“Forgotten Hollywood”- Marshal Dillon is Gone…

Posted on June 3, 2011 by raideoman1 | No Comments

Manny P. here…Gunsmoke

   I’m sorry to report the durable star of Gunsmoke has died. James Arness, who played Marshal Matt Dillon for 20 years in the series, also revived the role in a number of television movies. The character was popular with audiences for five decades. John Wayne made the wise suggestion of hiring Arness to producers of the program back in 1955. In all, he made four films with The Duke.

   When Gunsmoke premiered, John Wayne opened the telecast by telling the television viewers:

Good evening, my name’s Wayne. Some of you may have seen me before; I hope so. I’ve been kicking around Hollywood a long time. I’ve made alot of pictures out here, all kinds, and some of them have been Westerns. and that’s what I’m here to tell you about tonight: a Western – a new television show called Gunsmoke. No I’m not in it. I wish I were, though, because I think it’s the best thing of its kind that’s come along, and I hope you’ll agree with me; it’s honest, it’s adult, it’s realistic. When I first heard about the show Gunsmoke, I knew there was only one man to play in it… James Arness. He’s a young fellow and maybe new to some of you, but I’ve worked with him, and I predict he’ll be a big star. so you might as well get use to him, like you’ve had to get used to me. And now, I’m proud to present my friend, Jim Arness, in Gunsmoke.

  Arness was also in a number of memorable motion pictures including The Farmer’s Daughter, Battleground, The Thing, Them!, Hondo, and Island in the Sky. Over the years, he would be nominated for three Emmys for his role as the Dodge City marshal. He’s also remembered for playing Jim Bowie in the television production of The Alamo: 13 Days to Glory.

   Along with a decorated military record for service during World War II, Arness was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. On the 50th anniversary of television in 1989, People Magazine chose the Top 25 television stars of all time. Arness was #6.

   He was the brother of Peter Graves, who died last year. James Arness was 88.

Until next time>                               “never forget”

This entry was posted on Friday, June 3rd, 2011 at 1:26 pm and is filed under Blog by Manny Pacheco. You can follow any comments to this post through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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