Oklahoman James Garner honored with SAG's lifetime achievement award

Sunday, February 6th 2005, 2:48 pm
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Oklahoma-native James Garner saw his career of more than 30 years in movies and television flash before his eyes tonight when he received the Screen Actors Guild's lifetime achievement award.

Garner, who remains a working actor at 76, plays the grandfather on the ABC sitcom ``8 Simple Rules'' and was SAG-nominated for his role in the movie ``The Notebook.''

He lost the supporting actor award to Morgan Freeman of ``Million Dollar Baby,'' who saluted Garner with a verse from the theme song of Garner's old TV show ``Maverick.''

Garner got his start in show business when a men's swimwear scout found the Norman, Oklahoma, native at Hollywood High. He was 16 and known by his real last name, Bumgarner.

After earning a Purple Heart in the Korean War, Garner landed a small part on Broadway in ``The Caine Mutiny Court Martial.'' That led to a contract with Warner Brothers, where he was cast in his first television and movie roles.

He is best known for playing wry detective Jim Rockford on the 1974-80 series ``The Rockford Files.'' He kept the character going in seven TV movies.