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Gunsmoke

Weekdays
11am/10c

James Arness

Matt Dillon

Generations have grown up with James Arness as Marshall Matt Dillon on television's longest running series, Gunsmoke.

Born on May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Arness served his country in Italy during World War II. He was wounded during the battle of Anzio and was awarded the Purple Heart. After his tour of duty in Europe, Arness became a radio announcer in Minnesota in 1945.

After moving to Los Angeles, Arness found work in the movies. His big break came in 1947, when he landed a prime role opposite Loretta Young in The Farmers Daughter. That year he also received parts in numerous westerns. In 1951, Arness appeared in the classic science fiction movie, The Thing.

In the early 1950's, Arness signed a contract with John Wayne's production company, Bat Jack. He made four films with Wayne. His big break came in 1955 when CBS wanted Wayne for the part of Marshal Matt Dillon for a new TV series called Gunsmoke. Wayne declined but suggested his good friend, Arness who stayed with Gunsmoke for 20 years until the show was cancelled in 1975.

After Gunsmoke, Arness starred in the hit television series How the West Was Won from 1977 to 1979 and Big Jim McLain in the early 1980s. He also starred in four Gunsmoke movies that aired on television.

Currently involved with many projects and charities, including the United Cerebral Palsy Foundation. Arness has received numerous awards and honors. He has twice been made an Honorary United States Marshall. He was inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City and received numerous Western Heritage Awards. Fans can write to James through his website JamesArness.com where his book James Arness: An Autobiography, with a forward by Burt Reynolds, is also available.

James and his wife Janet live in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles and are actively involved with their family, three sons and three grandchildren.

Character Bio

This 6'7" lawman is the symbol of frontier justice. As the Marshal of Dodge City, Kansas, a small town in the middle of a harsh territory, he brings law and order to a lawless frontier where lynch mobs are the norm. He has a reputation as a fair man and a quick draw. Cattle rustlers, fugitives, stagecoach bandits and gunslingers are among the variety of villains that populate Dodge City and the surrounding territory. He prefers to take these criminals into custody for a fair trial, but those who resist inevitably end up at Percy Crump's, Dodge City's undertaker and furniture maker.

Matt is a bachelor, but he shares a mutual (though platonic) admiration with Kitty Russell, the auburn-haired beauty who owns the Long Branch Saloon.

Gunsmoke TV Schedule

Monday
August 31
12:30pm
The Sodbusters
Marshal Dillon appears on the scene as a group of cattlemen are trying to gun down a farmer in a fight over water rights. Guest Stars: Leif Garrett, Harrison Ford
TV-G
1:30pm
The Brothers
After being duped into helping to shoot and kill an outlaw, Kitty finds herself pursued by the outlaw's brother.
TV-G
Tuesday
September 1
12:30pm
Hostage
A gang of marauders, "The Dog Soldiers," swears vengeance against Dillon by shooting down Kitty. As Kitty lies critically wounded, Matt starts tracking the outlaw who shot her.
TV-G
1:30pm
Jubilee
"A farmer dreams of striking it rich with his quarter horse. Festus, seeing the futility of Ed Wells' dream of riches, wins a bet, and the farmer is forced to see Jubilee beat another horse. Guest Stars: Alan Hale, Tom Skerritt A farmer dreams of striking it rich with his quarter horse. Festus, seeing the futility of Ed Wells' dream of riches, wins a bet, and the farmer is forced to see Jubilee beat another horse. Guest Stars: Alan Hale, Tom Skerritt A farmer dreams of striking it rich with his quarter horse. Festus, seeing the futility of Ed Wells' dream of riches, wins a bet, and the farmer is forced to see Jubilee beat another horse. Guest Stars: Alan Hale, Tom Skerritt A farmer dreams of striking it rich with his quarter horse. Festus, seeing the futility of Ed Wells' dream of riches, wins a bet, and the farmer is forced to see Jubilee beat another horse. Guest Stars: Alan Hale, Tom Skerritt A farmer dreams of striking it rich with his quarter horse. Festus, seeing the futility of Ed Wells' dream of riches, wins a bet, and the farmer is forced to see Jubilee beat another horse. Guest Stars: Alan Hale, Tom Skerritt"
TV-G
Wednesday
September 2
12:30pm
Arizona Midnight
A little cowboy astride a giant horse claims that the horse turns into an elephant when the moon is full. Dodge City residents are stunned when they see an elephant, wearing the cowboy's hat, appear in the street.
TV-G
1:30pm
Homecoming
Two outlaw brothers return to Dodge City to visit their dying mother and threaten to take Kitty and Doc as hostages to ensure their safe escape across the border to Mexico. Festus goes to the rescue.
TV-G