James Arness, Marshall Matt Dillon of Gun Smoke fame has passed away at the age of 88 from natural causes. From 1955 to 1975 Arness graced TV screens as the larger than life Marshall Dillon keeping the streets of Dodge City safe from outlaws, Indians and desperadoes. How I loved this show growing up and never missed an episode. Interesting back then we had characters on TV that were heroic role models. What we didn’t know about James Arness, he served his country in the army during WWII at Anzio He was wounded in his right leg and received the Purple Heart.
REST IN PEACE JAMES ARNESS
Matt Dillon, the mythical marshal of Dodge City, stood tall — all 6 feet, 6 inches of him — on “Gunsmoke” from 1955 to 1975. He outlasted dozens of other Western heroes while making history on TV’s longest-running dramatic series, a record that held until NBC’s “Law & Order” tied the CBS Western’s record in 2010.
I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends. The best part of my life was my family, especially my wife Janet. Many of you met her at Dodge City so you understand what a special person she is.
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
Check out the John Wayne introduction James Arness and Gun Smoke
Much more at OTB of the passing of James Arness.