‘Maverick’ Star James Garner Once Detailed His Confidence Issues with Women: ‘I Just Melt’

by Quentin Blount

A 1981 interview with Maverick star, James Garner, revealed a number of interesting details about the Western actor. Perhaps one of the most surprising details is that the handsome Hollywood star was “scared” when it came to getting romantically involved.

Garner, of course, was no stranger to the big stage and the bright lights. In fact, he spent over 50 years of his life starring in several television series such as Maverick and The Rockford Files. He also played leading roles in more than 50 theatrical films.

But despite being one of the most popular actors of his time, James Garner admitted that he would “just melt” around certain women. Panorama Magazine asked Garner about his confidence issues in their 1981 sit-down. Specifically, they asked the star if he was “frightened” when it came to romance.

“Not frightened. Scared,” Garner replied. “I don’t know why. I’ve known women I just melt around.”

It’s somewhat reassuring to know that even one of the biggest stars in all of Hollywood could still get nervous around women. During the interview, Garner is vulnerable, and opens up about what made him so anxious while interacting with women.

“I can’t talk,” Garner explained. “I’m afraid I might do something or say something wrong, that they’ll dislike me. So I don’t do anything. It’s my own fear. It’s within me. I’m not afraid of them. I’m afraid of me.”

Safe to say we would have never known this about James Garner if he would have kept it to himself. After all, it’s hard to get that impression from watching him play professional gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s Western series.

James Garner Was Married for Nearly 60 Years

However, despite admitting to having confidence issues around the ladies, James Garner was married to his wife, Lois Clarke, for 58 years. So it seems like the cowboy icon was definitely doing something right.

In typical James Garner fashion, the love story between him and Lois sounds like something out of the movies. Having initially met at a Democratic presidential rally in 1956, the two didn’t waste any time tying the knot.

The couple spent every night together for two weeks following the rally. And shortly after that, they decided to get married at a Beverly Hills courthouse. It was love at first sight.

Garner and Clarke eventually had a daughter together named Gigi Garner.

For more on the Maverick star, James Garner, and other Western stars, be sure to follow along here on Outsider.