How tall was James Arness

James Arness Height

6ft 7in (201 cm)

American actor, best remembered for roles in TV shows Gunsmoke, How the West Was Won and films such as Big Jim McLain, Island in the Sky, The Sea Chase, Hondo, Gun the Man Down, Horizons West, Carbine Williams, Hellgate and Her Twelve Men. In the 1970's he said "I'm 6-6 and weigh 225 pounds", although he also said in 2005 Tv.com, "I was 6 feet 7 when I started and I've shrunk up a little bit. I'm probably 6-5 or so now. But up here at 82 I feel pretty good"

James Arness Matt Dillon Gunsmoke 1969

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Add a Comment 175 comments




Arch Stanton said on 3/Sep/16
Yes, I'd put him at a Cudmore sort of height, 2m flat is possible.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 1/Sep/16
I think he had to be near 6ft7. He was a giant...especially by those days standards
Canson said on 25/Jul/16
I'd say 6'6.5 like Rampage said. He looks as tall as a Cudmore imho. Worst case flat 6'6
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 25/Apr/16
Arness was 3in taller than Wayne in Big Jim McLain
VC said on 31/Mar/16
I have to agree unanimously because both Jim & Clint are big, tall and amicable giants; indeed true legends. Alas, if John was a bully, he seemed like a nice fellow though I don't him but it would an honor to meet all three of them. Too bad, these threesome was never in a movie together.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 16/Mar/16
This guy or Clint Walker...far more impressive on screen than John Wayne who was just a bully.
Rampage(-_-_-)Clover said on 7/Feb/16
Rob, could he have been 6ft6?


