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James Arness

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James Arness
Birth name James King Aurness
Born May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Died June 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California, USA
Notable Roles Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke
Notable Episodes
Awards star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
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James Arness was an American actor.




Starring Roles

Series Role Year(s) Season(s)
Gunsmoke Matt Dillon 1955–1975 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
How the West Was Won Zeb Macahan 1977–1979
McClain's Law Jim McClain 1981–1982 1

Guest Starring Roles

Specials and Made-for-TV Movies

Title Role Airdate Series/Banner
The Macahans Zeb Macahan January 19, 1976 How the West Was Won
The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory Jim Bowie January 24, 1987 NBC Monday Night at the Movies
Return to Dodge Matt Dillon September 26, 1987 Gunsmoke
The Last Apache Matt Dillon March 18, 1990 Gunsmoke
To the Last Man Matt Dillon January 10, 1992 Gunsmoke
The Long Ride Matt Dillon May 8, 1993 Gunsmoke
One Man's Justice Matt Dillon February 10, 1994 Gunsmoke

Talk, News and Game Show Appearances


Series Produced

Series Year(s) Credit Season(s)
Gunsmoke 1959 –1964 Associate Producer

Memorable Moments

Awards and Accolades

Primetime Emmy Awards

  • Nominated: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (1957, 1958, 1959)


  • Brother of Peter Graves. Jim tried to dissuade his younger brother from pursuing an acting career, but to no avail. Peter took their mother's maiden name, Graves, for his stage name.
  • His birth name is Aurness, but due to many people mispronouncing it as 'hour-ness', he dropped the 'u' from the name.