Actor James Arness, best known as Marshal Matt Dillon, in the long-running TV series Gunsmoke, has died. He was 88.
If you are close to my age, grew up in the U.S., and had a TV, you probably saw the show, which opened with a fast-draw showdown on Main Street. The Marshal shot that bad guy every week for twenty years. We saw him, Doc, Miss Kitty, Chester, Festus, and a slew of bad hombres and guest stars, and the Marshal used to get shot a time or two each season, making him the most-wounded cowboy on the tube.
Anybody who was anybody did a guest spot sooner or later. Leonard Nimoy was on the show.
Before he was the marshal of Dodge, Arness–whose younger brother Peter Graves, was also an actor–was in a lot of movies. An old war injury made it hard for him to sit on a horse, but he sat on a lot of them.
Sci Fi fans will remember him from Them! the mutant ant movie, and as the creature from 1951's The Thing from Another World.