‘Gunsmoke’ star James Arness passes away

‘Gunsmoke’ star James Arness passes away

Brentwood : NY : USA | Jun 03, 2011 at 1:39 PM PDT
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Gunsmoke in The Last Apache

The famous star of one of the longest running television series ‘Gunsmoke’, James Arness passes away today

It is a sad day for all of James Arness’s fans, as the legendary actor passed away today at the age of 88-years. James Arness was known best for his role as a Law Enforcement Officer by the name of Matt Dillon in the ever famous ‘Gunsmoke’. ‘Gunsmoke’ has been one of television’s longest running TV shows that lasted for almost two decades. In the series, Matt Dillon protected the Dodge City from all the wrong-doers and delinquents.

According to James Arness’s business manager, the actor died on Friday in his home at Brentwood, California. He died in his sleep and the cause of his death has not been ascertained as yet.

James Arness made his acting debut in 1947 with the movie ‘The Farmer’s Daughter’ in which he starred opposite Loretta Young. Apart from that James Arness also played the character, Matt Dillon, in five of the ‘Gunsmoke’ movies especially made for the television from 1975 to 1994.

James Arness even left a letter which he wanted to be made public after his death, and which has now been posted on his website. The letter reads as follows; "I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends. I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for the many years of being a fan of Gunsmoke, The Thing, How the West Was Won and all the other fun projects I was lucky enough to have been allowed to be a part of. I had the privilege of working with so many great actors over the years."

Apart from ‘Gunsmoke’, James Arness has acted in several other movies including; ‘Hondo and Big Jim McLain’, ‘The Thing From Another World’, ‘Cavalry Scout’, ‘Horizon’s West’, ‘The Sea Chase’, ‘Arizona Mission’ and ‘Gun the Man Down’ amongst many others.

James Arness was a World War II veteran from Minnesota who also received a Purple Heart for his services. Arness had a very charismatic personality on screen and the camera loved his face.

James Arness’s personal life was marred with tragedy. His former wife and daughter died from drug over-dose but he later re-married. He is now survived by his wife Janet, two sons, and six grandchildren.

We offer our condolence to the family and friends of James Arness.

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James Arness ("Matt Dillon")
James Arness ("Matt Dillon")
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News Stories

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      USA Today
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