Farewell, Marshal Dillon

One of my earliest memories is hearing the gunshots in the street. On my grandparents’ TV, of course. Gunsmoke, one of my granddad’s favorites, began with the iconic scene where Matt Dillon faces off with another gunman. In an era when the good guys were still good, he always waited till after the bad guy shot to fire his gun – indicative of the strong sense of justice he seemed to carry.

I was sorry to read today of the passing of James Arness. He will always be the quintessential western lawman in my mind.

Here are some trivia facts you may not have known about him:

* He served in the U.S. Army during World War II
* He was wounded at Anzio and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star
* He was 6′ 7″ tall
* His brother Peter changed his name to Graves, and is known for his role in “Mission Impossible”
* He took the role on Gunsmoke at the recommendation and encouragement of his friend, John Wayne

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4 thoughts on “Farewell, Marshal Dillon

  1. That’s was one of the show we had to watch when i was a kid, dad liked it and my Gandmaw . it was a good show, he was good !

  2. I have one of the early episodes on vhs and in the intro as he is walking near a cemetery you can see one of the tombstones flopping in the breeze (an obvious prop). I get tickled every time I see it. I always new where my dad would be on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m. and I was right there with him. Great memories! The trivia is great. I had no idea he and Peter Graves were brothers, but it’s obvious now that you mention it.

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