Saturday, June 4, 2011

In Memory of James Arness of "Gunsmoke"

James Arness of Gunsmoke fame died, I found out, at age of 88. I don't know the details. I have just come on here to write this.

My husband and I remember the show "Gunsmoke" as we grew up watching it, and other TV westerns. I want to say it was on Saturday night.

Before the hour long show came along, the half-hour show called "Marshall Dillon" was on with the same characters, Doc, Kitty and Chester Good played by Dennis Weaver. And James Arness was Marshall Dillon.

We now watch the reruns of Marshall Dillon, and I find the shows well put together, the writers were able to set up a mystery and keep you guessing all the way to the end.

I was informed by my husband that James Arness started out as John Wayne's stunt double. Well, at 6'7" I think it was a good match up. He was recommended for the show, and I guess he never looked back. He seems to have been born to the role that made him famous. You gotta love his even-tone delivery, the fact he can look a killer straight in the eye and not back down, and yet he did he job. But every now and then, if there was a good reason to bend the rules a bit, he did, out of human compassion. Even his sound-alike brother, Peter Graves of "Mission: Impossible", you'd swear they were drenched with the air of inborn authority. He kept his character alive and interesting across five decades, and that is quite a feat, if you ask me.

Not in every show there is a show-down, and in fact the Marshall tries to avoid it. Sometimes his big fist punches someone who really deserves it. I think the punch hurt just as much.

Well, I just wanted to write this up as my small effort in memory of a great actor.

More tomorrow, as I give an up-date on the kitchen. I promise I'll get pictures in here as soon as I can.

Have a great Saturday everyone!

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