He came out with both 6ft6 and 6ft7 claims
Editor Rob: you could make a case he could look it
Tom said on 7/Feb/16
Arness was 6'6".
VC said on 17/Nov/15
Shadow2, you are very welcome. I trust that you are a genuine gentleman like Big Jim Arness because he is always true to himself, especially his towering height. I assumed that many fans of tall men refused to accept but rather deny that their idols are smaller than they seemed on paper or screen. Nonetheless, I rather speak the truth instead of exaggerating or falsify facts. Though, I realised their actual height but that doesn't change my perception nor favoritism towards them. I guessed regular folks out there prefer to magnify their heroes stature than cutting down their heroes to size. Indeed, it is a personal psychological perspective.
Shadow2 said on 16/Nov/15
VC, thanks for your accurate feedback on those pics of Jim and John Wayne. Unfortunately some people refuse to believe that tall and very tall actors sometimes wear lifts when working with taller co-stars, or even those of the same height. The late Denny Miller (he was 6 4") said in a quote Rob has used over on his page, that this happens all the time in Hollywood. In his case he tells how he was made to look 6' 5" to physically intimidate Tom Selleck on "Magnum P.I.". This is the same as you have mentioned with Buddy Baer and Chuck Connors appearing with Jim on "Gunsmoke". Certain people take great offense if you argue John Wayne was not 6' 4", James Garner was not 6' 2", Adam West was not 6' 2", or Clint Walker was not 6' 6", etc. etc. These actors' skills or their manhood is not being insulted if their true heights can be shown to be an inch or so less than they or their publicist claims.
VC said on 14/Nov/15
Shadow2, indeed I saw what ! saw and it is obviously lifts inside his shoes. No way, Wayne is strong 6'4 because he is famous for wearing high heels in all his westerns and Jim doesn't. When someone wears in and out lifts, he naturally becomes taller. I read that Rob Conrad wore in/out lifts and special footwear to look much taller than all his cast. Do you remember when Connors and Baer wore lifts to look taller than Jim in Gunsmoke? In my opinion, Wayne is a strong 6'2 guy with nothing more and nothing less.
Shadow2 said on 13/Nov/15
VC, have you had a look at Wayne and Jim in the 1952 movie "Big Jim McLain". Back on 9/Feb/15 over on Wayne's page, dietmar posted some links to four screen shots from this movie. Compare the first and fourth images in particular, all of them with Wayne and Jim on level ground. Compare the shoulder height relationships between the different pictures. Do you see what I see?
VC said on 11/Nov/15
Shadow2, I don't blame Ted because Richard Kiel is a 7 foot guy. I agree because Ted would had been an imposing bad guy in Gunsmoke. Nonetheless, if he stood beside Jim, Ted will no longer considered taller than 6'7. I don't think he wish to risk that and his height reputaton. In Hollywood, some tall guys height were exaggerated. In this case, it was obvious that Ted's height was the perfect example. John Wayne's height was manifested too unlike his buddy, Jim whom was a true iconic giant and a legend in his time.
Shadow2 said on 11/Nov/15
VC, Ted and 6' 4" Max Baer Jnr were unfortunately on opposite sides of the frame in the closing scene of "The Beverly Hillbillies", but there seemed a three inch difference only. With Fess, it seemed about a one inch difference with Ted when they fought or struggled in the "Daniel Boone" episode. With Frank Wilcox in "The Addams Family", Ted was no more than four inches taller. It would have been great to have Ted as a villain in "Gunsmoke", i.e. in the Dodge City saloon eye to eye with Jim, similar to the recent photo here of Jim and Don Megowan confronting each other. Ted and Richard Kiel were rivals for various TV roles, Ted apparently got angry and left whenever Richard turned up for the same audition.
VC said on 8/Nov/15
Shadow2, you are very welcome because I am sure that Ted is as tall as Jim Arness in his prime. Another good comparison was when Ted appeared in a 70's short-lived Tarzan tv series whereby Ron Ely played Tarzan. He was slightly taller than Ron and Ron is a 6'4 guy. Speaking of footwear, many tall guys looked taller due to added footwear so the best way to compare them is when they are standing beside noticeable tall men. In this case, Max Baer Jr with Ted.
Shadow2 said on 5/Nov/15
VC, thanks for the confirmation that it was young James Cromwell auditioning for Lurch. Re. Ted Cassidy, having seen him with Fess Parker in "Daniel Boone", Buddy Ebsen and Max Baer Jnr in "The Beverly Hillbillies, and 6' 3" Frank Wilcox in "The Addams Family", my estimation is that he was a strong 6' 7". There are even noticeable differences in the height relationship between Ted and John Astin in the various publicity shots of them as Lurch and Gomez as seen in the same Getty archive. Maybe footwear was used at times to give Ted the 6' 9" look.
VC said on 5/Nov/15
Shadow2, I am know all three tall gents, John Dierkes, Paul Wexler and James Cromwell and I am sure that the other (younger) chap among the crew in 'Addams Family' was unmistakenly James Cromwell himself. I recalled that Cromwell stood between 196cm-198cm so he could portrayed 'Lurch' if producers didn't find Cassidy. From my opinion, Ted Cassidy doesn't looked like a strong 6'9. Perhaps close to 203cm or a weak 6'8. What do you think?
Shadow2 said on 2/Nov/15
VC, 6' 5" John Dierkes, who occasionally worked with Jim, was mentioned here a while back. I recently come across some pictures of the 1964 auditions for Lurch in TV's "The Addams Family", and John appeared to be one of two "unidentified actors" unsuccessfully competing for the butler role that went to Ted Cassidy. The other (younger) guy may have been 6' 5" actor Paul Wexler, or could have been a very young James Cromwell. Check out Getty images - "Ted Cassidy" and see what you think.
VC said on 29/Oct/15
@Shadow2, thanks for agreeing therefore Gunsmoke remains as my favourite adult-oriented western tv series for years to come though it is no longer on the tube. I think nobody does it better than Jim Arness as Marshal Matthew Dillon.
Shadow2 said on 28/Oct/15
Dietmar, I have to agree with VC's comments on Jim and Roger, but greatly appreciate those five screen shots. Based on those Roger would certainly deserve a 6' 6" (198cm) listing if he ever got a page on this site. Jim, unlike some other tall actors, certainly never minded working with actors of his own size where he no longer physically stood out in a scene. Similar to having very tall people in charge behind the scenes on "Gunsmoke", such as director Andrew V. McLaglen and writer/script consultant Paul Savage.
VC said on 26/Oct/15
@dietmar, my best guess is Jim had a poor knee during 'Gunsmoke' 20 years stint so he was unable to stand straight and that makes him 198cm. I hope this helps. And, Roger of course was a tall lad. That is obviously why he was hired to play his deputy. In my opinion, perhaps on a good day, Jim was an inch taller. Sometimes, they looked like father and son on screen.
dietmar said on 25/Oct/15
About Jim vs Roger Ewing. I have watched all the 51 Gunsmoke episodes where Roger appeared, and still can say if he is taller, or shorter than Jim. Here are perhaps the best screenshots:

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I know Roger is listed as 197cm, but honestly, he looks taller than Michael Conrad, standing next to Jim.
VC said on 22/Oct/15
@dietmar, hats off to you for a detailed description of all the tall cast in HTWWW and I won't argue with that after looking at the statistics. Back to Ben Davidson, I guessed he was slightly taller than Jim. You are right about that, he looks like a monster beside her and everyone else in town.
dietmar said on 22/Oct/15
My estimation for heights in HTWWW.

- Richard Moll, 203cm
- Jim, (standing tall) 200cm
- Michael Conrad, 198cm
- Christopher Lee, 196cm
- Med Flory, 196cm
- Jared Martin, 189cm
- Bruce Boxleitner, 188cm.

