James Garner stars as Jim Rockford, a private investigator who lives and works from his trailer in Malibu, Los Angeles. Jim is an ex-con who had been imprisoned for five years in San Quentin for armed robbery – a crime which he did not commit and was later pardoned. Jim has a quarter page advertisement in the yellow pages, drives a tan Pontiac Firebird and has an answering machine, which plays at the beginning of every episode; "This is Jim Rockford, at the tone leave your name and message and I'll get back to you". A person then leaves a message – which usually has no relevance to the episode but is often humorous.
The series also stars Noah Beery Jr as Jim's father Joseph "Rocky" Rockford, a retired truck driver. Rocky offers words of wisdom, advice or even assistance in some episodes. Rocky frequently pressures his son to leave the PI business and take up safer, honest work, such as trucking. Jim also has a close friendship with Dennis Becker, played by Joe Santos. Dennis is a Los Angeles Police Sergeant, later promoted to Lieutenant. Jim uses Dennis get information, police computer checks and often makes him the hero of the case Jim was investigating.
Any time Jim is arrested in the first four seasons, he simply calls for his attorney Elizabeth "Beth" Davenport, played by Gretchen Corbett. Jim and Beth had a previous relationship, but remained friends until Beth went off to run her own private practice and later write legal fiction. In her absence Jim turns to John 'Coop' Cooper, played by Bo Hopkins in the fifth season. Coop is a disbarred attorney who specialises in legal research, and gets embroiled in three of Jim's cases. While Jim was in prison, he met Evelyn 'Angel' Martin, wonderfully portrayed by Stuart Margolin. So named because he was always praying the hard cases not to hit him; Angel is sneaky and is always up to something illegal - often involving Jim in his swindles. As part of his parole, he works for his brother-in-law who owns a LA Newspaper. Roy Huggins and Stephen J Cannell created The Rockford Files. The shows production team included Meta Rosenberg, Juanita Bartlett, Chas Floyd Johnson and David Chase, all of whom have had further successful series in later years.
First Telecast: September 13, 1974 Last Telecast: July 25, 1980
1 Pilot Movie +
123 Color Episodes
& 8 Made-for-TV Movies
NBC Broadcast History
September 1974 - May 1977; Friday 21:00
June 1977; Friday 20:30
July 1977 - January 1979; Friday 21:00
February - March 1979; Saturday 22:00
April - December 1979; Fridays 21:00
March - April 1980; Thursdays 22:00
June - July 1980; Fridays 21:00
(Top 25 or Better)
#12 in the 1974-1975 Season… Expand
- Genre(s): Drama, Action & Adventure
- Show Type: Ended
- Season 9 premiere date: Mar 27, 1974
- Episode Length: 60
- Air Time: 08:00 PM
- More Details and Credits »