Arness changed Walnut Street into Gunsmoke Street in Dodge City, Kansas. Arness dipped his hands in cement to memorialize his role as Dillon. Arness's medallion and handprints rest at Second Avenue and Gunsmoke Street.
1964 with the Texas A&M football team
After finishing first in his catamaran Seasmoke in the Multihull Transpacific Yacht Race in Honolulu (1968)
With Carol Burnett after receiving "Man of the Year" award in broadcasting from the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (1973)
  In the title role of "McClain's Law" (1981)

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In 1958 with wife Virginia.
With son Craig at home in Pacific Palisades, Calif in 1958
With Amanda Blake at a break on the set of Gunsmoke, 1960


James Arness Dies

James Arness passed away in his sleep at his home in Brentwood, California.
He was born in Minneapolis, MN on May 26, 1923 passed away on June 3, 2011 at the age of 88.

In a letter that Arness wrote and which was posted on his website after his passing, he said: "I decided to write a letter to you for Janet to post on our website in the event I was no longer here."

"I had a wonderful life and was blessed with so 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.

"I was honored to have served in the army for my country. I was at Anzio during WWII and it makes you realize how very precious life is.

"Thank you again for all the many letters, cards, emails and gifts we received from you over the years. You are and always have been truly appreciated."

When Gunsmoke premiered in 1955, Arness's mother Ruth Aurness said she was distressed about the kind of character her son had signed up to play. "But I suppose I have to think about his career," she said.

Arness credited much of his success in playing tough characters to his Minnesota upbringing. "It must be the Viking blood in me," the Norwegian-American actor said in 1955. "I'm always thinking about the times I sailed my sailboat in [Lake] Calhoun when I was going to West High."

Mr. Arness is survived by his wife, Janet; two sons, Rolf and Jimmy; and six grandchildren. His brother, actor Peter Graves, died in March 2010. Craig Aurness, a photographer, died in 2004.

(Information from JamesArness,com, LA Times & Minneapolic Star Tribune)




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