Bruce with Michael, i can see a solid 4in difference there. Bruce has shoe advance, he is wearing cowboy boots, while Michael wears normal shoes

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Here's Med Flory with 188cm James Coburn. James is the same height as Bruce, so you may compare the difference between Michael vs Med. I would say Michael is definitely taller than Med.

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Ben Davidson also appeareed in HTWWW, but he stood only with Elyssa Davalos, so its hard to judge his height, but he looked really huge, so theres no reason to doubt his 203cm listing. He would have easily edged out Jim. Anyway, super tall cast in HTWWW!
VC said on 20/Oct/15
@dietmar, I have to disagree because Jim slouches most of the time due to his bad knee thus in HTWWW, Jim is under 6'7 frame. And, if they stood straight together; both Jim and Richard will look equal in height. I recalled that James Cromwell is 6'5 and he was slightly shorter than Richard in a 'Night Court' episode. I guessed the episode was called 'Trouble with Harry', perhaps.
dietmar said on 20/Oct/15
I just watched the HTWWW episode where Richard Moll appeared, and to me he looked noticeably taller than Jim.

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Here's Jim with Med Flory in HTWWW. Med appeared in many Daniel Boone episodes with Fess Parker, and is listed as 6'5". Looking at the pic, i can buy that.

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Shadow2 said on 9/Oct/15
dietmar, I can't identify Christopher Lee's big henchman who fights Jim in your second clip, even after checking the credit list of HTWWW. There's a scene in your first clip at 5.30 with Jim and Chris Lee in Brian Keith's (the General's) office which better shows that Jim was at least 1.5" taller, as Sam has already said. In your fourth clip, compared to 6' 5.5" Michael Conrad, Jared Martin only looks 6' 2", hard to even give him a 6' 2.5".
Sam said on 8/Oct/15
Yeah, there you go Arness seems about 1.5 inches taller than Lee I think.
VC said on 7/Oct/15
@dietmar, yes! and you can watch the full episode of 'HTWWW' with Jim & Richard Moll on YouTube. I think Ron Feinberg is similar to Jim's height based on the comparison between him and Mike Conrad.
dietmar said on 7/Oct/15
Jim and Christopher Lee appeared together in "How the west was won" in -78. Pause at 2.40 and you will see the difference.

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@Shadow, do you recognize the big guy Jim is fighting with onwards 5.00? Looks the same height as Jim.

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Here is Jim face to face with Michael Conrad, at 1.45. Michael is looking up at Jim, so i would say Jim is an inch taller.

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Jared Martin is 6'3". Look how short he looks with Michael Conrad. Pause at 5.24.

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I havent found the scene with Jim and Richard Moll in "HTWWW". Is it in Youtube?
dietmar said on 7/Oct/15
Jim and Christopher Lee appeared together in "How the west was won" in -78. Pause at 2.40 and you will see the difference.

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@Shadow, do you recognize the big guy Jim is fighting with onwards 5.00? Looks the same height as Jim.

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Here is Jim face to face with Michael Conrad, at 1.45. Michael is looking up at Jim, so i would say Jim is an inch taller.

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Jared Martin is 6'3". Look how short he looks with Michael Conrad. Pause at 5.24.

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I havent found the scene with Jim and Richard Moll in "HTWWW". Is it in Youtube?
VC said on 7/Oct/15
@Sam, I came across a photo of them together with a kid in between. So, where can I find more photos of them together?
Sam said on 5/Oct/15
Good photo with Christopher Lee, not sure I knew that they appeared in something together, and makes a good case for Lee at the full 6'5" even if Arness is not standing as upright. A couple photos of Arness with Clint Walker and they look very similar but Arness seems to often stand looser.
Shadow2 said on 3/Oct/15
Dietmar, if Michael Conrad was 6' 5.5", this would give an inch and a half advantage to Ron Feinberg. Ron did two episodes of the original "Hawaii Five-O" and in at least one of them his character's height is described as 6' 7". If Ron was actually 6' 8" they probably would have referred to him in the script as this, since he was cast for his size in both Five-O roles, towering over the "height sensitive" Jack Lord. Ron was a slightly larger version of TV heavies Don Megowan and Mike Lane, but not looking as athletic and fit as those two giants. I agree Christopher Lee was 6' 5", but did you notice in the picture you've given us that Jim Arness is not standing straight, his right leg is at an angle.
dietmar said on 2/Oct/15
Ron Feinberg was the only one who was taller than Michael Conrad in Hill Street Blues. In this picture he dwarfs Mike by several inches. Must be the camera angle, the real difference is not that big.

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Here is closer to the truth. Anyway, Ron is cleary looking down at Conrad, and Michael is looking up, so i would say Ron is easily 2in taller than Michael.

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Ron Feinberg is listed at 6'7". To me he looks 6'8". The difference between Jim and Michael Conrad looks smaller than Feinburg vs Conrad. Im pretty sure Feinburg was taller than Jim. He looks really massive also in "Mission Impossible" episodes. He dwarfs basicaly everybody there.

