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James Arness

Born: 1923-05-26 - Died: 2011-06-03
Cause of Death:
Heart Failure


Death Summary: James Arness died from heart failure in his sleep at his Brentwood CA home, according to his business manager.

Who was James Arness : Arness was an actor, who was best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, a role which lasted for 20 years. He had the privilege of playing the same character over 5 different decades.
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69 Signatures in James Arness's guestbook

  1. Douglas Lee Says:

    I grew up watching him, respecting his acting and the Mane he was. God Bless Him and his Family

  2. scott christopher horne Says:

    I still watch gun smoke all the time. Great show and a great man. thanks for all the years of entertainment.

  3. Janie McDowell Nagel Says:

    Every Saturday night was Gunsmoke night at our house. At age 10, Matt Dillon was my hero and I wished I was Miss Kitty. You are missed Mr. Arness. Prayers for your family.

  4. roy lee elkins Says:

    the greatest gunfighter and a hero!

  5. Alice Burke Says:

    James Arness will always be remembered for all the Gunsmoke shows and movies he left the world. I will miss you my friend Jim. I send prayers to you Janet and all the family.

  6. Ray Spencer Says:

    Like most young boys in the early 1960′s I watched Gunsmoke, imitated Matt Dillon, my brother got a Matt Dillon toy gun and holster set fro Crhistmas which include the famous Dodge City Marshall badge. I like the badge so much that my brother gave it to me that Christmas. Gunsmoke was a family favorite especially for my mother. I beleive that James provided a sense of stablity, honour and kindness through his role at Marshall Matt Dillion that is rarely portrayed in the modern day actor. Goodbye James, R.I.P.

  7. Ray Spencer Says:

    Like most young boys in the early 1960′s I watched Gunsmoke, imitated Matt Dillon, my brother got a Matt Dillon toy gun and holster set for Christmas which include the famous Dodge City Marshall badge. I like the badge so much that my brother gave it to me that Christmas. Gunsmoke was a family favorite especially for my mother. I believe that James provided a sense of stablity, honour and kindness through his role at Marshall Matt Dillion that is rarely portrayed in the modern day actor. Goodbye James, R.I.P.

  8. Debra K Newcomer Says:

    Matt Dillon, I watched all episodes of Gunsmoke and I loved you very much I will miss you and also miss your brother Peter. God bless you both and you’ll always be in my mind and heart.missing you already.Love Deb

  9. Elloise Powell Says:

    Gunsmoke was one of my favorite shows,I sure did love me some Matt Dillon.and i still catch it when i can.

  10. Elloise Powell Says:

    Gunsmoke was one of my favorite shows,I sure did love me some Matt Dillon.and i still watch it when i can.

  11. steve martin Says:

    No one in this world will ever know how much i have missed this man on tv and will miss him more now he gone. May he forever rest in gods hands in peace
    He was the very, very best. there is so much to be said for James in every good way but i am glad i had gunsmoke in my life time. and Matt dillon.

  12. Jewell Lenges Says:

    Jewell Lenges

  13. Bernice Briggs Says:

    What an inspirational man James Arness was. I believe most kids from gunsmoke days wanted to be like him. God Bless !

  14. Jim Harris Says:

    I am sorry to hear of Mr. Arnes’ passing. He was of a character I always looked up to. A prayer of peace for his loved ones.

  15. Charles Peterson Says:

    Rest In Peace,Marshall.

  16. becky Says:

    He will be greatly missed. Love and prayers to his family.
    BEcky Smith and family.

  17. mary burroughs Says:

    always loved james arness .what a lose it is to all

  18. JAMES AND MARTHA DAVIS Says:

    MARTHA AND JAMES L. DAVIS, WE HAVE WATCHED GUNSMOKE FO MANY YEARS AND STILL WATCH IT ON TV LAND CHANNEL. HE WAS A GREAT MAN WE MISS YOU. RIP

  19. Howard Dressen Says:

    Some of my fondest memories growing up were after dinner, on sat. night, take a bath, my father making pop corn(with a shake of soy sauce)? ha! And watching gunsmoke, which became my favorite western.Always entertaining, with a lesson to be learned. Over fifty years later, my son enjoys the episodes. Something this good, will always be that timeless.My appreciation to all of gunsmoke,and especially to you Mr. Arness, for making it happen.Thank You! Howard Dressen.

  20. Chris E Says:

    We watched Gunsmoke every Saturday night. He will always be “the Marshal”!

  21. Pamela Osburn Says:

    Thanks for all the childhood memories.

  22. Richard Antoniotti Says:

    James Arness,

    You were the “gentleman’s cowboy of the 1950′s and 1960′s. And that’s why Gunsmoke had such a long following and run. You were ever so cool in your role and Ms Kitty was always by your side.And Dr Fester was a comfortable person in the cast. Dennis weaver also was an interesting character. Gunsmoke made millions of famiies feel entertained each week. there were so many Cowboy TV shows out there to choose from, but you were my favorite. God Bless you and your family. we have lost a giant in the entertainment business when you died.

  23. Lois I Scialaba Says:

    I am 84 years old and Matt Dillon was the best part of my life. We all loved him dearly. We thought he was really Matt Dillon. We still miss hem. God bless his family

  24. Millie Hancock Says:

    He was one of the greatest actors ever!

  25. Ed Dooley Says:

    James Arness shall allways be my favorite Marshall

  26. roger vanover Says:

    roger vanover

  27. roger vanover Says:

    james arness will always be the greatest marshall that ever lived im sorry for his lost rest in peace mr arness. may god bless you and thanks for the memories

  28. marge martin Says:

    I have the entire series of Gunsmoke and James Arness was my hero. He was talented as well as so good looking. I just today found out James passed away. I will always miss him. He is a real, real hero.

