Mariette Hartley is not now nor was she ever married to fellow actor James Garner. And to clear up any confusion on the matter, she used to wear a T-shirt that said, “I am not James Garner's wife!”
The two starred in a massively successful ad campaign for Polaroid in which they bantered back and forth in a lighthearted battle of the sexes. More than 300 commercials aired in the '70s and '80s, winning three of advertising's Clio Awards and making viewers believe in their nonexistent coupledom.
Hartley later said she considered turning down the ads because she'd already done dozens of commercials by that time, but reconsidered to be practical.
Hartley landed her first movie role before she was old enough to drive a car, appearing in Sam Peckinpah's classic western “Ride the High Country” in 1962. The stage-trained actress became best known, though, for her series television and movie of the week roles. Even though she has said she loved films, she believed she had “little-screen karma,” which led to years of work on such classic TV series as “Peyton Place,” “Death Valley Days” and “My Three Sons” up to current shows like “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Grey's Anatomy” and “Cold Case.”
Hartley, who won an Emmy in 1978 for outstanding lead actress in “The Incredible Hulk,” wrote a bestselling autobiography in 1990 called “Breaking the Silence.” In it, she detailed her father's suicide and the depression and alcoholism in her family. She has been a longtime volunteer, spokesperson and fundraiser for suicide prevention efforts.