James Arness - Famous Television Producer

James Arness Net Worth


James Arness, a famous American actor, had a net worth estimated at $8 million by the time of his death in June 2011. Best known for his iconic role as Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke, a leading character from 1955 to 1975.

Key facts:

The achievements of James Arness mentioned in the text are:
  • He is best known for his role as Matt Dillon in the TV series "Gunsmoke" from 1955 to 1975.
  • He appeared as Zeb Macahan in the TV series "How the West Was Won" from 1976 to 1979.
  • Arness also starred in films like "The Farmer's Daughter," "Iron Man," and "The First Traveling Saleslady."
  • He reprised his role as Matt Dillon in five made-for-television movies in the 199s.
  • Arness was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 196, located at 1751 Vine Street.
  • He was nominated for three Primetime Emmy Awards for his role in "Gunsmoke."
  • James was the older brother of "Mission: Impossible" actor Peter Graves.

Basic Information About James Arness

CategoryCelebrities β€Ί Actors
ProfessionsActor, Soldier, Television Producer
Net worth$8,000,000
Date of birth1923-05-26
Place of birthMinneapolis
Date of death2011-06-03 (aged 88)
NationalityUnited States of America
Curiosities and TrademarksCommanding voice
Towering height
The role of Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke (1955).
SpouseJanet Arness - (16 DecemberΒ 1978 - 3 JuneΒ 2011)Β (his death)
Virginia Chapman - (12 FebruaryΒ 1948 - 5 AprilΒ 1963)Β (divorced)Β (3 children)
Height6 ft 7 in (2.007 m)
Social Mediaβ†—οΈŽ Wikipedia β†—οΈŽ IMDb

What Movie Awards did James Arness win?


Golden Globe

Golder Raspberry


0 0 0 0 0

James Arness's Quotes

  • "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.
  • I had the pleasure of knowing Ronald Reagan before he became Governor of California. He was a truly great human being and we usually spent our time together reminiscing about mutual friends. He will be missed by all who knew him and by a nation that will mourn with us. (2004)
  • I have met many other actors who were great also, but there was something about him that was so special He was just off in a class by himself somehow. It was a real privilege really to be around the man and to know him. I was with his company for three years, and it was just a special time. - On John Wayne
  • With Gunsmoke (1955), we had an outstanding quality of writing. The show had been on radio for three years, so they were able to fine-tune the characters. What made us different from other westerns was the fact that Gunsmoke wasn't just action and a lot of shooting; they were character-study shows. They're interesting to watch all these years later.
  • [on Gunsmoke's cancellation in 1975]: We didn't do a final, wrap-up show. We finished the 20th year, we all expected to go on for another season, or two or three. They (the network) never told anybody they were thinking of canceling us.

