James Arness has died

Discussion in 'News / Current Events' started by Robert Snow, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Robert Snow

    Robert Snow
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    0
    Marshal Matt Dillen is dead!

    I believe he is the last of the Gunsmoke cast member to die.

    I loved that show while I was growing up!
     
  2. DiamondLady

    DiamondLady
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    808
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ahhh but he will live on in perpetuity in reruns
     
  3. TCassidy

    TCassidy
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2005
    Messages:
    12,133
    Likes Received:
    1,302
    There are 3 still living. Buck Taylor, Roger Ewing, and Burt Reynolds. :)
     
  4. Salty

    Salty
    Expand Collapse
    20,000 Posts Club
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2003
    Messages:
    22,070
    Likes Received:
    216
    Do you remember the Theme song from Gunsmoke?

    May I make a suggestion:

    Please list one you your favorite episodes

    1. somehow Matt ends up with a young boy who is a brat. At the end of the show, the parents wanted to know how Matt got the boy to behave.
    A: Well see that wood shed over there....
     
  5. Earth Wind and Fire

    Earth Wind and Fire
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2010
    Messages:
    18,908
    Likes Received:
    94
    Marshall Dillon.....RIP
     
  6. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,403
    Likes Received:
    328
    My,my. His brother Peter died in March of last year.

    I had gone to the website of James Arness a few months ago. I was toying with the idea of getting an autographed picture of his sent to me.

    He was the kind of man who actually was hero-like. He was who he portrayed on screen. He seemed to have good moral qualities and high ideals.
     
  7. Arbo

    Arbo
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Messages:
    3,942
    Likes Received:
    1
    A class act...
     
  8. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    My hero is gone...[​IMG]

    Does anyone know anything about his spiritual state? You know how it is, we all like to think that all our loved ones, heroes, and pets are in heaven.

    My favorite episode was in the last or near the last season, when he was chased by a crazy old man and his sons. At the end the old man goes bizerk and kills one of the sons. But oddly enough, I like that episode for the actor's performance that played the old man. He's the same guy that played "Eyes" prison guard in Cool Hand Luke (he is the one that shot Luke at the end).
     
  9. Priscilla Ann

    Priscilla Ann
    Expand Collapse
    Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    616
    Likes Received:
    0
    Me too! Our whole family always watched Gunsmoke together. Wonderful memories...
     
  10. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    I just saw him in an old movie a couple of days ago in which he played a bad guy. I though it was one of his best acting performances - a completly different character tha Marshall Dillon.

    But come to think of it, he was always acting when doing Dillon, because he was very warm and talkative during interviews, unlike the stoic Dillon.
     
  11. J.D.

    J.D.
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2006
    Messages:
    3,553
    Likes Received:
    8
    He had a long marraige so he must have been pretty straight shooter.

    I always loved it in the tv show when women would try to seduce him and he would just look at them with that all-business look of his and say, "It ain't hapnin".
     
  12. Alcott

    Alcott
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2002
    Messages:
    7,454
    Likes Received:
    93
    I think the chances are good that I know more about JA than anyone who posts here, and definitely more about Gunsmoke. My main 'official' reference, though I haven't consulted it in years, is Gunsmoke: A Complete History by Suzanne and Gabor Barabas, casually known as "Big Red" by serious fans. Its 600+ pages relates the biography of each cast member and many guest stars, and the episode guide gives the plot and cast of each episode. I am part of a couple of fan groups that share fan fictions, thoughts, quizzes, et al. I have written about 15 or more stories, including a 5-part novelette coupling the GS cast in Dodge City with the Anderson family from Virginia in Shenandoah as they move west and pass through. My interest in GS has given my brother and sister-n-law an annual Christmas present theme, and I have posters, mouse pads, a tie, cassette tapes, a U.S. Marshal's badge, an album by Ken Curtis ["Festus Haggin"] and more such stuff.

    Anyway, someone said James Arness "seemed to have good moral qualities and high ideals." Well, that's probably debatable; although as an aging actor with tragedies in his family, he may have become more like that ideal as time passed. But as a young adult he was a drifter, though his voice and tall, handsome appearance got him a few radio and theater jobs, and even after he went to California (he was from Minnesota) he worked blue collar jobs between his few acting parts and was more interested in surfing and hanging around the beaches. It's well known it was John Wayne, with whom he had worked on 3 movies, that suggested the part of Matt Dillon for him after Wayne declined it, admitting in various ways that he didn't like actors taller than he was, and he didn't want to get perpetually paired with him, as seemed to be happening.

    The part of Matt had virtually been offered to Denver Pyle before Arness was the last man to audition, and then John Meston and company couldn't deny that Pyle looked excellent, but Arness was near perfection for what they wanted. Still, Arness didn't really take the role seriously at first, nor acting in general. Milburn Stone, the veteran actor who played Doc Adams, was the direct opposite, who took acting very seriously, and lectured Arness on continually being late and then 'just fooling around' when he did get on the set. While he never gave up his liking for jokes-- one of his favorite being to pass gas in the middle of a serious scene-- he gradually came to respect his role and his fellow performers more, as no one could argue with the success of a show that stays at the top for a decade. At the same time, he became increasingly uncomfortable with public interest and the media, and since the early 60's he has seldom granted interviews or appeared at public functions.

    However, I do have a copy of a special appearance he did make about 2003, when our group from delphi.com met him, Buck Taylor ["Newly O'Brian"], Laurie Prange [The "Wild Child"] and writer Jim Burns. He gave autographs, and his manager conducted a Q&A session in which he and the others answered questions and told about their experiences with the series. I haven't read his most recent, and obviously last, blog, but I have read elsewhere that he requested it be published posthumously.
     
  13. TomVols

    TomVols
    Expand Collapse
    Administrator
    Administrator

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2000
    Messages:
    11,170
    Likes Received:
    0
    The quintessential man's man. Gonna miss him.
     
  14. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    4,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    He was also "The Thing" in the original great movie.
     

Share This Page

Loading...