James Garner was pleased to find out that aspiring actress Lois Clarke had also attended the rally for Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson in 1956 without a date.
They had first spoken to one another a few days earlier at a barbecue hosted by a friend, when they were both hanging out in the pool. “Love at first sight,” as Garner put it.
“I was absolutely head over heels in love with this girl, she was very gorgeous.” He did not waste any time and asked her to dinner that night, as well as each night for the following two weeks, building up to the day when they was married in the Beverly Hills courts on August 17, 1956.
His family was against the marriage, citing the age gap between them as their primary reason. “Not one of the naysayers had taken into account how perfectly Lois and I complemented one another. “We discovered advantages in things that others considered to be deficiencies.”
They were married for 57 years when Garner passed away in 2014.
Clarke had the ambition to become an actress when she was younger; but, after a few years, she recognized that the spotlight was not for her.
According to a cover story that appeared in one of the magazines in 1985, Garner said that she wanted “none of her husband’s public life.”
The author Jane Hall described their previous residence in Brentwood, California, as a “iron-gated mansion that…offers a panorama from every room, yet the world is sealed outside.”