Arness, James


Signed photo in the iconic role of Marshal Matt Dillon from the long-running television series, “Gunsmoke”



Autograph ID: 6875
Condition: Very good
Description: “(b. James King Aurness, 1923-2011) Actor best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon for 20 years in the CBS TV series “Gunsmoke”, playing the role of Dillon in 5 separate decades: 1955-75 in the weekly series, then in “Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge” (1987), and 4 made-for-TV “Gunsmoke” films in the 1990s. In Europe, Arness reached cult status for his role as Zeb Macahan in the series “How the West Was Won”. He was the older brother of actor Peter Graves. He was a rifleman with the Army landing at Anzio Jan. 22, 1944, and was severely wounded in his right leg t Anzio. He was honorably discharged January 29, 1945. His wounds continued to bother him throughout the rest of his life; in later years he had to cope with chronic leg pain that often became acute, such as when he mounted horses during his performance on “Gunsmoke.” He began his entertainment career as a radio announcer at Minneapolis’ WLOL in 1945. He hitchhiked to Hollywood and soon began acting and appearing in films. RKO immediately changed his name from “Aurness”. His film debut was as Loretta Young’s brother in “The Farmer’s Daughter.” Arness also appeared in 2 science fiction films, “The Thing from another World” (in which he portrayed the title character) and “Them!” He was a close friend of John Wayne and co-starred with him in “Big Jom McLain”, “Hondo”, “Island in the Sky”, and “The Sea Chase”, and starred in “Gun the Man down” for Wayne’s company. He also starred in a 1988 TV remake of Wayne’s 1948 classic “Red River.” John Wayne recommended Arness for the part of Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke” and Wayne introduced Arness in a prologue to the 1st episode of in 1955. “Gunsmoke” made Arness and his co-stars, world-famous and become the longest-running prime-time drama series in US television history by the end of its run in 1975. The series’ season record was tied in 2010 with “Law & Order” and tied again in 2018 with season 20 of “Law & Order: SVU.” “Gunsmoke”, however, eatured its lead character in each of its 20 seasons; Gunsmoke also aired 179 more episodes, and was in the top 10 in the ratings for 11 more seasons, for a total of 13, including 4 consecutive seasons at #1. After “Gunsmoke” ended, Arness performed in Western-themed movies and TV series 1987-94. An exception was as a big-city police officer in a short-lived 1981-82 series.

ISP, 10 x 8 iconic b&w half-length matte finish portrait as Marshal Matt Dillon from “Gunsmoke”, adding “Matt” under his signature.”
Type: Photograph

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