Deaths 2016

Deaths 2015

Deaths 2014

Deaths 2013

Deaths 2012

Deaths 2011

Deaths 2010

Deaths 2009


Full list by date of death

James Arness

Actor

Born - 26 May 1923, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Died - 3 June 2011

A genial giant with tousled fair hair, Arness (born James Aurness, and the older brother of Mission: Impossible star Peter Graves), achieved immortality when his friend John Wayne turned down the TV series Gun Law/Gunsmoke and recommended Arness for the leading role of Marshal Matt Dillon. The phenomenally successful series ran from 1955 to 1975. Later, Arness starred in several TV movie spin-offs. In postwar years, Arness, although difficult to cast at 6ft 7in, had begun a movie career, at first as naive young men: The Farmer's Daughter (1947), The Man from Texas (1948), Battleground (1949), Sierra (1950), Double Crossbones (1950), The People Against O'Hara (1951), Two Lost Worlds (1951), Big Jim McLain (1952), Island in the Sky (1953), Them! (1954), The Sea Chase (1955), The First Traveling Saleslady (1956) and Gun the Man Down (1956), virtually his last feature before TV consumed his career, although he did appear as his Gun Law character at the end of the spoof Bob Hope western, Alias Jesse James (1959). Much later, he played his friend Wayne's role in a 1988 TV version of the Wayne classic Red River, before hanging up his spurs in the mid 1990s.