James Arness, the 6-foot-6 actor who towered over the television landscape for two decades as righteous Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in “Gunsmoke,” died Friday.
He was 88.
The actor died in his sleep at his home in Brentwood, Calif., according to his business manager, Ginny Fazer.
Arness’ official website posted a letter from Arness on Friday that he wrote with the intention that it be posted posthumously:
“I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends,” he said.
“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.”
Video – Courtesy CNN