, but when the father married again they were reunited as a family. The new stepmother terrorized the boys. James dropped out of school as soon as he could and joined the merchant navy at the age of 16. Later he would fight in both the Korean and Vietnam wars.
He spent years at different jobs before a friend got him a part in his first Broadway play. In addition to his many movie parts in comedy, adventure and westerns, he is known for his roles in the television series, Maverick and Rockford Files.
Julie Andrews described his universal appeal. "He was a man’s man, a ladies’ man, a good ol’ boy in the best sense, a curmudgeon (he'll be the first to tell you), and a sweetheart. I don’t know a lady who isn’t a little bit in love with him."
In all their years of marriage, there was never a hint of infidelity. Temptation is always here in the entertainment world but James said ,"I've worked with a lot of great-looking actresses, and I make it my business not to dislike any of them. I also make it my business not to fall in love with them either."
Their marriage wasn't perfect- whose is? Twice they went through a period of separation, but twice they reconciled.
"We’re both devoted to each other. We’ll be there for each other forever.” And they were.