James Garner's Actor Brother Dies at 84

James Garner, left, with brother Jack on the Arizona set of the 1978 telefilm “The New Maverick."
James Garner, left, with brother Jack on the Arizona set of the 1978 telefilm “The New Maverick."
 

Jack Garner, an actor and the older brother of The Rockford Files star James Garner, died Sept. 13 in Rancho Mirage, Calif., after breaking his hip in a recent fall. He was 84.

A native of Norman, Okla., Jack Garner followed his brother to California in the 1960s and appeared in small roles on such TV series as The Green Hornet, The Doris Day Show, Daniel Boone, Medical Center, Gunsmoke, Nichols, James Garner’s Bret Maverick and Murder, She Wrote.

He also appeared in more than 60 episodes of NBC’s Rockford Files and returned to appear with his Emmy Award-winning brother in the series of Rockford telefilms that aired from 1996-99.

Jack Garner also had small roles in the films Wild Rovers (1971) and, opposite his brother, in Sunset (1988), Maverick (1994) and My Fellow Americans (1996).

The elder Garner played on the 1945 Oklahoma state championship basketball team for Norman High and was a pitcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for 11 years. He was a longtime golf pro who worked at the Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif., and taught Dan Ackroyd to swing for a scene in My Fellow Americans

In addition to James Garner, 83, survivors include ex-wife Betty Bumgarner, daughter Liz Bumgarner and son-in-law Don Dykstra.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Sept. 26 at Wiefels Mortuary in Palm Springs. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the First Tee organization in Palm Desert or to the Motion Picture & Television Fund Foundation in Los Angeles.

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