|James Arness Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 7 in|
|Date of Birth||May 26, 1923|
|Date of Death||June 3, 2011|
James Arness was an American actor and producer who is best remembered for playing the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in the CBS television series Gunsmoke for 20 years. Moreover, his film credits include The Farmer’s Daughter, In a Lonely Place, The Man From Texas, Roses Are Red, Stars In My Crown, Battleground, Wagon Master, Sierra, Two Lost Worlds, Hellgate, Wyoming Mail, The Thing from Another World, Belle Le Grand, Iron Man, Double Crossbones, The People Against O’Hara, The Girl in White, Big Jim McLain, Horizons West, The Lone Hand, The Veils of Bagdad, Many Rivers to Cross, The Sea Chase, Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge, Gun the Man Down, The First Traveling Saleslady, Gunsmoke: To the Last Man, and Flame of the Islands. James Aurness was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1751 Vine Street for his contributions to the television industry.
James King Aurness
Jim, Jimmy, James Aurness
He was born on May 26, 1923.
On June 3, 2011, James Arness died from natural causes at the age of 88 at his Brentwood home in Los Angeles, California, United States.
Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
He resided in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California, United States.
James Arness studied at John Burroughs Grade School, Washburn High School, and West High School in Minneapolis. In June 1942, he graduated high school.
He subsequently got enrolled at Beloit College and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity.
- Father – Rolf Cirkler Aurness (Businessperson)
- Mother – Ruth Duesler (Journalist)
- Siblings – Peter Graves (b. Peter Duesler Aurness) (March 18, 1926 – March 14, 2010) (Younger Brother) (Actor)
- Others – Joan Endress Graves (Sister-In-Law, Peter’s Wife), Amanda (Niece), Kelly (Niece), Claudia (Niece)
According to CelebrityNetWorth.com, his net worth was $8 Million.
6 ft 7 in or 200.5 cm
105 kg or 231.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
James Arness had dated –
- Tura Satana – He once hooked up with Japanese actor Tura Satana.
- Virginia Chapman (1948-1960) – In 1948, James Arness married actor Virginia Chapman and adopted her son Craig (1946 – December 14, 2004), born from a previous marriage. Virginia also gave birth to their 2 children – a son named Rolf Aurness (b. February 18, 1952) and a daughter named Jenny Lee Arness (May 23, 1950 – May 12, 1975). Virginia Chapman and James divorced in 1960. Rolf became the World Surfing Champion in 1970 while Jenny died of a drug overdose in 1975.
- Thordis Brandt (1965-1972) – James Arness started going out with actor Thordis Brandt in the year 1965. The duo went out for some years before parting ways in 1972.
- Janet Surtees (1978-2011) – He married Janet Surtees in 1978 and they remained together until his death in 2011.
Race / Ethnicity
James Arness was of Norwegian descent on his father’s side and had German roots on his mother’s side.
Dark Brown (Natural)
- Shy and sensitive personality
- Towering height
- Commanding voice
Arness was cast in a magazine advertisement for L&M cigarettes in 1958.
James Arness Facts
- In 1943, he was drafted into the US Army and his military decorations included the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the American Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and others.
- James Arness brought to life the character of Zeb Macahan in the Western television series How The West Was Won from 1977 to 1979. The role made him a cult figure in Europe.
- He was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City in 1981.
- TV Guide ranked James Arness at number #20 on its list of “50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time” in 1996.
- In 2006, he was inducted into the Santa Clarita Walk of Western Stars.
Featured Image by Steve Mays / Flickr / CC BY 2.0