  29. Velma Bruchmiller Says:

    We grew up watching gunsmoke, they don’t make good shows like that anymore. James Arness was a great actor, and one of a kind. God Bless your family. RIP JAMES ARNESS, YOU ARE LOVED, AND WILL BE MISSED ALOT.

  30. Velma Bruchmiller Says:

    YOU WILL BE MISSED ALOT. RIP JAMES ARNESS.

  31. Amanda Says:

    Rip marahall. You will be missed

  32. Dick Rodman Says:

    Jim was and will always be one of the best western movie and tv actors of all time

  33. stoney curtis Says:

    =(

  34. Mary Nan Phelps Says:

    I enyoyed Gunsmoke as I grew up. I thought James Arness did a great job playing Matt Dillon.

  35. Eva Henderson Says:

    As I have read from so many others, I grew up on Matt Dillon. Loved him then and still do. He will be missed.

  36. Eva Henderson Says:

    As I have read from so many others, I also grew up watching Matt Dillon. Loved him then and still do. He will be missed.

  37. grady bradley Says:

    gunsmoke is the best show on tv and still watch it ever day it come

  38. james wilburn Says:

    I have watched Gunsmoke since i was old enough to watch it and Matt Dillon was my favorite sheriff i still watch it every chance i get

  39. peter lawrence Says:

    the best part of “gunsmoke” was the music at the end with the coffee pot in the background on the stove–it seemed to summerize every episode.–”god bless” marshall dillan

  40. bob thiel Says:

    The best western and one of the best tv shows ever. Rest in peace, James and the whole cast and crew

  41. patricia anne mathis Says:

    I still watch gun smoke all the time. Great show and a great man. thanks for all the years of entertainment. i miss him alot

  42. john burns Says:

    we have lost a great man an actor. my prayers for james and family.

  43. John Brantley Says:

    My thought and prayers are with you in this time of sadness.

  44. stan rizzo Says:

    Even though that gunman outdrew you at the start of your show, you were still my hero along with Paladin.

  45. Robert Bridenstine II Says:

    James will be greatly missed and will always be loved by many. Awesome man!!Gunsmoke will never get old. So long my friend.

  46. Gary Gray Says:

    James Arness as Matt Dillon was the greatest TV western portrayal of all time.

  47. Lydia Valentine Says:

    you sexy thang, i loved you in Gunsmoke, you made everybody feel safe…

  48. Margaret S.Herbert Says:

    he was a hero to me a real western man ….you will be missed by many.

  49. will Says:

    James Arness was the kind of man that made Amercia a great country. It’s sad to see one of the best pass away. You are my hero, Mr. Arness. rest in peace.

  50. james j. goi Says:

    Dear James,—you will always be Marshal Dillon to me.—You were there way back in the fifties when I was but a teenage boy;and you are still here in spirit as my hero. You not only made the plains of Kansas a better and safer place in the immortal Gunsmoke show, but as a man of legend and reality you left us with a treasure of memories.
    Thanks Marshal

  51. d. britton Says:

    December 21.2011

    ” i am so sorry to hear about James Arness’s death. I want to say he was a good man to me he was my hero in the Gunsmoke series over the years.
    Be at peace sir you have earn that. God bless you and your family.
    God with your family always.
    rest in peace.

  52. tommy hill Says:

    i loved gunsmoke and matt dillion he was one of the great and will be very truly missed rest in peace mr arness (marshall)

  53. Bowie Hamilton Says:

    “Gunsmoke” was one of the best ever. It’s timeless. James Arness’s integrity, honest, and heroism shined through in his performance. “How The West Was Won” was only fantastic when the plot revolved around James Arness. They were so good when he was the main character. The world would be a better place with more men like James Arness. I’m sure his family has wonderful memories.

  54. Ernie Lawrence Says:

    he was one of the best , love him all his movies, and gunsmoke

  55. Clint Says:

    At 6’6″ Mr. Arness you was bigger than life and are still big even in death !!! RIP

  56. Ken baker Says:

    I have all of the gunsmoke seasons, they are my favorites,

  57. Ken baker Says:

    Kenneth baker

  58. Charles A. Bing Says:

    I watched gunsmoke weekly for almost 20 yrs. from the beginning….I still watch it almost every day.

  59. Thomas William Tesh Says:

    Mr. Arness You were a great Actor, and a Fine Man, I have all your episodes, My preference is the Older Black and White, May God Bless You Janet, and the Family, I have been a Peace officer all my Life, and much I learned from Matt-Mr. Arness. Thank You all for the Legacy Mr. Arness Left Us, Thomas W. Tesh, Germanton N.C. 336-661-9672

  60. eddy f. Says:

    JAMES ARNESS (MATT DILLON)MY HERO,I BEEN WATCHING GUNSMOKE SENSE I WAS A KID TILL NOW.IAM A COWBOY WITH WITH A SIX SHOOTER.GOD BLESS HIM & HIS FAMILY.

  61. Troy Doyle Says:

    Our Prayers are with the family.We loved his shows.

  62. Robert Harris Says:

    Very consistent actor=very good

  63. Robert Harris Says:

    VERY GOOD ACTOR

  64. gail wyatt Says:

    Marshall Dillon! I remember trying to outdraw you as a very young girl! NEVER could beat you. RIP

  65. roy ingram Says:

    will be remembered

  66. Ray Campbell Says:

    Marshal Dillon, I grew up watching you, will always remember you as Matt, rest in peace

  67. Bobby Alexander Says:

    We lost a great American. I was a fan of the great man from the beginning of his career until his death. Rest in peace.

  68. Edward A Rodenberger Says:

    One of the worlds finest actors,,, the world will miss you
    RIP[

  69. Bob Kirkwood Says:

    God bless.


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