BEVERLY HILLS (Reuters) – Friday marked the passing of James Arness, 88, who played Marshal Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke,” the longest-running prime-time drama in American television history.
Arness’s business manager, Ginny Fazer, has stated that the actor passed away of natural causes in his Los Angeles residence.
Fazer told Reuters that
The Actor Was in Good Health Overall but Has “simply Been Declining” in Recent Years. There Was No Illness or Other Complication; He Had Simply Become Exhausted, She Claimed.
Friend and mentor in the entertainment industry John Wayne suggested Arness for the character of U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon in the television western series Dodge City, Kansas, which he played for 20 years.
Arness broke the record for the longest-running role performed by a single actor in prime-time television when “Gunsmoke” ended its CBS broadcast in 1975. The record was held for 20 years until Kelsey Grammer matched it by playing psychiatrist Frasier Crane on two NBC comedies, “Cheers” and “Frasier.”
TV network CBS said in a statement, “James Arness will always be recognized as one of the biggest actors in the history of television, portraying an iconic role on the medium’s longest-running prime-time drama ever.”
After its debut on CBS radio in 1952 with William Conrad as the voice of Matt Dillon, “Gunsmoke” became one of the first “adult westerns” to portray gunslingers and cowboys in a way that appealed to adults rather than children.
While it failed to dominate the ratings when it first aired, “Gunsmoke” went on to dominate American television from 1957 to 1961.
The show’s popularity resulted in a slew of imitators; at one point, more than 30 westerns were airing during prime time on network television. However, “Gunsmoke” proved to be the most resilient.
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Before his death, James Arness wrote a statement to the viewers of his TV show “Gunsmoke.”
After his death, Arness requested that his wife Janet write a letter for his devoted followers, which American Cowboy published.
After years of performing at rodeos and fairs as Matt from Gunsmoke and interacting with fans of the program, his gratitude toward them was evident. Following is Arness’s letter, which was intended to be distributed after his passing:
He was most recently seen in “Gunsmoke: One Man’s Justice” as Matt Dillon.
Arness’s role as Matt on Gunsmoke lasted an incredible 20 years. Milburn Stone, who played Doc Adams, is the only other actor to do so, though Amanda Blake, who played Miss Kitty Russell, follows close behind with a total of 19 seasons.
Arness’s subsequent acting success came from his role as Zed Macahan in How the West Was Won. The next genre change for the Western star came with his role as Det. Jim McClain in McClain’s Law.
Arness reprised his role as Marshal Matt Dillon five times in TV movies broadcast between 1990 and 1994, the last years of his life. When Gunsmoke: One Man’s Justice failed to match the success of its predecessors, the series was canceled. Unfortunately, that was his last performance.
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James Arness succumbed to what illness?
So what exactly transpired that resulted in James Arness’s untimely demise? The well-known performer passed away peacefully in his sleep on June 3, 2011, at his home in Brentwood, California.
When he passed away, he was 88 years old. A letter the actor wanted to be released after his death was made available on his official website. Given his lengthy involvement in the film industry, many people are curious about James Arness’ wealth at the time of his death.
The actor did a great job portraying US Marshall Dillon, a quiet hero with an unwavering commitment to justice in the 1955–1975 Wester series. The success of Gunsmoke brought him enormous fortune and celebrity.
Even now, he is still linked to the show in some way. Do you have any idea how much money Willie Robinson has? An intriguing piece about the Duck Commander company’s CEO was published on Tuko.co.ke.
With the stellar reputation of his company, he must be raking in a lot of cash from duck hunting. Duck Dynasty brought Willie Robinson to prominence in the United States. Duck decoys, duck calls, cooking DVDs, and clothing are just some of the items he sells to supplement his income from duck hunting.