Friday, June 3, 2011

Actor James Arness dies

James Arness, the towering actor best known for portraying Marshal Matt
Dillon, the strong and commanding symbol of frontier justice on the landmark
TV western series "Gunsmoke," died today. He was 88.

He served his country in the army during WWII at Anzio He was wounded in his
right leg and received the Purple Heart. He is best known for his role of
Marshal Matt Dillon in the TV series Gunsmoke. Gunsmoke ran from 1955-1975
and is still on the air today being discovered by many old and new fans
alike.

Over the 20 years of Gunsmoke he worked with 100's of actors, some of them
just starting out like Harrison Ford, Burt Reynolds, Charles Bronson, and
Betty Davis.

His acting debut was in a movie called The Farmer's Daughter opposite
Loretta Young. He worked for the John Wayne's film production company Batjac
and made movies with John Wayne including Islands in the Sky, Hondo, The Sea
Chase and Big Jim McLain.

The Thing which aired in 1951 is a sci-fi classic and Jim's 6'7" height made
the creature more believable.

He acted in many movies before he started Gunsmoke. Later he went on to do
the mini-series How the West Was Won and McLain's Law.

Jim will be deeply missed by his family and friends. In lieu of flowers the
family asks that donation be made to United Cerebral Palsy in Jim's name.

Jim is survived by his wife Janet, 2 sons and six Grandkids. The services
will be private for family only.

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