Lois Clarke became famous as the wife of American actor, producer, and voice actor, James Garner. Their union stood the taste of the time, even though it wasn’t without hitches. They were forced to separate twice during their many years together before they finally came together for one final time.
The marriage lasted until Garner drew his last breathe on earth in July 2014, less than a month to the couple’s 58th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, Lois Josephine Fleischman Clarke passed away in October 2021.
Born on July 6, 1923, Lois Josephin Garner was brought up by her parents Samuel Hillis Fleischman and Sarah Doltz in Los Angeles, California. She was brought up alongside a sister, Joyce. Here’s all to know about her union with James:
Every Fact To Know About Lois Clarke
1. She met Garner in 1956
Clarke and Garner’s love story began at Adlai Stevenson’s Democratic Presidential candidate party rally in 1956. The pair ran into each other a day earlier at a barbecue party organized by a friend. As fate would have it, both of them came to the even without a date.
Interestingly, that was not the first time that the actor set his eyes on her; he first saw her a few days earlier and he was instantly smitten by her good looks. Hence, meeting her for a second time seemed ordained for him. That same night, they went on a dinner date, and they became inseparable.
2. They dated for only two weeks
Every single night since they met, the actor and his new girlfriend, at the time, went out on a date and on the 14th day, they decided they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. Immediately after that, they walked down the aisle on 17th August 1956 in Beverly Hills courthouse, Los Angeles, California.
3. Her Husband’s Family Was Against Their marriage
Her husband’s family was against the pair getting married because of their differences. Garner was a Methodist, while Clarke was Jewish. The actor stated in his 2012 memoir, The Garner Files that since he and his wife were not religious, the thing was not a problem for them. More so, what many saw as a weakness turned to be a strength to them.
4. It was the second marriage for Clarke
Although the marriage between the beautiful Louis and The Rockford Files actor was the first for James, it wasn’t the same for Loius. It is no secret that prior to meeting him, she was already married to a man known as Keith Clarke. In fact, she had a daughter whose name is Kimberly from her first marriage before it came to an end. Kim was already 7 years old when her mother met and got married to Garner.
5. The couple were parents to two children
The almost six-decade marriage of one of the most favorite couples of Hollywood at a time was blessed with a daughter, Greta, who became well known as Gigi. She was born on January 4, 1958. Although Greta Garner was their only child together, they also parented Kimberly Garner together as the actor decided to aslo adopt her as his daughter.
Greta has since taken a career in the entertainment space as she is an accomplished author, songwriter, and philanthropist. She is also a film producer.
6. They got separated twice in their many years together
In the course of Clark’s marriage to Garner, the couple separated twice. They lived separately for three months in 1970. It happened again in 1979, but this time it lasted for a year and a half (18 months). And started living together in 1981.
Stories emanated at the time that Garner was involved in an illicit relationship with his fellow co-star Lauren Bacall. However, he denied the speculations to be true. He further stated that he and Clarke are not having any issues relating to their marriage.
However, he attributed the problems to The Rockford Files, the movie he was shooting at the time. Consequently, he sued MAC/Universal for cheating him out of their profits on the movie, although he owned 37.5 percent of the movie.
7. She Gave Up Her Celebrity Aspirations
When Garner and Clarke’s marriage went through difficult times and survived, he showered praises on her for not leaving. He further stated that she shelved the idea of wanting to be a celebrity after realizing that life wasn’t for her.
8. Her Husband Died of Natural Courses
Garner died at home in Brentwood, Los Angeles on 14th July 2014 at the age of 86. He had suffered a heart attack triggered by coronary artery disease.
His health became worst since his stroke in 2008, after undergoing knee replacement surgery for both knees in 2000. Initially, in 1988, the actor had quintuple bypass heart surgery and recovered quickly. He was advised to quit smoking, but he never stopped until 17 years later.
When he died, his long-time friends and colleagues Tom Selleck and Clint Eastwood mirrored on their times together, expressing their feelings of sadness over his demise.
9. Garner Served In the US Army
Clarke’s husband was a war veteran. He was enlisted into the United States Army during the Korean War. He received 2 Purple Hearts after sustaining two injuries on the battleground.
Furthermore, he was the first man from Oklahoma to be conscripted at the time.
10. Her Husband Did Cocaine In the 80s
One of Garner’s shocking revelations in his 2012 memoir The Garner Files was the cocaine he said he did in the 80s, but he never liked it. However, he smoked marijuana for 50 years. He realized it eases his arthritis. After many years of research, he came to the conclusion that marijuana should be legalized and alcohol banned.