GUNSMOKE LEGEND JAMES ARNESS DEAD

Published on: June 3, 2011
Photography by: Getty Images
GUNSMOKE LEGEND JAMES ARNESS DEAD

Towering JAMES ARNESS, best known for playing Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke and as the titular THING (From Another World) has died at 88.

The LA Times reported.that Arness passed from natural causes today,

Arness's death follows the death of his brother Mission Impossible star Peter Graves from a heart attack at 83.

Arness was born May 26, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota and began his career as a radio announcer in Minnesota.

Moving to Los Angeles he landed his big break in 1947, starring opposite Loretta Young in the film The Farmer's Daughter.

 Arness was a longtime pal with John Wayne who was a key player in getting him the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke".

CBS had originally wanted The Duke for the part -- he declined, suggesting 6'7" Big Jim. During Gunsmoke’s 20 year run, Arness was nommed for three Emmys.

In 1951 unbilled and shown in fleeting glimpses Arness launched the sci-fi movie craze in Howard Hawks’ production of “The Thing from Another World”.   His other 1950s foray into sci-fi fear flicks was the classic battle with giant ants in “Them!”

Among his many film and TV creds, Arness also starred in the TV miniseries How the West Was Won.

Adios, amigo.