James Arness (I) (1923–2011)


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American leading man famed as the star of one of the longest-running shows in U.S. television history, Gunsmoke (1955). Born of Norwegian heritage (the family name, Aurness, had formerly been Aursness) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Rolf and Ruth Duesler Aurness. His father was a traveling salesman of medical supplies and his mother later became a ... See full bio »

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Gunsmoke
Indian Ford (S7, Ep10)
Wed, Sep 22 8:00 PM PDT on INSP (090)
Gunsmoke
Dooley Surrenders (S3, Ep26)
Thu, Sep 23 8:00 AM PDT on INSP (090)

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Nominated for 3 Primetime Emmys. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Known For

Gunsmoke Matt Dillon / Matt
(1955-1975)
Them! Robert Graham
(1954)
(1951)

Filmography

Hide Hide Show Show Actor (47 credits)
 1994 Gunsmoke: One Man's Justice (TV Movie)
Matt Dillon
 1993 Gunsmoke: The Long Ride (TV Movie)
Matt Dillon
 1992 Gunsmoke: To the Last Man (TV Movie)
Matt Dillon
 1990 Gunsmoke: The Last Apache (TV Movie)
Matt Dillon
 1988 Red River (TV Movie)
Thomas Dunson
 1987 Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (TV Movie)
Matt Dillon
 1987 The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory (TV Movie)
Jim Bowie
 1981-1982 McClain's Law (TV Series)
Det. Jim McClain
- The Last Hero (1982) ... Det. Jim McClain
- From the Mouths of Babes (1982) ... Det. Jim McClain
- Takeover (1982) ... Det. Jim McClain
- Use of Deadly Force (1982) ... Det. Jim McClain
- Green Light (1982) ... Det. Jim McClain
 1976-1979 How the West Was Won (TV Series)
Zeb Macahan / Zeb
- The Slavers (1979) ... Zeb Macahan
- China Girl (1979) ... Zeb Macahan
- Luke (1979) ... Zeb Macahan
- The Forgotten (1979) ... Zeb Macahan
- The Scavengers (1979) ... Zeb Macahan
 1955-1975 Gunsmoke (TV Series)
Matt Dillon / Matt
- The Sharecroppers (1975) ... Matt Dillon
- Manolo (1975) ... Matt Dillon
- The Busters (1975) ... Matt Dillon
- I Have Promises to Keep (1975) ... Matt Dillon
- Hard Labor (1975) ... Matt Dillon
 1959 Alias Jesse James
Marshal Matt Dillon (uncredited)
 1956 Gun the Man Down
Remington 'Rem' Anderson
 1956 The First Traveling Saleslady
Joel Kingdom
 1956 Front Row Center (TV Series)
Hemp Brown
- The Challenge (1956) ... Hemp Brown
 1955 Flame of the Islands
Kelly Rand
 1955 The Sea Chase
Schlieter
 1955 Many Rivers to Cross
Esau Hamilton
 1955 William Tell (TV Movie)
William Tell
 1954 Lux Video Theatre (TV Series)
Chuck Scott
- The Chase (1954) ... Chuck Scott
 1954 Her Twelve Men
Ralph Munsey
 1954 Them!
Robert Graham
 1953 Hondo
Lennie
 1953 The Veils of Bagdad
Targut (as Jim Arness)
 1953 Island in the Sky
Mac McMullen
 1953 The Lone Hand
Gus Varden (as Jim Arness)
 1952 Horizons West
Tiny McGilligan
 1952 Hellgate
George Redfield
 1952 Big Jim McLain
Mal Baxter
 1952 The Girl in White
Matt
 1952 Carbine Williams
Leon Williams
 1951 The People Against O'Hara
Johnny O'Hara
 1951 Iron Man
Alex Mallick (as Jim Arness)
 1951 Cavalry Scout
Barth
 1951 The Thing from Another World
'The Thing'
 1951 Double Crossbones
Bullock (uncredited)
 1951 Belle Le Grand
Belle Admirer Mine Guard at Fire (uncredited)
 1951 Two Lost Worlds
Kirk Hamilton (as Jim Aurness)
 1950 Wyoming Mail
Russell
 1950 In a Lonely Place
Young Detective (uncredited)
 1950 Sierra
Little Sam (as Jim Arness)
 1950 The Lone Ranger (TV Series)
Deputy Bud Titus
- Matter of Courage (1950) ... Deputy Bud Titus
 1950 Wagon Master
Floyd Clegg
 1950 Stars in My Crown
Rolfe Isbell (uncredited)
 1949 Battleground
Garby (as Jim Arness)
 1948 The Man from Texas
Gang Member (uncredited)
 1947 Roses Are Red
Ray (as James Aurness)
 1947 The Farmer's Daughter
Peter (as James Aurness)
Show Show Producer (3 credits)
Show Show Additional Crew (2 credits)
Show Show Self (16 credits)
Show Show Archive footage (14 credits)

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Personal Details

Other Works:

(August 17 to 22, 1948) He acted in Anna C. Mowatt's play, "Fashion," in the Fourteenth Midsummer Festival (Favorite Plays of the Gold Coast Days) production at the Pasadena Playhouse in Pasadena, California. Gilmor Brown was artistic director. Vince Bowditch was director. See more »

Publicity Listings:

1 Print Biography | 3 Articles | 1 Pictorial | See more »

Official Sites:

Official Site

Alternate Names:

Jim Arness | James Aurness | Jim Aurness

Height:

6' 7" (2.01 m)

Spouse:

Janet Arness  (his death) | See more »

Children:

Jenny Lee Arness

Parents:

Rolf Cirkler Aurness | Ruth Eleanore Duesler Salisbury
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Did You Know?

Personal Quote:

"If they were man and wife, it would make a lot of difference. The people upstairs decided it was better to leave the show as it was, which I totally agreed with." - on why his Gunsmoke character, Marshal Dillon, never married Miss Kitty. See more »

Trivia:

He and Kelsey Grammer both hold the record for playing the same character the longest (20 years). However, since the length of television seasons was longer between 1955-75, it results in 635 episodes as Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke (1955) for Arness and only 467 as Dr. Frasier Crane (on Cheers (1982) and Frasier (1993)) for Grammer. See more »

Trademark:

The role of Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke (1955). See more »

Nickname:

Jimmy See more »

Star Sign:

Gemini

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