It may come as a surprise to some that legendary Maverick star actor, James Garner, has a 10-foot-tall statue in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma.
Garner starred in several television series over more than five decades, including as Jim Rockford in the 1970s private detective show, The Rockford Files. However, his first big acting break came during his popular role as professional gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s Western series Maverick.
And after more than 50 years of success in the television and film industry, Garner’s hometown of Norman decided to cement him into Oklahoma history forever. They officially unveiled a huge, 10-foot statue in 2006 to honor the Western star.
One James Garner fan on Twitter even shared a close up of the statue on a trip to Oklahoma in 2013.
“James Garner statue in his birth town of Norman, OK off to James Garner Ave.,” she wrote.
James Garner Didn’t Think He Would be an Actor
77-years-old at the time of the statue presentation, James Garner was able to make it to his hometown for the celebration with his wife and two daughters.
It must have been a humbling experience to see the heroic-size bronze statue of himself as a young Bret Maverick. Garner even spoke to the hundreds of Oklahoma residents who had come out to support him. He says that he remained loyal to his home state even though he spent more than 50 years living in California.
Garner even recalled watching movies at the Sooner Theater in Norman as a young boy.
“That was the silver screen,” he said. “I thought it was far beyond my reach.”
And in addition to having his own statue built in his name, Garner also served as the grand marshal in the City of Norman’s 89er Day parade. Further, the town honored the legendary actor with a couple of other surprises. Before agreeing to build a statue of Garner, the Norman City Council also voted to change a street name to James Garner Avenue. And if that wasn’t enough, they moved forward in establishing a James Garner Corridor along a portion of Main Street.
Meanwhile, the Hollywood actor passed away on July 19, 2014, just eight years after watching his statue go up. He was 86 years old at the time of his death. Although he is no longer with us, James Garner will remain forever young in his hometown of Norman.
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