James Arness

Actor, Advertising man, Real estate agent
Arguably one of the most famous television performers of the 1950s through the 1970s, James Arness played the law-abiding Marshal Matt Dillon on "Gunsmoke" (CBS, 1955-1975), the longest-running drama in television ... Read more »
Born: 05/25/1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Filmography

Actor (37)

Pioneers of Television 2011 (Tv Show)

Interviewee

John Wayne Standing Tall 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Red River 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

McClain's Law 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

How the West Was Won 1976 - 1979 (TV Show)

Actor

A Salute to Television's 25th Anniversary 1972 - 1973 (TV Show)

Actor

The Red Skelton Chevy Special 1959 - 1960 (TV Show)

Actor

Alias Jesse James 1958 (Movie)

Matt Dillon (Actor)

Flame of the Islands 1956 (Movie)

Kelly Rand (Actor)

Front Row Center 1954 - 1956 (TV Show)

Actor

Gun the Man Down 1956 (Movie)

(Actor)

The First Traveling Saleslady 1956 (Movie)

Joel Kingdom (Actor)

Many Rivers to Cross 1955 (Movie)

Esau Hamilton (Actor)

The Sea Chase 1955 (Movie)

Schlieter (Actor)

Her Twelve Men 1954 (Movie)

Ralph Munsey (Actor)

Them 1954 (Movie)

Robert Graham (Actor)

Hondo 1953 (Movie)

(Actor)

Island in the Sky 1953 (Movie)

McMullen (Actor)

Horizons West 1952 (Movie)

(Actor)

Big Jim McLain 1951 (Movie)

(Actor)

The Thing 1951 (Movie)

The Thing (Actor)

Wagonmaster 1950 (Movie)

Floyd Clegg (Actor)

Carbine Williams (Movie)

Leon Williams (Actor)

Gunsmoke (TV Show)

Actor

Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice (TV Show)

Actor

Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (TV Show)

Actor

Gunsmoke: The Last Apache (TV Show)

Actor

Gunsmoke: The Long Ride (TV Show)

Actor

Gunsmoke: To the Last Man (TV Show)

Actor

Roses Are Red (Movie)

Ray (Actor)

Stars in My Crown (Movie)

(Actor)

The Farmer's Daughter (Movie)

Peter Holstrom (Actor)

The Girl in White (Movie)

Matt (Actor)

The Lone Hand (Movie)

Gus Varden (Actor)

The Macahans (TV Show)

Actor

The Veils of Bagdad (Movie)

Targut (Actor)

Biography

Arguably one of the most famous television performers of the 1950s through the 1970s, James Arness played the law-abiding Marshal Matt Dillon on "Gunsmoke" (CBS, 1955-1975), the longest-running drama in television history. Prior to the show's launch, Arness was a World War II hero-turned-actor who struggled to find substantive roles, largely due to his towering height; the best of these was as the title monster in "The Thing from Another World" (1951). John Wayne took an interest in Arness and helped him to land the role on "Gunsmoke," which would dominate the majority of his career for 20 years. After its cancellation, the actor appeared in several subsequent Western-themed series, but returned to Dodge City as Dillon for a string of reunion TV movies in the early 1990s. The enduring popularity of "Gunsmoke" in reruns assured Arness that he would continue to ride the range in viewers' imaginations forever.

Relationships

Rolf C Aurness

Father

Ruth Aurness

Mother

Jenny Aurness

Daughter
Born May 23, 1950 mother, Virginia Chapman died of a drug overdose in 1975

Craig Aurness

Son
Chapman's son from her first marriage, was adopted by Arness died in 2004

Rolf Aurness

Son
Born February 18, 1952 mother, Virginia Chapman

Virginia Chapman

Wife
died in 1976 of a drug overdose

Peter Graves Actor

Brother
Best known for starring in the TV series "Mission Impossible"

Janet Surtrees

Wife
Married from 1978 until his death in 2011

EDUCATION

Beloit College

Beloit , Wisconsin

Milestones

1994

Executive produced and starred as Matt Dillon in the CBS movie "Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice"

1993

Executive produced and starred as Matt Dillon in the CBS movie "Gunsmoke: The Long Ride"

1988

Acted in the CBS remake of Howard Hawks' 1948 movie "Red River"; portrayed the John Wayne role of Tom Dunson

1987

Returned to the role of Marshall Dillon in the first of five CBS-TV movies, "Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge"

1987

Played Jim Bowie in the NBC movie "The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory"

1981

Starred as Detective Jim McClain in the NBC series "McClain's Law"

1978

Again played Zeb Macahan in the ABC series "How the West Was Won"

1977

Reprised Zeb Macahan role in ABC miniseries "How the West Was Won"

1976

Portrayed Zeb Macahan in the ABC movie "The Macahans"

1959

Made a cameo as Matt Dillon in "Alias Jesse James"

1957

Played a bank robber who hunts down the companions that abandoned him in "Gun the Man Down"

1956

Second film with Ludwig, "Flame of the Islands"

1955

Final film with Wayne, John Farrow's "The Sea Chase"

1955

Portrayed Marshall Matt Dillon in the long-running CBS series "Gunsmoke"

1954

Acted in the sci-fi feature "Them!"

1953

Re-teamed with Wayne for Wellman's "Island in the Sky" and John Farrow's "Hondo"

1952

First film with John Wayne, Edward Ludwig's "Big Jim McClain"

1950

Had supporting role in John Ford's "Wagon Master"

1950

Played title role in "The Thing/The Thing from Another World"

1949

Portrayed GI Garby in William Wellman's WWII epic "Battleground"

1947

First film as James Arness, "Roses Are Red"

1947

Made feature acting debut in "The Farmer's Daughter" (billed as James Aurness)

Joined a theater group while recovering from severe wounds incurred during WWII

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