Hello Gunsmoke fans,
From your responses, Jim’s eBay site has made many of you able to buy photos and personal items of Jim’s I know Jim would be so pleased to share these items with you his loyal fans. I have new items posting every week so keep checking store. The eBay store is under jamesarnessprivatecollection.
Now more about my dear husband and his life.
After WWII Jim moved to California from Minnesota. He took acting lessons on the GI-bill. His first movie was “The Farmer’s Daughter” in 1947 starring Loretta Young and Joseph Cotton. Loretta won the best actress Academy Award for her part. That was a big break for Jim. In the early 50’s Jim signed a contract with John Wayne and Wayne’s Batjac company. When Wayne interviewed Jim, he asked about his background and the films the he had acted in such as Battleground, Roses are Red, Two Lost Worlds and The Thing to name a few. At the end of the interview Wayne asked Jim if he drank. This caught my husband off guard and he wasn’t sure how to answer that question. Jim told John “that he had been known to have a few”. John smiled and said good, sign here. Jim did a number of films with Wayne including Big Jim McClain, Sea Chase, Hondo and Island in the Sky. I still have some of the mugs that Wayne gave to the crew after filming.
Jim and John had many things in common (including sharing a birthdate) and became good friends over the years. Jim always felt it was an honor to call Wayne his friend. In fact, when Gunsmoke debuted Wayne did the introduction of the first show that was aired. Jim had no idea John was going to do this kind gesture and he was surprised as he watched the first episode at home. As you all know the rest is history.
God Bless two wonderful men!