JAMES ARNESS Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: James Aurness                                                                   
Born: 26 May 1923 Minneapolis, Minnesota                                             
James Arness (born as James Aurness on May 26, 1923, Minneapolis, Minnesota) is       
an actor best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke for 20 years.     
Arness has the distinction of having played the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in       
five separate decades: 1955 to 1975 in the weekly series, then in the decade of       
the 1980s (1987) Return to Dodge, and four more made-for-TV Gunsmoke movies in       
the 1990s.                                                                           
Arness's parents were Rolf Cirkler Aurness and Ruth Duesler, descendants of           
German and Norwegian immigrants. Arness is the older brother of actor Peter           
Graves. He was the tallest actor ever to play a lead role, standing 6'7".