There are few more beautiful Hollywood love stories than the forever love story enjoyed by James Garner and his wife, Lois Clarke Garner.
Garner, who died Sunday of natural causes at the age of 86, met Lois Fleishman Clarke at an “Adlai Stevenson for President” rally in 1956. They were married 14 days later on August 17, 1956, and would have celebrated 58 years of marriage in August.
“I met my wife and married her in two weeks. We went out every night for about 13 nights and then got married on the 14th,” said Garner in a 2005 People magazine interview. “I was just absolutely nuts about her. I spent $77 on our honeymoon, and it about broke me. We’re still at it. After 48 years we think that it’s going to work.”
Garner adopted his wife’s nine-year-old-daughter, Kimberly, after they were married. About a year later, James Garner’s only biological daughter, Gigi Garner, was born in Santa Monica, California.
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Like most marriages, the couple did go through difficult times, including a lengthy separation, which Garner explained in an interview with Rebecca Murray.
When Murray asked Garner if he and his wife ever argued like the characters in his hit movie, The Notebook, Garner said:
“My wife and I have never had any real loud arguments. I had a separation once, but it had nothing to do…Well, it had something to do with my wife, but not totally. It had to do with my health. It had to do with my work. It had to do with my children. It had to do with her. I said, ‘Honey, I just have to go get away from everyone or I’m going to crazy. If I do, I’ll blow the whole store.’ My wife was caring enough and all her girlfriends told her, ‘You’ve got to divorce this son of a bitch,’ and she didn’t. I went back and we’re still happily married,” said Garner.
Garner said he did leave, for nearly two years.
“I got a house out in the valley and for the first six or eight months, I didn’t do anything. I was just tired and worn out,” he recalled.
“Ryan Gosling said he didn’t believe in love at first sight and loving somebody that long, and I said, I’ve been married 47 years, and it seems to work,” Garner told PEOPLE. “I only knew my wife [Lois Clarke] two weeks before I married her. We’re both devoted to each other. We’ll be there for each other forever.”
Garner and his wife, Lois, were together until the end.
Image via YouTube