James Garner

James Garner was born April 7, 1928, in Norman, Okla. He dropped out of high school and joined the Merchant Marines, then won a Purple Heart for his Korean War Service. When a friend cast him in the Broadway production of "The Caine Mutiny Court Martial," he got the acting bug.

Garner debuted on-screen in 1956's Toward the Unknown (his first of many soldier roles) and the next year was cast in the popular TV Western "Maverick." His easygoing style enlivened many a comedy and action film in the '60s and '70s -- among them The Great Escape, The Americanization of Emily, Grand Prix, Support Your Local Sheriff! and Skin Game -- and he had another TV success with "The Rockford Files."

Garner moved into character roles in the '80s, nabbing a Best Actor Oscar nomination for Murphy's Romance (1985). Other Garner appearances include Victor/Victoria, Maverick (feature version) and Space Cowboys.