By the way, i think Christopher Lee was damn close to 6'5". He was only about an inch shorter than Jim in "HTWWW".

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Shadow2 said on 30/Sep/15
Dietmar and VC, have a look at Adam West (as Bruce Wayne without the costume) in "Batman", compared to 6' 6" Alan Napier as Alfred. There's a five inch difference between them, indicating Adam was 6' 1", He was slightly taller when wearing the Batboots. If Adam still seems tall in his very senior years there could be a simple explanation for that (i.e. lifts). Mike Lane was definitely 6' 6", I've seen him in many other things (e.g. "Six Million Dollar Man" with Lee Majors, which Imdb missed crediting). The 6' 8" erroneous listing is from his role in "The Harder They Fall" where he wore special boots to give him two more inches of height while playing the giant boxer. Michael Conrad was close to 6' 6", perhaps his 6' 5.5" listing is fairly accurate. I think Rob Reiner was only 6' 1", Bruce Boxleitner however is very close to 6' 2". VC, I looked at "Return to Dodge" again and don't recognize those guys, apart from stuntman/actor Tony Epper who was about 6' 2". The tallest one is a relatively young guy. This was my favorite of the "Gunsmoke" movies, due to 6' 3" Steve Forrest repeating his guest role as the evil Mannon from the TV series.
VC said on 29/Sep/15
@Dietmar, speaking of Adam West, he is tall fellow indeed despite of his age because I saw him in-person several years back at a local comic-convention.Coincidentally, Lou Ferigno was there too and they looked similar in height. So, big Lou was shorter than I expected whereby he is somewhat 6'2'-6'3 range.

I agreed that Jim is still close to 6'7 because he stood beside another giant, Richard Moll whom claimed to be 6'8. They were equal in height in 'HTWWW'. As for Mike Lane, he is definitely a strong 6'6 (no more, no less). Mike Conrad on the other hand is also 6'6. He looked tall in Burt Reynold's 'The Longest Yard' and 'Starsky & Hutch' pilot series. He was imposing too in 'Hill Streets Blues'.

It's hard to tell when someone is 6'6 or 6'7 due to footwear, headwear, angle position, straight or slouch, hair-style, mornings or evenings and etc. Another example, Brad Garrett from 'Everybody loves Raymond' is a 6'6 guy but Hollywood promotes him as a 6'8 guy.
Joe Fecker said on 29/Sep/15
My favorite cowboy star of all time,I even put him ahead of John Wayne,James Arneses Matt Dillion always taught right from wrong, much to Miss Kitty's demise !
dietmar said on 27/Sep/15
@VC, yeah, the visual effects in the fighting scenes were really annoying. But anyway, the show was meant to look like a cartoon, rich colors, twisted camera angles, weird caracters, funny costumes. It was my favourite show in the 60,s. Never thought Adam West was so tall, my guess would have been a legit 6 footer.

What comes to Jim, its hard to say if he was still 6'7 in the early -70,s. So its possible Mike Lane was a full 6'6". He is listed at 196cm at ImDb. Wikipedia says he is 203cm, but i dont buy that. @Shadow2, do you know for sure Mike Lane was 6'6?

Gunsmoke is not so famous show in Europe, but everybody knows "How the west was won". That show made Jim very popular in Europe. I remember watching it and wondering how tall Jim is. Much moore later i read Jim's home page, and he stated his height as 6'7". He was at least an inch taller than Michael Conrad in "HTWWW" in -78. I have allways suspected Michael Conrad was taller than 197cm. He was taller than Chuck Connors when they played together. And if you look at the pic below, theres moore than just 9cm difference there with Rob Reiner, who was 188cm peak.

