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Jenny Lee Arness (James Arness’ Daughter) Cause of Death, Bio, Gunsmoke

Who Was Jenny Lee Arness?

Jenny Lee Arness was an American actress. She was best known for her role in the CBS television series Gunsmoke. Her father, James Arness, was also a well-known actor who played Dillon for five decades, in the weekly CBS television series Gunsmoke and later in Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (1987).

When was Jenny Lee Arness born?

Arness was born on May 23, 1950, in Los Angeles, California, USA. She died on May 12, 1975, in Malibu, California, USA.

Jenny Lee Arness Parents

Arness was born to James Arness and Virginia Chapman. She grew up with her siblings Rolf Aurness and Craig Aurness who was adopted. Her parents married in 1948 and divorced in 1963 after 15 years of marriage.

After their divorce, his father James was granted legal custody of the children. Her mother Virginia died of a drug overdose in 1977. Rolf was the World Surfing Champion in 1970 after beating Midget Farrelly in the finals in Victoria, Australia.

Craig was a professional photographer who worked for National Geographic as a photographer. He launched his own stock photography agency called Westlight.

Jenny Lee Arness Cause of Death

Lee passed away on May 12, 1975, in Malibu, California, USA just 11 days before celebrating her 25th birthday. She committed suicide by drug overdose and this draws us back to what really caused her to take the heroin overdose.

Her death was a shock to many because she was still a young girl, just 24 years old. In most cases, suicide is always linked to stress or any related mental illness. Jenny was struggling in her relationship with her boyfriend Greg Allman.

This is one of the factors that contributed to her demise. They broke up and she went through depression and chronic stress. Greg and Jenny were in their dating stages and they were not married.

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Jenny Lee Arness Father

James was an American actor probably most famous for playing the role of Marshal Matt Dillon in the CBS television series Gunsmoke for two decades. In 1943, with the war being fought in Europe and the Pacific, he was initiated into the military.

Although James intended to be a naval fighter pilot, he was anxious that his poor eyesight would prevent him from doing so. His height of 6 feet 7 inches (2.01 m) limited his chances because the aviator height maximum was set at 6 feet 2 inches (1.88 m).

In March 1943, he was enrolled into the United States Army and assigned to Fort Snelling. Despite his height, he was the first man called off his landing craft to evaluate the level of the water, which reached his waist.

During the Battle of Anzio, he was seriously injured in his right leg and was transported to a hospital from Italy to the United States, where he was admitted to the 91st General Hospital in Clinton, Iowa.

In his later years, he suffered from persistent leg discomfort that frequently became acute and was occasionally triggered when he was mounted on horses during his Gunsmoke performances.

Arness started his film and television career as a radio announcer at Minneapolis station WLOL in 1945, following his release from the service. He traveled to Hollywood, where he made the rounds to agencies and casting calls, and he soon began performing and appearing in films.

According to history, John Wayne was offered the major part of Matt Dillon in the long-running television series Gunsmoke, but he rejected, in favour of James.

Gunsmoke made James and his co-stars famous around the world and lasted for twenty years, making it the longest-running primetime drama series in US television history when it ended in 1975.

The only aspect of this scenario that makes it genuine is that Wayne actually recommended Arness for the role. In 1955, Wayne introduced Arness in a prologue to the first episode of Gunsmoke.

What happened to James Arness’s daughter Jenny?

Lee passed away on May 12, 1975 in Malibu, California, the USA just 11 days before celebrating her 25th birthday.

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How many times was Jenny Lee Arness on Gunsmoke?

Jenny made two minor guest appearances on Gunsmoke.

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