James Arness, Gunsmoke Star, Dies at 88

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Actor James Arness of Gunsmoke fame has passed away at age 88.

“Jim passed away this morning at home with his wife of natural causes. He went quietly in his sleep,” Arness’ rep, Ginny Fazer, said earlier.

“He is survived by his wife Janet, two sons and six grandchildren.”

The 6’6” actor was best known for his role of Marshal Matt Dillon in the classic weekly series, which he played for an amazing 20 years.

The funeral will be private, but fans are encouraged to make donations in Jim’s name to his favorite charity, United Cerebral Palsy.

It's unknown if he was ailing for an extended time period, but Arness left a farewell letter of sorts on his official website for his fans.

“I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends," he writes. Continue reading the full letter.