James Garner Memorabilia from ‘Maverick,’ ‘Rockford Files’ Will Raise Money for Animal Rescue

by Suzanne Halliburton

The daughter of James Garner launched an animal rescue bearing her dad’s name to coincide with Father’s Day three years ago.

And now Gigi Garner is auctioning her father’s memorabilia and using the proceeds for this rescue non-profit, which she called the James Garner Animal Rescue Fund. She’s been promoting the auction on social media, using a precious photo of her father. In the snapshot, Garner has a big smile on his face as he hugs a cute silver poodle. He had dogs in his life from the time he was 11 and living in Oklahoma, until he died in 2014.

Gigi Garner posted on Twittter: “My purpose in life is to help animals. This is why I am selling all my father’s memorabilia on July 15th through Julien’s Auction. But I cannot do this alone so, please register to bid and help support my charity ;-)”

James Garner Rescued Dog That Turned Up Outside His Trailer in Desert

The poodle photo is one of several on the rescue’s official page. You can find photos of some of the dogs the star of Maverick and The Rockford Files loved throughout his life. His first was a rescue mutt named Ginger. Many of the family dogs were named after characters from Garner’s classic TV shows or movies.

“He rescued dogs and was a huge animal lover,” Gigi Garner told USA Today when she started the non-profit. “There wasn’t a dog or a baby that my dad did not want to meet. And I’ve been rescuing dogs for three decades. This seemed like a good fit to honor his legacy.”

James Garner, star of Maverick and Rockford Files, from 1968. (Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The back stories behind some of Garner’s pets are amazing. Back in the 1990s, when Garner was trying to quit smoking, he took a camper out to the desert to go cold turkey. An abandoned German Shepard showed up outside the trailer. Garner gave him a bath, fed him, and brought him home. He named him Nicky, which was short for nicotine.

After James Garner suffered a stroke and needed brain surgery, he had his three Australian Silky Terriers by his side. Their names — Beau, Bret, and Belle. (Note the Maverick names).

“It’s for any dog in need,” Gigi told USA Today. “It’s important to carry on with the work, and do it in my dad’s honor. I think he’d be proud.”

A Garner Watch Just Sold for $176,400

Now, about that auction. There are some beloved pieces in the auction mix. Sale date is July 15.

In addition, there was a Phillips watch auction earlier this month. The Hollywood Reporter noted that one of the items was a watch that Garner bought around the time he starred in Grand Prix. He also wore it in his everyday life and used it on The Rockford Files. The original price back for the Heuer Carrera watch in 1966 was $89.50. Pre-auction, it was valued at between $20,000 and $40,000. And it also has James Garner stamped on the dial. The TAG Heuer Museum was the winning bidder at $176,400. There were six Garner watches sold that day. Collectively, they brought in $223,020.

The items for next month are some cool collectibles. They include the costume Garner wore playing Bret Maverick in Maverick. There also are two black felt wool cowboy hats that Garner wore in the series.

For more information about the auction, click here and here.