Verna Garver – The Wife of Clint Walker

Verna Garver

Close up: Clint Walker and wife, Verna Garver, at table. Walker leans in and smiles at camera.

Verna Garver was an American actress and businesswoman who became best known as the wife of actor Clint Walker, her second husband. Together they had two children, Peter and Cathy, before their divorce in 1975. After her divorce she remained friends with Walker and became his manager, which eventually lead to them rekindling their romance and getting married again in 1985, this time for good. This guide will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the woman who married Clint Walker twice!

How they met

Everlasting love is still alive and well in the lives of Verna Garver and her now-ex husband, Clint Walker. I met him on a job. I was a dancer on a dance show and he was a TV star, said Verna. We were both married at the time. What’s more romantic than finding your true love while wearing heels? No one could have predicted their 12-year marriage would change not only their own lives but also the world through films such as I Walked with a Zombie, Island in the Sky, Yellowstone Kelly, All American Champs, and Fort Dobbs to name just a few.
Their break up may have been painfully public for them but for many people it seems to come down to two words: Freedom Or Marriage? In 1965 Verna Garver found herself fighting for her relationship with Clint Walker, who wanted an open marriage. She agreed that she should be allowed to date other men if she wanted so long as she told him about it. She went out that night and met Johnny Carson, whom she married six months later without telling Walker about it first! You can’t be happy living someone else’s life, she said in 1975 when discussing why she left acting (in favor of writing). That was my dream.

How they started dating

In 1955, Verna and Clint were introduced by a mutual friend. After dinner together, they began dating and within a month, decided to get married. Verna Garver started her life with Clint Walker on the set of Cheyenne. Together they had two daughters and at one point even adopted a son. As their family grew, so did the problems in their marriage. They divorced in 1975 after 23 years of marriage and 10 years after having children together. Verna Garver is still alive today and is 82-years-old as of December 31st 2017. She does not have any contact with her ex-husband Clint Walker.

How they got married

It was a movie set but the romance was not pretend. At the start of the movie Cheyenne, when star Clint Walker married Verna Garver, he wasn’t just playing a role. For two years before filming started, they were meeting in secret because his wife at the time wouldn’t grant him a divorce to marry Verna and was still expecting their fourth child together.
Now both vernas are gone, as he called her affectionately for 55 years until her death in 2003 and his in 2013 at 82 from pancreatic cancer. But those years can never be taken away from them or their families, and in that sense she feels married to him forever.

How they made it through his untimely death

After her husband’s untimely death in 2013, Verna Garver has been very open about coping with the loss. I had to find a way to make it through, she said. I couldn’t just sit there and cry.
Garver has written two books about her life, The Lady With the Alligator Purse: A Memoir (2004) and An Alligator Named Daisy (2005).

When she had her own TV show

In 1966, the Golden Globe Award-winning actress Verna Garver, who was then married to actor and cowboy star Clint Walker, had her own television show in which she played widowed mother Vern Adams.
The program was called Mrs. Adams and Son.
It aired on ABC-TV from September 30, 1966 to March 3, 1967.
In 1968 she won an Emmy for her performance in the Hallmark Hall of Fame episode The Littlest Angel.
She also appeared as Barbara Davis in a 1970 episode of Bonanza titled A Place to Come Home To. In 1973, Verna Garver received a Tony nomination for Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for her portrayal of Lorna Moon in George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan.

Where she is now

Although Verna Garver is no longer with us, she has left a legacy that will never be forgotten. She was married to the actor, Clint Walker and is best known for her role as Elly May Clampett on the CBS series The Beverly Hillbillies. However, her acting career did not last long. In 1965 she divorced Walker and retired from acting altogether.
In 1968, after being diagnosed with breast cancer she had a mastectomy. Verna battled breast cancer for many years before succumbing to it in 2000. Her son, John David Danner passed away in 1988 from complications related to leukemia at the age of 24. Despite such hardship, she remained strong throughout her life and lived every day as if it were her last.

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