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So if Rob was really 188cm, Michael Must have been closer to 200cm. I see a solid 12cm there. And still, Jim was definitely taller than Michael! So its really possible Jim was still in his peak in -78.. He was no moore than 55 at the time. Also, i was very surprised to see Bruce Boxleitner is 188cm. I though he was moore like 180cm. He played with Jim in the show.
VC said on 25/Sep/15
Shadow2, I recently watched Gunsmoke "Return to Dodge" movie again and in the beginning there were four men jumped on Jim at the river bank and one of them looked as tall as Jim so do you recognize him? Meanwhile, I watching all the Gunsmoke movies so which one is your favourite? I like all of them. Jim looked much older and perhaps 6'5 but still tough. As always, taller than everybody.
VC said on 25/Sep/15
Dietmar, speaking of Adam West 'Batman', I find the final scenes both rediculous and annoying due to excessive elaboration of visual effects during punches & kicks. What do you think?
VC said on 25/Sep/15
@Shadow2, thanks for the info because I can't recall who is Mike Lane until you said so. Speaking of heels, I noticed that Clint sometimes wore different kinds of footwear such as shorter footwear among regular cast and higher when big guys appeared in the series. I assumed, the producers wants him to look taller. On the flip side, Jim never changes his footwear due to his overwhelming height but he does slouch regularly than stretching. Perhaps being a gentle giant, he doesn't need to prove his stature anymore. Too bad, not many 6'8 guys around when Gunsmoke was on air.
VC said on 25/Sep/15
@Dietmar, thanks for your input & photo clip too. In my opinion, Mike Lane looks like a 6'6 fellow and huge. He could bounce anybody bigger or taller however he plays the heavy so he ends up defeated by the hero,of course!
Shadow2 said on 24/Sep/15
VC, the actor in "Sarah" is 6' 6" Michael Lane, referred to in my post of 16/July/15, who also appeared in a final season episode of "Gunsmoke" without Jim. When they confront each other before the fight scene in "Sarah", Jim stretches to his full height and is noticably a bit taller than Lane, similar to the Don Megowan situation. I've just watched Paul Savage with Clint in "Cheyenne", yes Paul is slightly taller, and I also noticed Clint has a heel advantage in one scene. I think Clint may have been closer to 6' 5" rather than 6' 6", Paul Savage actually being 6' 6". Paul could have been a leading man, handsome and very similar in appearance to 6' 4" actors Denny Miller and the young Harve Presnell.
dietmar said on 23/Sep/15
@VC, That big guy is Mike Lane, a professional wrestler and an actor. He is listed as 6'5, sometimes at 6'8. I believe 6'5 is closer to the truth. He seemed slightly shorter than Jim in that fighting scene.

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Mike has acted in many tv-series, ie. with Adam West in the Batman. I remember watching it and wondering who's that big villain! Batman of course beat the hell out of him! :D
VC said on 23/Sep/15
@Shadow2, thanks for the explaination because Paul Savage dwafted Clint in an episode. Please check out 'Sarah' episode on Gunsmoke with Anne Francis. She was Matt's old flame & she was man-handled by a gang of hoodlums, one of them was an unknown chap whom was equal in size with Jim Arness so Matt had to wrestle him down. It was a mammoth fight clip. Watch it and enjoy. Perhaps, you might recognize that tall villian.
VC said on 20/Sep/15
@Dietmar, great input because I assumed Fess was shorter than Don whom was believed to over 6'6.
Shadow2 said on 18/Sep/15
VC, Paul Savage wrote about thirty "Gunsmoke" episodes, but apparently did not ever act in the show. Although primarily a writer, he did act in other programs, including "Cheyenne" as you mentioned. Perhaps another height coincidence for "Gunsmoke", with having Paul as a regular writer, and 6' 7" Andrew V. McLaglen as a regular director. Both comparable in height to Jim.
dietmar said on 18/Sep/15
I was just watching "The great locomotive chase" where Don Megowan and Fess Parker are exactly the same height.

