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Sunday, 5 June 2011

RIP James Arness

Earlier this week we lost a true western icon in James Arness - James Arness was a big man — bigger than life.

He stood 6 feet 7 inches tall, according to his 2001 autobiography, and every inch was filled with the joy of living. No gentle giant, he pursued adventure with zeal. He spent his youth hunting, camping, sailing and hopping rides on freight trains and skipping school as often as he could get away with.

James died on June 3rd aged 88

Before he died he wrote a statement to be posted on his official website in the event of his death.

The letter follows and is used with permission:

Hi Friends,

I decided to write a letter to you for Janet to post on our website in the event I was no longer here.

I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends. The best part of my life was my family, especially my wife Janet. Many of you met her at Dodge City so you understand what a special person she is.

I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for the many years of being a fan of Gunsmoke, The Thing, How the West Was Won and all the other fun projects I was lucky enough to have been allowed to be a part of. I had the privilege of working with so many great actors over the years.

I was honored to have served in the army for my country. I was at Anzio during WWII and it makes you realize how very precious life is.

Thank you again for all the many letters, cards, emails and gifts we received from you over the years. You are and always have been truly appreciated.

Jim Arness

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