Rolf Aurness Now 2023, Wife, Sister Jenny Lee Arness, Craig, and Father

Who is Rolf Aurness?

Rolf Aurness is an American surfer well-known as the son of the late actor James Surtees. James is well known for his role as Marshal Matt Dillon which he played for 20 years in the series Gunsmoke on CBS. He was also a radio announcer in Minnesota, a career he began back in 1945.

He defeated Midget Farrelly in the finals of the 1970 World Surfing Championships, which were held in Johanna, Victoria, Australia.

Rolf Aurness Age

Aurness is 70 years old as of 2022. He was born on February 18, 1952, in Santa Monica, California.

Where is Rolf Aurness Now 2023

Rolf now lives a private life in his hometown. Currently not much is known about his current life after the death of most of his family.

Rolf Aurness Net Worth

Aurness has an estimated net worth of $1 million as of 2022.

Rolf Aurness Surfing

Aurness dropped out of surfing in the decade following his World Surfing Championship victory because his wife, mother, and sister all died. His wife died of cancer in 1978, his mother Virginia (née Chapman) died of cancer in 1976, and his sister Jenny Lee Aurness died by suicide on May 12, 1975.

Rolf Aurness in his early surfing days
Rolf Aurness in his early surfing days

Craig, his adopted brother, founded the stock photography agency Westlight and worked as a National Geographic photographer. Graig died Dec. 14, 2004, in Panorama City, Calif. He had been undergoing treatment for lung and anemia complications.

Rolf Aurness Parents

Rolf is the son of actor James Arness and Virginia Chapman. After his parents divorced, his father went on to marry Janet Surtees. James Arness is known for his famous role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the Gunsmoke series. After playing the role for over 20 years, he earned three Emmy nominations and other numerous awards.

The show was canceled in 1975 making it the longest-running series ever produced. After the success of the show, he starred in “Gunsmoke IV: The Long Ride” in 1992.

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James Arness Death

Surtees’s husband died on June 3, 2011, at the age of 88 in his Brentwood home in Los Angeles. Before his death, he wrote a letter to his fans and asked his wife to post it on his website after his death. Part of the letter read;

“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. Thank you again for all the many letters, cards, emails, and gifts we received from you over the years. You are and always have been truly appreciated”

Rolf Aurness Wife

Rolf was married to his wife Virginia Chapman. She, unfortunately, died of cancer in 1978.

Is Rolf Aurness still alive?

Yes, Rolf is alive and in good health.

Rolf Aurness Height

Aurness stands at a height of 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m).

What does Rolf Aurness do for a living?

Rolf is s retired surfer. He now lives his quiet life together with his family in his hometown.

What happened to Craig Aurness?

Craig had been undergoing treatment for lung and anemia complications. He died on 14th December 2004 in Panorama City, California.

Craig Aurness Wife

Craig was married to his wife Daphne. They had two children Holly and Brian.

In the 1970s, he worked as an apprentice with Earl Tyson, a photographer for Look magazine. His first assignment for National Geographic was published in 1978, and he spent the next ten years traveling the world and writing seven more National Geographic pieces as well as several books.

The National Press Photographers Association honored his work for the magazine with honors for Best Photograph and Best Photo of the Year in the Magazine Pictorial Division.

Aurness launched the Westlight stock picture firm with photographer Charles O’Rear, one of the first to specialize in the international market. In 1998, Westlight was sold to Corbis.

Who Was Jenny Lee Arness?

Jenny Lee Arness was an actress known for starring in the series Gunsmoke in 1955. She was the daughter of actor James Arness and Virginia Chapman. She was also the sister of Rolf Arness and Craig.

What happened to Jenny Lee Arness?

Jenny died on May 12 1975 in Malibu, California due to a drug overdose. It was said that she was suffering after her breakup with her boyfriend Greg Allman which resulted in her taking a large amount of heroin.


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