Veteran actor James Garner is giving $500,000 (GBP330,000) to help aspiring actors at America's UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA.

Oklahoma native Garner's gift will be used to endow a $1 million (GBP660,000) faculty chair in the university's School of Drama. The university will request matching funds from state regents to create the James Garner Chair in Drama, the drama school's first endowed position. The chair will be designated for the director of the school.

MURPHY'S ROMANCE star Garner, 74, got choked up as he spoke to the standing-room-only campus crowd that gathered for the announcement.

He said, "Oh, has somebody got a KLEENEX?

"Strangely enough, I have a fear of public speaking. I don't have it in front of a camera because I know I can always do it over."