‘Gunsmoke’ Actor James Arness Didn’t Want to Work in Movies Because He Didn’t Like Motorcycle Riding

Actor James Arness was the face of gunsmoke in the role of US Marshal Matt Dillon. However, he initially had reservations about dedicating so much of his time to a television show rather than the prestige of feature films. He ultimately found comfort in the adult Western, flipping to the other side of the fence in wanting to steer clear of the moviemaking industry and all that came with it.

‘Gunsmoke’ actor James Arness originally started in movies

James Arness as Matt Dillon | CBS via Getty Images

Long before gunsmoke, Arness started his entertainment career after he was discharged from military service in World War II. When he discovered his affinity for acting, he wanted to make a name for himself on the silver screen. He got his start in The Farmer’s Daughter before making the move to sci-fi flicks Them! and The Thing From Another World. However, he had an increasingly difficult time getting cast alongside shorter leading men who were intimidated by his 6’7″ height from him.

Add a Comment