September 2016


Last September my son Jim and I were in Dodge City for the 60th anniversary. It was so wonderful seeing Buck Taylor, his wife Goldie, actor Roger Ewing, Burt Reynolds, writer Jim Burns, and Ben Bates and many other actors.

This year Jim’s stunt double Ben Bates is being honored with the Silver Spur Award in Studio City. I will be presenting the award to Ben who took such care of my husband on the set. Ben worked with Jim the last four years of Gunsmoke then they did How The West Was Won aka The Macahans which ran for four seasons. Ben also worked with Jim on all the Gunsmoke movies. They did McLain’s law, a detective series and the TV movie Red River. Ben looked so much like Jim in costume when they were on the set I had to be careful who I was going to put my arms around when I walked up to them. Not only did Jim and Ben work together but they were close friends. I am so thankful Ben was there on some of the tricky stunts. He is so deserving of this award and it’s about time.

Thanks to all the Gunsmoke fans for keeping Gunsmoke on the air for 61 years.

Janet Arness