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Alongside appears also Jeff York (6'4) who is noticeable shorter than Don and Fess.
Jim was indeed taller than these two giants. He played with both of them, and was about an 0,5-1in taller.
VC said on 15/Sep/15
Shadow2, thanks & I sure will because Don is over 6'6. Check out another tall actor named Paul Savage, he is 6'7 in my opinion because Clint Walker looked up at him. I saw his name on Gunsmoke previously but can't recall which episode.
Shadow2 said on 13/Sep/15
VC, have a look via dietmar's link posted on 11 /Dec/14 of a photo of Jim and Don facing off in a saloon in "Gunsmoke". Jim is slightly looking down on Don with an apparent minimum half inch advantage. This is similar to what I saw in Jim's first starring movie, "Gun the man down", where he also seems taller than Don.
VC said on 13/Sep/15
Shadow2, as described in your current reply, I saw the fight clip between Fess & Alan and from my opinion, Alan is noticeably taller than Fess based on the chin to chin comparison. It is hard to compare the shoulder and head due to the colonial hats which they wore and the angle shot.
VC said on 10/Sep/15
Shadow2, thanks for the input & I will check out the fight between Fess & Alan. I was watching a Gunsmoke with Jim & Big Don and the irony is they are equal in height. I recalled that Don was 6'6 but he seemed as tall as Jim. Don was in Cheyenne, several times and he looks taller than Clint. He was in a Tarzan movie with muscular Mike Henry and he dwarfed Mike.
Shadow2 said on 6/Sep/15
VC, yes I agree. See dietmar's post of 11/Dec/14 where he gave us a link to a photo of Fess and Jim together in "Them", and Jim is noticeably the taller. Fess had some tall co-stars in "Davey Crockett" (6' 3" Buddy Ebsen, 6' 4" Jeff York) and in "Daniel Boone" (6' 3" Ed Ames, 6' 5" Rosey Grier) so he didn't stand out as much. He and Alan Napier even had a face to face confrontation in one episode, the relevant clip is on-line and easy to find.
VC said on 5/Sep/15
Shadow2, my apologies for mixing up John Dierkes with Alan Napier because I recalled another tall co-star in "The Thing". Appreciate your input again. I recalled Fess Parker was with Jim in "Them". I think Fess is a weak 6'6" or perhaps flat 6'6" like Napier. He doesn't stand out in "Daniel Boone" and was tiny compared to Big Jim. Jim looked humongous in that film thus his bad knee was in better shape.
Shadow2 said on 2/Sep/15
VC, Alan wasn't in the "The Thing" (to my knowledge), but appeared in 1952's "Big JIm McLain" with John Wayne in the title role, and Jim playing his assistant investigator. Alan and Jim unfortunately didn't appear in any scenes together. Just in comparison to Wayne in this movie, Alan looked a flat 6' 6", and Jim seemed at least 6' 6.5". In "The Thing" another tall actor was noticeable, John Dierkes, who is sometimes listed as 6' 6". I've seen him in other movies and he's looked no more than 6' 5", similar to Sterling Hayden. Dierkes appeared in "Gunsmoke" near the end of his career, had lost a bit of height with age, and was noticably much shorter than Jim. In comparison Alan kept his 6' 6" height right into his senior years, e.g. in "Batman".
VC said on 31/Aug/15
Shadow2, in your opinion, who was taller, Jim or Alan Napier? These two giants were in "The Thing".
Shadow2 said on 24/Aug/15
Yes Sam, if you look at the height of typical basketballers and certain other athletes of today. But it was Jim's perserverance (and good luck getting friendly with John Wayne), along with his natural amiable personality, obvious in early roles, that led to his acting success despite towering over most of his co-stars.
Sam said on 21/Aug/15
So, considering the generation he came from, would Arness have been roughly the equivalent of a 6'10"-6'11" man from today?
Shadow2 said on 20/Aug/15
VC, good to see there's now a Jeff Chandler page on this site.
VC said on 16/Aug/15
Shadow2, my favourite is Clint Walker because he is both tall and imposing and my next favourite is James Arness because Gunsmoke has great cast and plots so no wonder they lasted for two decades and later followed by 5 stupendous movies. Too bad, Clint was never a guest star on Gunsmoke. Otherwise, it would be an unforgettable episode with two amiable giants together upholding justice in Dodge.
Shadow2 said on 13/Aug/15
VC, my favourite is of course Jim Arness, who started off at 6' 7" but was closer to 6' 6" later in his career, possibly due to his leg injury in WW2. Many of us enjoyed Jim's blog on his website in the years before he died, he was so humble and friendly to everyone and just a true gentleman, just like we all expected.
VC said on 11/Aug/15
Shadow2, thanks for reminding me of Liam Neeson because I like all his recent movies due to the gritty parts he portrayed. Liam also reminded me of a current "Dirty Harry". Other than that, I can't think of any current tall leading men. Who is your favorite 6'6" actor?
Shadow2 said on 9/Aug/15
VC, we should be pleased that Liam Neeson at 6' 4" has been playing action heroes recently, he's a current day version of Jeff Chandler who stood up well to Jim Arness in those early movies (including the 1951 boxing film "Iron Man"). Some other 6' 6" guys to mention are Fred Dalton Thompson, the politician and occasional actor, and Esther Williams' second husband Ben Gage, an actor/singer who did non-speaking cameos in some of her films.
