James Arness Bio, Wiki, Age, Family, Wife, Children and Movies

James Arness Biography and Wikipedia

James Arness was an American actor. Additionally, he is well known for the role he played as Marshal Matt Dillon for 20 years in the CBS television series Gunsmoke. Besides, he started his long and illustrious career as a radio announcer in Minnesota.

James Arness Age and Birthday

Arness was born on May 26, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the United States of America, and died on June 3, 2011, at the age of 88 at his Brentwood home in Los Angeles.

James Arness Family, Parents and Siblings

Arness was born to parents (father)  Rolf Cirkler Aurness,  who was a businessman, and (mother) Ruth Duesler,  who was a journalist. His father’s ancestry was Norwegian; his mother was German. The family name had been Aursnes, but when Rolf’s father, Peter Aursnes, emigrated from Norway in 1887, he changed it to Arness. Arness and his family were Methodists.

James Arness photo
James Arness photo

James Arness Wife

The American actor was married twice, first to Virginia Chapman from 1948- 1960. She died of a drug overdose in 1976. Arness was married to Janet Surtees from 1978 until his death.

James Arness Children

James had four children. He adopted his first wife’s son Craig. With his second wife, Janet Surtees, he had two sons, Rolf born on February 18, 1952, and Craig born in 1946 and died on December 14, 2004, and one daughter, Jenny Lee Arness who was born on May 23, 1950, and committed suicide by overdose on May 12, 1975.

James Arness Education

Arness joined John Burroughs Grade School, Washburn High School, and West High School in Minneapolis.  Arness has also worked as a courier for a jewelry wholesaler, loading and unloading railway boxcars at the Burlington freight yards in Minneapolis, and logging in Pierce, Idaho.  Despite “being a poor student and skipping many classes”, he graduated from high school in June 1942.

James Arness  Movies

  • The Farmer’s Daughter
  • Roses Are Red
  • The Man From Texas
  • Battleground
  • Stars In My Crown
  • Wagon Master
  • Sierra
  • In a Lonely Place
  • Wyoming Mail
  • Two Lost Worlds
  • Belle Le Grand
  • The Thing from Another World
  • Double Crossbones
  • Cavalry Scout
  • Iron Man
  • The People Against O’Hara
    Carbine Williams
  • The Girl in White
  • Big Jim McLain
  • Hellgate
  • Horizons West

James Arness Net Worth and Salary

Arness was an American actor who had a net worth of $8 million. Arness was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in May 1923 and passed away in June 2011. He was best known for starring as Matt Dillon in the television series Gunsmoke from 1955 to 1975. His annual salary is currently under review and will soon be updated.

James Arness Death

Arness died of natural causes at the age of 88 years at his Brentwood home in Los Angeles on June 3, 2011. His body was interred in the Sanctuary of Abiding Hope alcove in the Jasmine Terrace section of the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

James Arness Awards and Nominations

For his contributions to the television industry, Arness has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1751 Vine Street. In 1981, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Arness was inducted into the Santa Clarita Walk of Western Stars in 2006 and gave a related TV interview. On the 50th anniversary of television in 1989 in the United States, People magazine chose the top 25 television stars of all time. Arness was number six.

In 1996, TV Guide ranked him number 20 on its 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time list.

Arness was nominated for these Emmy Awards:

  • 1957: Best Continuing Performance by an Actor in a Dramatic Series
  • 1958: Best Continuing Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic or Comedy Series
  • 1959: Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series

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