James Arness's photos

Interesting Facts about James Arness

  1. Honorary United States Marshal, "in recognition of his unique contribution to the image and traditions of the U.S. Marshal's Service".
  2. Became U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke (1955) after John Wayne suggested Arness to play it. (Wayne himself, contrary to legend, was never offered the role.).
  3. His daughter and actress, Jenny Lee Arness, committed suicide on Monday, May 12th, 1975.
  4. According to an article on TV westerns in Time magazine (March 30, 1959), Arness stood 6' 7", weighed 235 lbs, and had chest-waist-hips measurements of 48-36-36. However, Arness usually gave his own height as 6' 6" in interviews.
  5. Inducted (as a cast member of Gunsmoke (1955)) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1981.
  6. On Friday, June 20th, 2003, Arness was honored at Los Angeles City Hall by the mayor, the 15 City Council members and the City Attorney with a resolution honoring his life's work as an actor and 60-year resident of Los Angeles. The colorful resolution included a depiction of a U.S. Marshal's badge and a salute to his work as Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke (1955) and its over-20-year duration as TV's longest-running drama series. It also recalled his heroism during World War II and thanked him for "leaving us with one of the most telling and realistic portraits ever created of the brave, tall man in the saddle who tames a western town as he searches for justice and peace." Arness called it "the most wonderful day in his life" and says the resolution is now framed and in a prominent place in his home. He received a standing ovation that morning.
  7. Held the record for the longest continuous role portrayed by a single actor (20 years) on prime-time television (for Marshal Matt Dillon on the CBS western Gunsmoke (1955)), until Kelsey Grammer (Dr. Frasier Crane on Cheers (1982) and Frasier (1993)) tied the record in 2004 (at 20 years).
  8. Was rightly touted as the tallest leading man in Hollywood, although this title has since been taken by other stars, mainly basketball players turned "actors."
  9. Member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity
  10. Very, very often during his career, this huge actor was surrounded by co-stars standing on apple boxes or had to perform standing in a ditch just so he could be in a shot.
  11. Father of Jenny Lee Arness (born May 23, 1950) and Rolf Aurness (born February 18, 1952), with Virginia Chapman. He also adopted her son from her first marriage, Craig (born 1946).
  12. His status as a Republican disappointed Lady Bird Johnson, who was a fan of Gunsmoke (1955).
  13. Attended Beloit College.
  14. Did not attend the premiere of The Thing from Another World (1951) because he found his role as the Thing embarrassing. He often remarked that he felt his make up as "The Thing" made him look like a giant carrot.
  15. Made four movies with his close friend John Wayne during the 1950s. He was also originally cast in Rock Hudson's role opposite Wayne in The Undefeated (1969). Wayne personally recommended Arness for the lead role in Gunsmoke (1955), and filmed an introduction for the first episode.
  16. Confirmed in a 2001 interview that he is completely retired from acting because he no longer has the stamina for it.
  17. He never played the lead male role in a theatrical movie, only on the various televised incarnations of "Gunsmoke". In his theatrical films, he usually acted along tall leading men such as John Wayne, Robert Ryan and Jeff Chandler.
  18. Although they never married, he had a long-term relationship and lived with actress Thordis Brandt.
  19. Fought in the US Army during World War II, taking part in the landing at Anzio, Italy, where he was wounded. He received the Bronze Star; the Purple Heart; the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze campaign stars; the World War II Victory Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
  20. He is survived by his wife, Janet Surtees of Brentwood, Los Angeles, California; son, Rolf Arness; stepson, Jim Surtees; six grandchildren, and a great grandchild. His adopted son, Craig, died in 2004 and his daughter Jenny died in 1975.

References & Fact Checks βœ…

1/ Filename: james-arness-gunsmoke-1956-Yturbceo.jpg
  • Checked: βœ… Yes (2023-07-02 15:50:39)
  • Source URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Arness_Gunsmoke_1956.JPG
  • Original Source:

    eBay item photo front

    photo back
  • Author: CBS Television
  • Date taken: 6 August 1956
2/ Filename: james-and-rolf-arness-1959-41u38KZn.jpg
3/ Filename: gunsmoke-cast-1963-AXX26967.jpg
  • Checked: βœ… Yes (2023-07-02 15:50:41)
  • Source URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gunsmoke_cast_1963.JPG
  • Original Source:

    eBay item photo front

    photo back
  • Author: CBS Television
  • Date taken: 10 September 1963
4/ Filename: james-arness-matt-dillon-gunsmoke-1969-K0mtm125.jpg
  • Checked: βœ… Yes (2023-07-02 15:50:42)
  • Source URL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:James_Arness_Matt_Dillon_Gunsmoke_1969.JPG
  • Original Source:

    eBay item photo front

    photo back
  • Author: CBS Television
  • Date taken: Press release is not dated; earliest date stamp is September 1969.

James Arness Famous Network

Male Actors ♂️ With Net Worth Closest To $8,000,000

Female Actors ♀️ With Net Worth Closest To $8,000,000

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments