Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

There is no right answer for the perfect amount of time to date or fall in love.

People argue about couples moving too slowly or too quickly all the time – but James Garner and Lois Clarke chose to ignore the many strong opinions of others.

And for that, they received a very special love story…

The two met at a mutual friend’s barbecue and agreed on a dinner date in the same night.

In James’s 2012 memoir, he wrote:

“I fell in love for the first and last time on August 1, 1956, at an Adlai Stevenson for President barbeque. That’s where I met Lois Clarke. It was love at first sight. The thunderbolt. She was as beautiful as she was sweet…”

It’s not often a couple this long-lasting can claim it was love at first sight!

The two dated for two weeks before deciding to marry in Beverly Hills on August 17, 1956.

This was a controversial choice to many, from the public to the couple’s families. There were many things to consider in how different the two were, added to the fact that they went down the aisle so quickly after meeting.

James was from Oklahoma, and Lois was from Los Angeles, for one thing. He was a methodist while she was Jewish. This was James’ second marriage.

They held a large height difference, he was a dreamer, whereas she was a realist, and he held a love for the outdoors while she preferred staying inside whenever possible.

James explained, “None of the naysayers had stopped to consider that Lois and I complemented each other. What they saw as weaknesses, we saw as strengths.”

The two had a daughter that they named Gigi, and James also eventually adopted Lois’s first child, Kim, as well.

While largely off to a happy start, the couple was still realistic in that they have had troubles at various times. In fact, they even separated for a few months in 1970.

Rumors abounded about James having some kind of relationship with a guest star on The Rockford’s show. He has always denied these claims and explained that there were other things at play in their relationship:

“Lois and I were never in serious trouble. Ninety-nine percent of the problem was the pressures of Rockford. It wasn’t us, it was me needing to get away to get my head together.”

The couple stayed married for an impressive 60 years until James died of natural causes at the age of 86.

This star-studded couple clearly found their soulmate early in life. We find their whirlwind romance inspiring!