James Arness

James Arness (originally Aurness) (born May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an actor best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, a role he played for 20 years, to this day the longest any actor has played the same role on the same show in prime time. He is the brother of Peter Graves.

Though primarily identified with Westerns, he also is remembered for appearing in two science fiction films, The Thing from Another World and Them!

James Arness served in the United States Army during World War II and was severely wounded at the Battle of Anzio. He was a close personal friend of John Wayne's and co-starred in a film with him called Big Jim McClain. In fact, Wayne recommended Arness for the role of Matt Dillon.

Since Gunsmoke ended, Arness has continued to perform primarily in western-themed movies and television series, including How the West Was Won, and five made-for-television Gunsmoke reunion movies between 1987 and 1994. A notable exception was a brief turn as a big city policeman in the short-lived 1981 series, McClain's Law.


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A notable exception was a brief turn as a big city policeman in the short-lived 1981 series, McClain's Law. Within Reach: An Inspirational Journey into the Life, Legacy and Influence of Billy Barty was produced by Barty's nephew, Michael Copeland, and his wife, Debra Copeland. Since Gunsmoke ended, Arness has continued to perform primarily in western-themed movies and television series, including How the West Was Won, and five made-for-television Gunsmoke reunion movies between 1987 and 1994. A recent tribute book on his life was published in December 2002. In fact, Wayne recommended Arness for the role of Matt Dillon. Barty and his family were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was a close personal friend of John Wayne's and co-starred in a film with him called Big Jim McClain. They had two children, Braden and Lori.

James Arness served in the United States Army during World War II and was severely wounded at the Battle of Anzio. Barty was married to his wife Shirley from 1950 until his death. Though primarily identified with Westerns, he also is remembered for appearing in two science fiction films, The Thing from Another World and Them!. to help with his activism. He is the brother of Peter Graves. Barty founded The Little People of America Inc. James Arness (originally Aurness) (born May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota) is an actor best known for portraying Marshal Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke, a role he played for 20 years, to this day the longest any actor has played the same role on the same show in prime time. Barty was a noted activist for the promotion of rights for others with dwarfism. He was disappointed with contemporary Hervé Villechaize's insistence that they were "midgets" instead of actors with dwarfism.

Barty was known for his boundless energy and enthusiasm for any productions in which he appeared. But because of his stature, most of his work consisted of bit parts and gag roles. He was one of the most famous 20th century people with dwarfism, having prominent roles in popular movies such as Foul Play (1978), Under the Rainbow (1981) and Willow (1988). Barty was born in Millsboro, Pennsylvania.

Billy Barty (born William John Bertanzetti) (October 25, 1924–December 23, 2000) was an American film actor. We have doctors, nurses, just about every field covered.". "The general public thinks all little people are in circuses or sideshows. "The name of my condition is Cartilage Hair Syndrome Hypoplasia, but you can just call me Billy.".

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