VC said on 7/Aug/15
Shadow2,you are right on the dot because nowadays is an average-height guy business in the movies. Too bad for Brad, he is tall but weak in character so most action parts ain't suitable for him. Do you have anymore info for tall guys? Meanwhile, I am watching the "Walking Tall" films with Big Bo. I prefer him than shorter Joe Don Baker. It was a mistake that Brian Dennehy was cast as Buford. The real Buford was a large man; he stood 6'6".
Shadow2 said on 6/Aug/15
VC, you raise a very good point, and particularly where biographies are concerned. Thank goodness they got Ben Affleck (6' 2" range) to portray George Reeves in "Hollywoodland" rather than a much smaller guy like Tom Cruise or Robert Downey Jr. Perhaps Brad Garrett would be one of the only actors truly elegible today to play Jim or Clint, or their famous TV characters, in bios or remakes. At the very least he would make a great Don Megowan!
VC said on 4/Aug/15
Shadow2, too many shorter stars today such as Daniel Craig,Tom Cruise and many more whom are playing remakes of old movies whom starred by many taller actors. So just continue to enjoy Jim, Clint and the rest of the tall guys of yesteryears films. I assumed Hollywood isn't keen on tall men these days. Perhaps, big guys are cast for villians.
VC said on 3/Aug/15
Shadow2,strange, many of today's celebrities are under 6'. Perhaps, demand for big & tall guys are over. I recalled watching many taller leading actors between 50's and 80's.Too bad that no current actors could equal Jim or Clint and the rest of the tall guys. Just imagine,Hollywood remakes whereby a "small" chap playing either Matt Dillon or Cheyenne Bodie. That is atrocity. I missed those big guys on the Tele.
Shadow2 said on 30/Jul/15
VC, I fully agree that either Clint or Rock would have made a great "Superman". This is not to detract from the wonderful George Reeves as the man of steel on TV in the 1950's. But George at 6' 1" (maybe nearer 6' 2" in the super boots) looked a bit short alongside guest stars Chuck Connors and Buddy Baer in a couple of the episodes. Referring to "McLain's Law", Jim Arness, then almost sixty, may have been an even 6' 6" by then, playing a no-nonsense, world weary cop with a bit less patience than Matt Dillon.
VC said on 28/Jul/15
Shadow2,I recalled an article quoted by Clint Walker that adventure roles are great for him due to his size and height. So, too bad that Clint was not cast as "Superman" because he is just perfect for the role. Another actor would be suitable and he is Rock Hudson. As for James Arness, he would be super in cop shows. I remembered his detective series "McClain's Law". His co-star, Marshall Colt was a tall fellow too, he is 6'4".
Shadow2 said on 25/Jul/15
VC, no, just a bit over 6', so really look up to those 6' 6" guys. From about their height and beyond it is very hard for actors to get work as leading men. 6' 5" seems to be the threshold. However Jim Arness, Fess Parker, Chuck Connors, Clint Walker, Bo Svenson, Fred Dryer, James Cromwell, and Ken Howard are the exceptions. Alan Napier, Don Megowan, Roger Ewing, Roger Torrey, Buddy Baer, Mike Lane, Richard Kiel, and Ted Cassidy were relegated to supporting roles. Just a few more tall actors from 1960's, 70's, and 80's TV and movies are Hugh Gillin (6' 6"), Dr Milt Kogan (part time actor and LA MD, about 6' 5.5" but only admits to 6' 4"), Herman Poppe (a Gunsmoke regular, about 6' 5.5" but only admits to 6' 4"), and Pat McCormick (about 6' 7", from the Burt Reynolds' comedy films).
VC said on 23/Jul/15
Shadow2, your knowledge of 6'6" actors are both vast and impressive. I assumed you are a tall gent yourself. As for me, I am a big fan of 6'6" heroes bec they always rescues the damsel in distress, towers everybody, intimidate the villians and in return, the bad guys have to be big and scary too in order to even the odds.
Shadow2 said on 22/Jul/15
VC, Michael Lane (aka Mike Lane) mostly did TV, an ex boxer/wrestler who often played a handsome version of 6' 5" classic movie "heavy" (muscled stand-over henchman) Mike Mazurki. I'm very familiar with Ken Howard's work. Generally he portrayed characters that did not use their size to intimidate others, a "friendly" 6' 6", similar to Jim Arness's TV roles.
VC said on 21/Jul/15
Shadow2, I don't know Michael Lane but I will look out for his films. Ken Howard did appear much on TV or film and he was in a Bonanza episode(26th Grave). He towered most of the cast. Forrest Tucker stood beside Bo Svenson in Walking Tall:Final Chapter and he was shorter than Bo.
Shadow2 said on 20/Jul/15
VC, your description of Rod (at 6' 5") appearing taller than Forrest seems to be more evidence that Forrest was indeed 6' 4". In 1948's "Two Guys from Texas" Forrest played a self described 6' 6" cowboy, wearing thick heeled boots that would accentuate his real 6' 4" height. His co-stars were the regular Warners' team of 6' 2" Jack Carson and "occasional" 6' 2" Dennis Morgan (just 6' 1" in his other movies without Jack). 6' 1" character actors Fred Clark and Gerald Mohr also appeared.
VC said on 16/Jul/15
Shadow2,another western classic (The Plunderers)in 1948 starring Rod and Forrest. I guessed those days, not many tall actors so they appeared together in several fims. Mostly, Rod plays the good guy while Forrest played the heavy. Rod looks taller in most scenes.
