A Beautiful Brush With James Garner

In 1966, my husband Bill Siddons was hitchhiking in Hollywood, with a gas can, since he’d run out. A car comes zooooming past, screeches to a halt, backs up and picks him up. It’s James Garner (be still my heart). Bill, always a speedy driver, says, “Nice driving!” James says, “Thanks. I just finished making this movie, ‘Grand Prix’, and they really taught us how to drive. I’m lovin’ it”. Years later James was eating at Musso & Frank’s in Hollywood. Bill walked by the table, deciding not to disturb him.  James looked up and said, “You have gas in the car?” What a great guy.







The “Jim” Bill is referring to in the photo is Jim Morrison, not Garner. (Lynn Krieger, Bill, and Robby Krieger, on the road with The Doors, 1970.)


  1. What a wonderful story EB. After all these years my friend, I can also attest to knowing a "great guy" in Hollywood.

  2. Elaine, just wanted to say…always been a fan, glad to see you on Fb, and thanks for sharing this story, it made me smile, even though I am still mourning the worlds loss of James Garner.

  3. My father had a great story about being picked up hitchhiking in L.A. in the 30's by Clark Gable….I loved James Garner – a very real person in a town when many aren't…

  4. James Garner was always a favorite actor of mine, and such a great human being. Loved reading his autobiography! Elayne, I can't believe I finally found you – would've helped if I had been spelling your name correctly! 🙁
    You are the only comedienne who had/has me laughing all the time!

  5. My sister told me you were performing again…can it be? You just don't know how many times I quote your jokes to friends. Recorded your HBO special AGES ago and played so many times. Also have your tape. Just signed to get your schedule…I WILL be in your audience someday! So appreciate you and your comedy.

  6. Hi Elayne,
    Looking forward to seeing you at The Club, Treasure Island in October. When I was a kid, James would come to Champions Golf Club in Houston to play golf with Don Cherry and Jimmy Demaret….I was James Garner's caddy on more than one occasion. He remembered my name each time I carried for him. At that time it was The Rockford Files…and he was a huge star….but never too big to remember people…even a 14 year old kid.

  7. I saw you on stage in the midwest and later saw Seinfeld in Houston. I always thought you tall and Jerry short. Your mouth rose you as his shrank him…both great shows…I write com cheap