James Arness Net Worth, Height, Age, Bio, Career, Lifestyle, Family, and FAQs


James Arness was a beloved American actor known for his iconic role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the long-running TV series “Gunsmoke.” With a career spanning over six decades, he left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. In this article, we’ll delve into James Arness’s net worth, height, age, bio, career, lifestyle, family, relationships, and answer some frequently asked questions about this legendary actor.

Net Worth

James Arness’ net worth was estimated to be around $8 million at the time of his passing in 2011. His extensive acting career, especially his role in “Gunsmoke,” contributed significantly to his wealth. Throughout his career, he received numerous accolades and a generous salary for his work on the show.

Height and Age

James Arness stood tall at 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm), making him one of the tallest actors in Hollywood during his time. He was born on May 26, 1923, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and passed away on June 3, 2011. At the time of his death, he was 88 years old.

Bio and Career

James Arness, born as James King Aurness, served in the United States Army during World War II, where he was severely wounded at the Battle of Anzio. After the war, he pursued acting and made his film debut in 1947 with “The Farmer’s Daughter.” However, his breakthrough came when he was cast as Marshal Matt Dillon in the television series “Gunsmoke,” which ran from 1955 to 1975, making it one of the longest-running TV shows in history.

Arness’ portrayal of the stoic, justice-driven lawman earned him widespread acclaim and recognition. He reprised his role as Matt Dillon in five made-for-television movies even after the series ended.

In addition to “Gunsmoke,” James Arness appeared in numerous films and television shows, including “The Thing from Another World” (1951), “Hondo” (1953), and “How the West Was Won” (1962). His talent and charisma made him a beloved figure in the Western genre.


James Arness was known for his down-to-earth and private lifestyle. He preferred to keep his personal life out of the public eye and was not involved in many Hollywood scandals or controversies. He lived a quiet life on his ranch in California when he was not working on film or television projects.

Family and Relationships

James Arness had a close-knit family. He was married twice during his lifetime. His first marriage to Virginia Chapman lasted from 1948 to 1960 and produced two sons, Craig and Rolf. Sadly, Virginia struggled with depression and alcoholism and passed away in 1976. James Arness’s second marriage was to Janet Surtees in 1978, and they remained together until his death.


  1. What is James Arness’s most famous role? James Arness is best known for his role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the TV series “Gunsmoke.”
  2. How tall was James Arness? James Arness was an exceptionally tall actor, standing at 6 feet 6 inches (198 cm).
  3. What was James Arness’s net worth? At the time of his passing in 2011, James Arness’s estimated net worth was around $8 million.
  4. When did James Arness pass away? James Arness passed away on June 3, 2011, at the age of 88.


James Arness was a towering figure in the world of entertainment, both in terms of his physical height and his impact on the industry. With an enduring legacy built on his iconic role in “Gunsmoke” and a successful career in film and television, he will always be remembered as a beloved actor.

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