- Was wounded and received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his actions at Anzio during World War II.
- Was a radio announcer in Minnesota in 1945.
- Signed to play Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke in 1955 after John Wayne turned down the part.
- Made four films in three years with the Duke: Big Jim McClain (1952), Hondo (1953), Island in the Sky (1953) and The Sea Chase (1955).
- Has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and has been inducted into the Cowboy Hall of Fame.
- Coauthored the memoir James Arness: An Autobiography (2001).
- 1959, Emmy — Best Actor in a Leading Role (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic Series: Nominee
- 1957, Emmy — Best Continuing Performance by an Actor: Nominee
- 1958, Emmy — Best Continuing Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Dramatic or Comedy Series: Nominee
- Virginia Chapman — Ex-wife
- Craig Arness — Son
- Jim Surtees — Stepson
- Janet Surtees — Wife
- Rolf Cirkler Aurness — Father
- Rolf Arness — Son
- Jenny Lee Arness — Daughter
- Peter Graves — Brother
- Ruth Duesler Aurness — Mother
- Attended Beloit College, Beloit, WI
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- Birth Name: James Aurness
- Birth Place: Minneapolis, MN
- Died: June 3, 2011
- Profession: Actor
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He demonstrates the bukkehorn, the tagelharpa and the lyre