How Much Money James Arness Made Playing Matt Dillon on the ‘Most Perennially Profitable’ Show Ever

gunsmoke actor James Arness became the most valuable actor for CBS. The Western television show sat at the top of the ratings for years. However, the network ultimately decided to cancel it abruptly without any warning for the cast or crew. Nevertheless, Arness made a fortune off gunsmoke that he never saw coming from the start. Here’s a look at how much that fortune amounted to.

James Arness thought John Wayne ruined his career by recommending him for ‘Gunsmoke’

James Arness as Matt Dillon | CBS via Getty Images

Before gunsmoke Came along, Arness was aiming for a career in the movie business. However, he had difficulty breaking out in a meaningful way. Much of this was because his 6’7″ height de él worried a lot of leading men in Hollywood that they would look small next to him. Arness worked with movie star John Wayne, which led to them growing closer as colleagues and friends.

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