(1923– )
   Born James Aurness in Minnesota, James Arness is best known for his 20-year role as Marshal Matt Dillon on television’s Gunsmoke series. Prior to his years in television Westerns, Arness played a variety of supporting roles in Westerns and non-Westerns, several with John Wayne (who became a close friend), most notably Hondo (1953). Trivia buffs may remember the broad-shouldered, six-feet-seven Arness as the Thing in The Thing from Another World (1951), his first starring role in a film. The actor’s first starring role in a Western was opposite Angie Dickinsonin Andrew McLaglen’s Gun the Man Down (1956), a film produced by Wayne. His only other Western starring role was in Comanche Stallion (2006). Arness is the brother of actor Peter Graves.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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