James Garner Once Attended a Beer Festival With His ‘Great Escape’ Co-Stars

by Matthew Memrick

Legendary actor James Garner made a great escape to a beer festival with some “Great Escape” co-stars in recently discovered photos.

The late actor’s estate put out 50-year-old photos from Garner’s time at Oktoberfest with former co-star Charles Bronson. Both men, who starred in the film, were seen throwing down traditional tankards at the Bavarian beer festival along with other friends.

The actor reportedly developed his “Great Escape” character named “Scrounger” from his personal military experiences. According to IMDb, he worked as a scrounger for his company during the Korean War.

The photos, part of Garner’s archive, are expected to get $500,000 in a June auction.

Garner’s ‘Great Escape’ Film From 1963

Several movie photos will be part of the auction. Garner played Flight Lieutenant Robert Hendley in the film about Allied prisoners of war attempting to escape a Nazi POW camp. 

In one photo, Garner is reading a book about the Third Reich. Another famous one included Steve McQueen and James Cobern on a motorbike with Garner’s signature. Other pics show Garner playing musical instruments with McQueen and Garner conducting an orchestra.

A signed “Great Escape” movie poster is also in the mix.

Garner went on to play several notable roles in TV shows like “The Rockford Files” and “The Notebook” before he died in 2014. His estate is hopeful that fans will want some of the late actor’s photographic memories.

Other Garner Finds Could Be Yours

The Garner estate made a wealth of items available for the auction. One thing includes Garner’s Bret Maverick costume for the TV show from 1957 to 1962. The suit, valued at over $20,000, consists of a black wool coat, a white cotton shirt with ruffles down the front, a beige silk vest, a dark blue silk string tie, and a pair of gray wool trousers. 

Two black felt wool cowboy hats from the show could take in over $4,000 each. Other show items include a pendant.

Another auction item includes Garner’s 1993 ‘Best Actor’ Golden Globe award. The man won it for his role in “Barbarians at The Gate.” The auction sets it at $5,300. 

Items from Garner’s racing past are also in the lot. A customized racing helmet will start at $2,600. There’s also a blue “Jim Garner Goodyear” jacket on the auction block starting at $400.

“This special auction presentation offers some of the most cherished professional and personal items from James Garner, one of Hollywood’s acting greats,” Julien’s Auctions executive director Martin Nolan said.

Past Auction Included Famous Car

Want the actor’s famous golden Pontiac Firebird? You’re too late

Fox News reported a past 2019 auction involving the late actor’s 1978 car. That car, used on Garner’s “Rockford Files” show, sold for $105,000 that year.

The Sierra Gold coupe was one of three identical cars that the production company acquired for the show. It sold for $40,000 in 2015.