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James Arness

“Gunsmoke” starring James Arness:
Tall, World War II veteran and brother of “Mission Impossible” star Peter Graves who was in & out of small films roles (he played “The Thing” in the 1951 Sci-fi thriller) for nearly 10 years before winning the starring role of Marshall Matt Dillon in TV’s “Gunsmoke” (1955 - 1975).

During the 1980’s & 90’s James was back in the saddle on a number of occasions to star in a series of made for Television & Video “Gunsmoke” movies, most notably:
1987 - “Gunsmoke: Return To Dodge”
1990 - “Gunsmoke: The Last Apache”
1992 - “Gunsmoke: To The Last Man”
1993 - “Gunsmoke: The Long Ride”
1994 - “Gunsmoke: One Man’s Justice”

James Arness
James Arness
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James Arness Fact File:

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Birth Name: James Aurness

Date Of Birth:
26th May 1923

Place Of Birth:
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Height: 6’ 7”

Janet Surtrees (1978 - Today)
Virginia Chapman (1949 - 1960)

Film Debut:
“The Farmer’s Daughter” (1947)

Signature TV Show:
“Gunsmoke” (1955 - 1975)

Trivia: *James was offered the role in TV’s “Gunsmoke” after John Wayne knocked it back.

* In the Bob Hope Western Comedy “Alias Jesse James” (1959), James made a brief cameo appearance as Marshall Matt Dillon.

James Arness Movies on VHS & DVD :

Battleground(1949) VHS
An Oscar-winning account of the Battle of the Bulge, and the American foot soldiers who were trapped by the Germans in Bastogne during the fighting. Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban and George Murphy star in this stirring wartime drama, directed by William Wellman. Look out for James Arness as Pvt. Garby. 118 min.

Stars In My Crown(1950) VHS
Superb Western drama stars Joel McCrea as a gun-toting preacher who takes residence in a trouble-torn town and quickly goes to work solving such problems as a typhoid epidemic and Ku Klux Klan attacks. Co-stars Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell, and a pre-"Gunsmoke" James Arness and Amanda Blake. 89 min.

Two Lost Worlds(1950) VHS
From adventures on the high seas to a lost island teeming with creatures of long ago, James Arness encounters everything from pirates to dinosaurs! Laura Elliot co-stars as his damsel in distress, also with Bill Kennedy, Gloria Petroff & James Arness. 61 min.

The Thing [DVD](1951) DVD
The original sci-fi chiller about scientists of an Arctic outpost who find an alien spaceship and its passenger buried in the ice. When the creature is thawed out, it unleashes a rampage of horror. Kenneth Tobey, Margaret Sheridan and James Arness, in the title role, star. Produced by Howard Hawks, who reportedly had a hand in helping helmer Christian Nyby. AKA: "The Thing from Another World." 87 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French.

Big Jim McLain(1952) VHS
Big John Wayne stars as Big Jim, top federal agent who says ``aloha'' (hello) to Hawaii and ``aloha'' (goodbye) to the Communist spy ring he puts out of business. Two-fisted Cold War espionage thriller also stars James Arness, Nancy Olson. 90 min.

Hondo(1953) VHS
Cavalry rider John Wayne comes to the aid of rancher Geraldine Page and her son when they're trapped in the middle of Apache raids on the territory in this intelligent, moody frontier drama. With Ward Bond, Leo Gordon, Michael Pate & James Arness; directed by John Farrow. Not in 3-D. 84 min.

Them! [DVD](1954) DVD
Mutated to behemoth-sized proportions by atomic tests, giant ants attack the Southwest in this sci-fi classic. James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn and James Arness star; features a memorable battle in the L.A. sewer system. 92 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish; featurette; theatrical trailer; behind-the-scenes footage.

The Sea Chase(1955) VHS
John Wayne is the Hitler-loathing skipper of a decrepit German freighter who faces danger and romance as he tries to steer the ship from Australian waters to Chile during World War II. Lana Turner is the spy who loves him & Tab Hunter, James Arness & Paul Fix add able support. 117 min.


James Arness in a 1959 Emmy Award Special :

The 11th Annual Emmy Awards(1959) VHS
The variety special "An Evening with Fred Astaire" is the big winner on this May 6, 1959 broadcast, and the debonair Astaire waltzes off with the best single performance Emmy. Also appearing to honor the likes of Raymond Burr, Loretta Young and Ann B. Davis are Jack Benny, Shirley Temple, James Arness, Ed Sullivan, Richard Nixon and many others.


James Arness Videos & DVDs - Complete List :

Click here for complete list of "James Arness Movies" on VHS & DVD


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