James Arness is best remembered as Matt Dillon in TV's "Gunsmoke". It was originally a radio program with William Conrad (Cannon) providing the voice. It ran for twenty years. Until recently it was the longest portrayed role of a character on television until Kelsey Grammer's portrayal of "Frasier". It was also the longest running live action show until equaled by "Law and Order" last year. I also discovered he was the brother of Peter Graves, something I never knew.
My Favorite role for James Arness is as the monster in Howard Hawk's "Thing FRom Another World". Here's the trailer. R.I.P. James Arness