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James Arness: An Autobiography
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James Arness: An Autobiography

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  42 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
This is the long anticipated, never-before-told account of one of the icons of twentieth-century television. There are many personal revelations of interacting with some of the Gunsmoke family ensemble, such as Miss Kitty, Doc and Festus. His own work as a producer is covered. Throughout are rare, previously unpublished photographs from the author's personal collection. Ap ...more
Paperback, Large Print, 331 pages
Published July 1st 2008 by McFarland & Company (first published September 2001)
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Mike (the Paladin)
May 02, 2016 Mike (the Paladin) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Please forgive my use of what some may consider a somewhat vulgar word in the quote below....

When I was young there was a saying many versions of which still survive, it's:

"You don't piss into the wind, you don't start a fight with Superman and you don't draw on Matt Dillon."

(later versions included not "spitting" into the wind, tugging on Superman's cape [Jim Croce], and you don't pull the mask on the Lone Ranger [again Jim Croce] and other versions)

This is another book where I have to confess
Jul 08, 2009 Andy rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, film
Since Arness grew up in the same Minneapolis neighborhood as myself I really enjoyed reading about his early years. The rest covers his WW2 years where he was wounded at Anzio, his film/tv career. He was making tons of dough on Gunsmoke and its schedule allowed him an enviable, leisurly lifestyle of surfing, sailing, flying, ranching etc. Written in a low-key, innocuous style and is probably mainly of interest to hardcore Gunsmoke fans.
Apr 08, 2012 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Early Years and the WWII account were the most interesting parts of the life of James w Arness. The man certainly lived a charmed life and there is almost no one from my generation that didn't enjoy Gunsmoke
Mar 31, 2010 Martha rated it really liked it
Every Saturday night when I was growing up the family would gather in front of the TV to watch Gunsmoke. James Arness aka Matt Dillon was a hero to us all. His life story if fascinating.
Dec 30, 2012 Penny rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading about James Arness as I grew watching all the Gunsmoke episodes, black and white to color. I am still watching re-runs almost daily even now.
Aug 29, 2016 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: actors, westerns
I'm discovering James Arness later in life but he was alive when I was younger. I wish I was interested back then and had been able to meet him. Life is funny that way. This is a well-done autobiography covering most of his life, not just the Gunsmoke years. I enjoyed learning about the man, the time period and the life of a popular TV icon. He's mostly humble, about as much as one could be and still talk about life successes. It seems like Mr. Arness really enjoyed the people he worked with and ...more
May 13, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Autobiographies aren't usually my cup of tea but a friend loaned this to me (Kindle and all) so I read it. A chronological progression from childhood to retirement, the book is fairly dry and moves along quickly. Arness' early years were more interesting to me than the television years. The description of his WWII experiences and the period immediately following his return to the States gives us a good picture of this young athlete turned actor. What was most telling was that he cared enough to ...more
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