James Arness Biography

Biography by Published on Updated on 27 May, 2019
Facts of James Arness
Date of Birth: 1923 , May-26
Age: 96 years old
Birth Nation: United States of America
Height: 6 Feet 7 Inch
View more / View Less Facts of James Arness

James Arness was a popular American actor who was best known for playing the roles of Marshal Matt Dillon for 20 years in the TV series Gunsmoke. He appeared in several films and television and was considered one of the experienced actor of Hollywood.

Arness died of natural causes at the age of 88 on June 3, 2011, at Brentwood home in Los Angeles, California. He is interred at the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Early Life And Education Of James Arness

James Arness was born on May 26, 1923, in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with the real name James King Aurness. 

For the 20 years of his life, he played the role of Dillon in 5 different decades of life. He belongs to America and adopted the actor as his profession. He resided in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California permanently from a long time.

James had completed his education from Minneapolis Washburn high school.  He had also received Alma masters from Beloit College. Since his parents were a businessperson, he wasn’t much interested in business. His father was from Norway and his mother was from German. The family name was entitled with the title Aursnes because his father was migrated from Norway in 1887. 

James Arness' Career

Arness had a dream to be a pilot as a naval fighter. But because of his poor vision and problem in eyesight was the major obstacle that blocked him towards it. Arness yet served as a rifleman during the Infantry Division in the 3rd range within the United States. He also landed on Anzio Beachhead on January 22, 1944, that was mentioned in the Autobiography that stated about James Arness.

He landed during that time as a rifleman with the second platoon. Arness was also sent to General Hospital at Clinton Iowa during the time by the U.S. Army because of his short height where he was the 1st one offered to have a landing craft for the determination of the complexity of the water. 

James Arness' Net Worth

James Arness' net worth was $8 million. He earned a huge amount of salary from his career and maintained such a huge net worth.

He starred in several other films including The Farmer's Daughter, Iron Man, Hondo, The Sea Chase, The First Traveling Saleslady, and more. He was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960 at 1751 Vine Street. 

James Arness' Personal Life

Arness got married to Virginia Chapman in 1948 and end their relationship in 1960. After the end of the first marriage, he got married to Janet Surtees and stayed with her until his death. Arness was the father of 4 children; Rolf Aurness, Craig Aurness, Jim Aurness, and Jenny Lee.

Arness was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and Purple Heart due to his hard work and sincerity across. He also has six grandchildren and one great-grandchild. 

There was a high rumor of a long-term relationship between James Arness and actress Thordis Brandt but they never get married either accepted their relationship in public. 

Body Measurements and Other Facts

  • Height: Arness bio states he had 6 feet 7 inch tall. But Arness usually stated that his height was 6 feet 6 inch in the regular newspaper and TV interviews. He was entitled as a tallest leading man in Hollywood by the time.
  • Body Measurements: His chest- waist, and hips measurements were 48-36-36 respectively. 

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