Lois Clarke was the wife of late American actor, James Garner. The couple of Lois and James Garner was easily one of the most beloved couples around. They were married for several decades, making their relationship one of the longest in showbiz.
Although James is not among us at the moment, his contribution to the entertainment industry still remains. He was famous for his roles in The Rockford Files and Maverick. Moreover, he was also the recipient of numerous awards.
Besides, there are many untold details about James’s wife Lois. We’re all dying to know how did one of the longest relationships survive the test of time, how many kids did they share? Well, let’s find out!
Lois Clarke Wiki-Bio: What do We Know About Her Early Life?
Clarke was born Lois J Clarke on July 6. 1923, in Los Angeles, California. Soon after her birth, her parents brought her up in the Los Angeles area. Information on her parents or siblings is pretty scarce.
Lois belonged to a Jewish household and had English and Irish origins. She was of Caucasian ethnicity and had American nationality. Clarke finished higher education at a local school in the Los Angeles area.
Lois Married James Garner a Couple of Days After Meeting
It was in July of 1956 when Lois and James first came across each other. Initially, the duo met while attending a mutual friend’s poolside barbecue, however, love didn’t spark between them at the time.
A couple of days after their first meeting, they met yet again. This time they bumped into each other while attending a rally for the 1956 Democratic presidential nomination of Adlai Stevenson. Seeing that Lois was without a date, James decided to take his chance and asked her out. And of course, Lois also accepted his proposal.
Since that night, the couple went out for the next two weeks before eventually deciding to tie the knot.
When and Where did Lois Clarke Marry James?
One would think that the secret to a long-lasting relationship is understanding each other before jumping into the marriage scene. Well, this pair proved everyone wrong. After going out for a mere two weeks they took the big step and got married.
They exchanged vows on August 17th, 1956, in a private ceremony. The nuptials took place in the Beverly Hills courthouse. This was the first marriage for both of them, although they had dated a couple of people before.
Lois and James had Some Challenges Leading up to Their Marriage
Around the time when the couple started dating, society wasn’t welcoming of intercaste marriages. Similarly, both Lois and James had to endure such a problem. While he came from a methodist background, his girlfriend was Jewish. He was an Oklahoman and she was a Los Angeleno.
Although their religious background was different, Lois and James never really cared for it. In his memoir, The Garner Files, James wrote, “Neither of us was ever what you would call religious, so it wasn’t an issue, at least not for Lois and me.”
Despite all the challenges, the pair could care less about anything other than their own happiness. He also said in his memoir, “None of the naysayers had stopped to consider that Lois and I complemented each other. What they saw as weaknesses, we saw as strengths.”
From his statement, one thing is for certain, the pair was quite confident when it comes to their relationship. And we all know how their stance turned out in the end.
James was Quite Protective of His Wife
When you fall in love deeply with a person, you somehow become possessive of them, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all, you don’t want anyone trying to ruin your life.
One time, when Garner was going to an event with his wife, Lois, a renowned actor tried flirting with Lois. The actor was one-time Oscar winner Lee Marvin. In his memoir, Garner revealed how furious he was.
“One night in a limousine on our way to some function, he made moves on my wife. That’s a little more than I can handle and I almost decked him.”
You can tell by his anger that he was really protective of his spouse, Lois.
Lois Separated from James a Couple of Times
Every great thing we see has some kind of struggle attached to it. Likewise, one of Hollywood’s longest-staying couples once faced a bad phase. At one point, their relationship wasn’t able to stand tall as we all know, and was on the verge of breaking.
Back in the early 1970s, James and Lois decided to go their separate ways. Nevertheless, they got back together after three months. A longer separation came for the duo in the same decades.
In the late 1970s, Garner was busy shooting for The Rockford Files. Although the TV series brought him an immense amount of fame, it did come with a cost. The busy schedule took its toll on his private life and before he knew it, his relationship was deteriorating.
Eventually, their relationship succumbed to the problem and they decided to separate. The lovebirds were separated for around 18 months before reconciling. In his memoir, James mentioned how many people asked his wife Lois to divorce him but she wanted to stay strong. Thankfully everything worked out in the end.
Lois Clarke Was a Mother of Two Daughters
From their beautiful relationship, Lois and James became a parent of two kids. When James married Lois, he also welcomed her daughter, Kim, from her previous marriage. At the time of their marriage, Kim was already seven years old and recovering from Polio. The pair welcomed their only biological child, a daughter named Greta ‘Gigi‘ Garner, in January 1958.
Both of their daughters shared an impeccable bond with their mom and dad. During his childhood, James was raised by an abusive stepmother who used to beat him. Having gone through a traumatic childhood, he made sure to give his two daughters the proper childhood they rightfully deserve.
Lois’ Husband James Passed Away in 2014
After sharing a blissful conjugal life of half a century, James died at the age of 86. The reason behind his death was said to be natural causes. At his deathbed, the handsome actor was surrounded by family members in his Los Angeles residence.
Ever since his death, Lois has been staying low-key. She is yet to make any public appearance.
What is Lois Clarke Doing Now? Is She Still Alive?
Well, Lois Clarke passed away at the age of 98 in October 2021. Her daughter with her late husband, James Garner, Gigi Garner took to her Twitter on October 29th announcing her mother’s death. She shared a black-and-white photo of her mother and father and wrote “Please excuse my absence but, my mother Lois Garner, born July 6, 1923, has passed” in the caption. However, the exact date of Lois Clarke’s demise is not revealed.
Please excuse my absence but, my mother Lois Garner, born July 6, 1923, has passed. pic.twitter.com/X3757hE9rB
— Gigi & James Garner (@MavrocksGirl) October 30, 2021
Lois died almost seven years after her husband James passed away.
Lois Clarke Net Worth at the Time of Her Death
At the time of his death, Lois’s husband James had a net worth of $20 million. In addition to that, he also had a few properties across the country. It can be said that after his demise, all of his wealth was passed down to his widow, Lois.