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James Arness

Personal information
Birth nameJames King Aurness
Birth dateMay 26, 1923
Place of birthMinneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
Date of deathJune 3, 2011(age 88)
Death placeLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of deathNatural causes
OccupationActor
SpouseVirginia Chapman
(m. 1948 60, divorced)
Janet Surtees
(m. 1978 2011, his death)
Children3 sons (1 deceased)
Daughter (deceased)
RelativesPeter Graves
(brother, deceased)

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James King Arness (May 26, 1923 June 3, 2011) was an American actor, best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon in the television series Gunsmoke for 20 years. Arness has the distinction of having played the role of Dillon in five separate decades: 1955 to 1975 in the weekly series, then in Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (1987) and four more made-for-TV Gunsmoke movies in the 1990s. In Europe Arness reached cult status for his role as Zeb Macahan in the western series How the West Was Won. His younger brother was actor Peter Graves.


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