James Arness has died. Gunsmoke fades to black. As a kid we only got two channels, both in black and white, and through this narrow portal I witnessed so much greatness. Gunsmoke was bigger for my parents(family Dog named Gunsmoke) than it was for me but I sure gained a healthy respect for law, order and justice from watching this landmark series that had a 20 year run. North America would be a lot better off watching this than the Jersey Shore. Interesting tidbits; John Wayne was the original pick for this role, and Peter Graves of mission impossible was James brother. RIP Marshall.
Good evening. My name's Wayne. Some of you may have seen me before; I hope so. I've been kicking around Hollywood a long time. I've made a lot of pictures out here, all kinds, and some of them have been Westerns. And that's what I'm here to tell you about tonight: a Western—a new TV show called Gunsmoke. No, I'm not in it. I wish I were, though, because I think it's the best thing of its kind that's come along, and I hope you'll agree with me; it's honest, it's adult, it's realistic. When I first heard about the show Gunsmoke, I knew there was only one man to play in it: James Arness. He's a young fellow, and maybe new to some of you, but I've worked with him and I predict he'll be a big star. So you might as well get used to him, like you've had to get used to me! And now I'm proud to present my friend Jim Arness in Gunsmoke.
– John Wayne- Gunsmoke TV episode one