The Rockford Files : Synopsis, Pictures, Photos, Trivia, Filming Locations

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The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files Dates : 1974 - 1980
123 episodes of 50 min
First broadcasting : 15 Janvier 1989
Creator(s) : Roy Huggins et Stephen J. Cannell
Producer(s) : Juanita Bartlett, David Chase, Chas Floyd Johnson,Lane Slate
Music : Mike Post & Pete Carpenter
Web surfers's rate : 7/10 for 10 rates - Rate

French Traduire


Series about an ex-con turned private investigator named Jim Rockford who would rather run away than fight and would rather go fishing than work. He isn't a coward, and he isn't lazy--just a bit on the cautious side, that's all. And he bears a very strong resemblance to Western TV hero Bret Maverick. Rockford is sometimes aided (and sometimes deterred) in his cases by friends Dennis Becker (a police detective), Angel (his cowardly former cellmate) and pretty Beth Davenport (his lawyer).

The Actors

James Garner - Jim Rockford

James Garner

(Jim Rockford)

Noah Beery Jr - Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford

Noah Beery Jr

(Joseph 'Rocky' Rockford)

Joe Santos - Sergent Dennis Becker

Joe Santos

(Sergent Dennis Becker)


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James Garner's name in "The Rockford Files" was James Scott Rockford. Garner's full name in real life is James Scott (Bum)Garner

The show debuted on NBC on Sept. 13, 1974, Friday the 13th.

The character of Rockford was originally written in an unproduced script for the ABC series "Toma" (1973). That script was rewritten as the pilot for the "Rockford Files." Both ABC (who initially rejected the script for "Toma") and NBC had problems with the "Rockford" scripts. Executives at both networks thought the dramatic series scripts were too funny. The writers were always ordered to take out the funny lines. The writers and eventually the star refused.

Many first season stories were credited to "John Thomas James": that was a pen name for Roy Huggins. The name comes from the first names of Huggins' three sons.

Three cast members from the series _"Magnum P.I"(1980)_ , Tom Selleck, Roger E. Mosley and Larry Manetti all did guest spots on "Rockford Files." An episode of "Magnum" features a discussion of a "Rockford Files" episode.

David Chase, a writer/producer for "Rockford," went on to create "The Sopranos" (1999)." An episode from "The Sopranos" (1999) first season shows a scene in a retirement home where the inhabitants are watching television. We can't see what they are watching but we can hear the theme to "Rockford" playing clearly.

The character of Rockford's father was named Joseph; he was named after writer Stephen J. Cannell's father. The name of Rockford was used after Cannell found the name listed in the Universal Studios employee directory.

The show was a co-production between the production companies of Roy Huggins and James Garner and Universal. Garner sued Universal claiming he was not being paid his share of the syndication profits. After several years of litigation, Universal settled with Garner. Exact terms are not known.

James Garner explained in an interview that Jim Rockford's license plate number, 853-OKG, was created by his agent at the start of the show and stands for August, 1953, when Garner got his first acting job, and OKG which stands for Oklahoma Garner, his home state.

The character of Richie Brockelman (played by Dennis Dugan) first appeared on this series. That appearance lead to the short lived series "Richie Brockelman, Private Eye" (1978).

Angel's brother-in-law Aaron Kiel was the publisher of the newspaper Angel worked for. Aaron later became deputy police chief.

Besides detectives Richie Brockleman and Lance White, other recurring characters on the show were reformed prostitute Rita Kapkovic (played by Rita Moreno), disbarred lawyer John "Coop" Cooper (played by Bo Hopkins), Jim's ex-cellmate Gandolph "Gandy" Fitch (played by Isaac Hayes) and parole officer turned private investigator Marcus "Gabby" Hayes (played by 'Louis Gossett' ).

Jim was a Korean War veteran.

There were plans to spin the characters of Gandolph "Gandy" Fitch and Marcus "Gabby" Hayes off onto their own series, but they never came to fruition.

Gandy's nickname for Jim was "Rockfish".

Even though Jim didn't have a permit to carry a gun, he did have one that he kept either in the cookie jar or in the coffee canister in his kitchen. "The coffee keeps it from rusting."

James Garner became ill during the final season and was forced to quit the show with ten episodes left to film.

In episode 4.19, "The Competitive Edge", a mental patient who thinks he's Doc Holliday ('George Murdock' ) calls Rockford "Wyatt". James Garner played Wyatt Earp in Hour of the Gun (1967) and in _Sunset (1988)_.

Rob Reiner guest starred in an episode as a washed-up football quarterback. To seperate himself from his "All in the Family" (1971) character, Reiner played this part without his hairpiece.

The character Joseph "Rocky" Rockford was ranked #45 in TV Guide's list of the "50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time" (20 June 2004 issue).

Before becoming a regular as Lt. Doug Chapman in the fall of 1976, James Luisi made guest appearances during the first two seasons, usually as a criminal or other antagonist of Rockford.

Jim's favorite food was tacos. In fact, in many episodes he could be seen having them for breakfast.

When the show was being developed, actor Robert Blake was considered for the lead. He was cast instead in "Baretta" (1975), also created by Stephen J. Cannell.


Filming locations:

Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, California, USA

City Hall - 200 N. Spring St., Downtown, Los Angeles, California, USA

Los Angeles, California, USA

Paradise Cove, California, USA

Universal Studios, Universal City, California, USA

Authors of the card

  • Creation date: 2003/07/01 by abdest

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