James Garner portrayed a slew of memorable characters in his almost 60-year career, but his most treasured role was that of husband, and his 57-year marriage to Lois Clarke remains one of Hollywood's sweetest love stories.
RADAR has unearthed a long-lost audio clip in which a besotted James can be heard pouring out his heart as he expresses his devotion to Lois.
A chance meeting at a friend's home in 1956 set the stage for "The Rockford Files" star to meet the woman who would change his life forever.
"I just flipped out over this girl. She was gorgeous!" James recalls in the forgotten recording. "The night of the party at this friend's place, I had gone alone and she had gone alone. I asked her to dinner. We went to dinner that night, and we went out every night for the next two weeks."
Each evening was more magical than the last, and after a whirlwind, 14-day courtship, the two were wed.
James, who was 71 at the time of the recording, already had more than 40 blissful years of marriage to look back on, but their lifelong union was not without its challenges.
During his career, charismatic James was surrounded by the most stunning actresses in Hollywood, but like a true maverick, he never stepped out on his one and only.
James did confess that sparks flew between himself and Doris Day during the filming of "The Thrill of It All" (1963), but he stayed loyal to his bride.
"If I had not been married I would have tried to carry forward after hours," admits James.
Lois had to withstand the Hollywood rumor mill but remained unfazed and a steadfast defender of her spouse. A proud James remarks, "She's tough. She's very tough."
While the pair did take a break from 1979 until 1981, their beautiful bond endured. James and Lois remained together until the end, when he passed at age 86 in 2014.
During the course of their marriage, James adopted Lois' first daughter, Kimberly, who suffered from polio. They also had a daughter together, whom they named Greta.
It wasn't just a doting James that made their legendary love work. He admits in the discovered clip that he was Lois' world: "She takes care of me. My life is so good because she sees that I'm comfortable and I have what I need. That's her job, that's her life."
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