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James Arness: Rest In Peace, Marshall Dillon

(Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Although I was born well after the genre had reached its peak, I’ve always been a fan of the western. My all time favorite western series is Gunsmoke. On Friday, we said farewell to shows star, James Arness. He passed away from natural causes at age 88.  At 6’7″ tall, he literally stood head and shoulders above most of Hollywood. I’ve never read a bad thing about the man. The show was smartly written and Marshall Matt Dillon of Dodge City was the hero, but one who could let the others around him shine just as bright. I have to believe that quality was as much a function of the actor himself as the character he portrayed on CBS for 21 seasons.
Below is a clip of the late John Wayne introducing the series on its premiere night in 1955.

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