One of the few fictional private detectives that did not originate on paper is Jim Rockford played by James Garner. Resident of California, struggling detective, and former convict, Rockford was brought to the screen in 1974 and stayed on screen until the show, The Rockford Files, ended in 1980. The man is known for being a little bit of a womanizer, as over the course of the series, he was known for dating many different women. It was even stated he had an ex-wife, but never married again while onscreen.
His history is interesting. He was a Sergeant in the Korean War and after a few mishaps, was demoted to Private once again. Some of his cases that he solves as a private detective often involved old members of his unit during the war, and it often spells trouble and mishaps whenever he takes these cases on. He has been a private investigator since 1968, though this is never explicitly stated, just seen on an ad during a certain scene in an episode.
While he is a self proclaimed scaredy-cat, his actions and his mannerisms would argue this point. His prior conviction was a wrongful one, and after some time spent in prison, Rockford was pardoned after only serving five years. Because his business as a private investigator is not as lucrative as some would want it to be, he lives in a mobile home, and does not exactly have a lot of fancy odds and ends. He is famous for never carrying a gun on the job, and prefers to stay out of fights.
The cases that he would work on were mostly cold cases or some low budget insurance scam crimes. He also will work on missing person’s investigations, but tries to maintain a low profile and not deal with the police officers very often. As a standard for many detectives in the late 1970s and 1980s, he made himself famous for his cool head and likes to work alone.
Many television detectives have come to the screen thanks to Jim Rockford. There are many shows that have used him as some inspiration and have been able to create their own investigators from him. Jim Rockford was always played by the late, great James Garner, and he brought all of the characteristics from the paper, to the big screen. The show is on syndication and continues to garner many fans from all generations.