James Arness, who’s known to millions as Marshall Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, has passed away at 88.
He’s seen above (right) with Hank Worden and Charles Kemper in John Ford’s Wagon Master (1950).
A message appears on his website—
I decided to write a letter to you for Janet to post on our website in the event I was no longer here.
I had a wonderful life and was blessed with so many loving people and great friends. The best part of my life was my family, especially my wife Janet. Many of you met her at Dodge City so you understand what a special person she is.
I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for the many years of being a fan of Gunsmoke, The Thing, How The West Was Won and all the other fun projects I was lucky enough to have been allowed to be a part of. I had the privilege of working with so many great actors over the years.
I was honored to have served in the army for my country. I was at Anzio during WWII and it makes you realize how very precious life is.
Thank you again for all the many letters, cards, emails and gifts we received from you over the years. You are and always have been truly appreciated.