Shadow2 said on 16/Jul/15
Michael Lane (at 6' 6") was another very tall supporting actor in the 50's, 60's, and 70's. He first became noticed in Humphrey Bogart's final film "The Harder They Fall" where he played a huge 6' 8" immigrant boxer (using special boots to lift his normal height). Lane appeared in one of the final "Gunsmoke" episodes but never did a scene with Jim. Forrest Tucker did several "Gunsmoke" appearances but seemed no taller than a strong 6' 4" alongside Jim. I don't remember if 6' 6" Ken Howard ever did the show.
VC said on 16/Jul/15
Shadow2, thanks for the info. I'll check out the monster classics later.
VC said on 16/Jul/15
Another tall gent that I recalled, Ken Howard is 6'6".
Shadow2 said on 15/Jul/15
VC, I completely agree, Rod Cameron looked like Don Megowan's twin brother! Also apologies for a major error in my previous post. The third and final Creature from the Black Lagoon movie I referred to was actually "The Creature walks among Us", not "Revenge of the Creature" (the No 2 movie). All three of these films had 6' 5" or taller actors playing the Creature on land, with the underwater scenes played by the much smaller Ricou Browning who later worked on TV's "Sea Hunt" and "Flipper".
VC said on 15/Jul/15
Shadow2,Forrest Tucker(6'5")was with Rod in a 1953 "San Antone" western film. They stood together and fought too. Sometimes,they looked similar and some scenes,Rod seemed taller. Anyway, check it out.
VC said on 15/Jul/15
Shadow2, forget about it because I've found the tall actor that I mentioned earlier. He is Rod Cameron and he was 6'5". He reminds me of Don Megowan.
VC said on 15/Jul/15
Shadow2, I will check out these 2 classics monster-mash. I forgot his name but he stood six feet six and he starred in several westerns back in the 50's and 60's. Perhaps, you can help me out on that.
Shadow2 said on 15/Jul/15
VC (and others interestd in Jim on this page), both Jim and his occasional co-star/"adversary" 6' 6" Don Megowan both did a similar role in their early careers, that of playing the title monster in a famous science fiction movie of the 1950's. Jim was "The Thing from Another World" in the 1951 film, and Don was the (land based version) of the Creature from the Black Lagoon in 1956's "Revenge of the Creature". In this final film of the trilogy, the Creature is captured and surgically mutated into a sort of Frankenstein monster. Don's height, muscle, and sheer bulk were needed to make the Creature tower over a mostly tall cast led by 6' 3" Rex Reason, 6' 2" Gregg Palmer (later a regular villain on "Gunsmoke" with Jim), and 6' 1.5" Jeff Morrow.
VC said on 13/Jul/15
Shadow2, thanks for your input. I guessed not many actors could equalled Jim's height. Speaking of tall actors, not many whom are 6'6"-6'7" leading men today. So far, Hollywood has several considerable tall guys such as Chris Hemsworth and Dwayne Johnson but they are not even close to Jim's height. Therefore, I just continue to watch reruns of yesterday's tele or watch some classic westerns.
Shadow2 said on 10/Jul/15
VC, as already mentioned, various actors have equalled Jim's height in "Gunsmoke" but I'm not aware of any that were actually taller (Richard Kiel and Ted Cassidy didn't appear, although they both did episodes of "Daniel Boone" with Fess). Chuck Connors and Buddy Baer had to wear thick heeled boots (lifts) to appear slightly taller than Jim for their particular "Gunsmoke" appearances playing town bullies. By the time of "How the West was Won", Jim may have been starting to lose some height, i.e. in his scenes with 6' 5.5" Michael Conrad. And also later in his detective series "McLain's Law".
VC said on 10/Jul/15
Shadow2, that's a good one! So have you seen anyone taller than Jim in "Gunsmoke"? Besides, 2 actors were taller than Jim in "How the West was Won" tv series. These 2 guys were Richard Moll and Ben Davidson,both(6'8").
Shadow2 said on 6/Jul/15
VC, further to Jim Arness and Jeff Chandler, they also both appeared together in a low budget crime movie "Roses are Red" from 1947 (available on-line). When Jim arrests Jeff, he (Jim) says to him "hold on there shorty!". This humourous line refers to Jeff playing a very tall and arrogant thug who finally meets his match in the even taller and more intimidating Jim. Minor acting roles for both these future stars.
VC said on 5/Jul/15
Shadow2, thanks again for the info because I won't know who is who because there are so many episodes and tv series back in the 60's, 70's and 80's with tall protagonist and guest stars. I will check out the input and I come from Hogan era too but I followed him all thro his retirement days at WCW whom he was wrestling beside Kevin Nash who was billed at 6'10" but actually 6'6"-6'7".
Shadow2 said on 3/Jul/15
VC, the "Gunsmoke" episode I referred to is "The Fourth Victim" from late 1974. It is above average, a serial killer murder mystery almost like a "western film noir". The very tall guys appear right near the end. I'm quite familiar with the work of Bo Svenson and Fred Dryer. One of Bo's early guest roles was in "The Virginian" as a young deputy (similar to "Thad" in "Gunsmoke") who towers over 6' 3" sheriff Tom Tryon. I'm not familiar with Kevin Nash, I come from the Hulk Hogan wrestling era!
VC said on 2/Jul/15
Shadow2, thanks alot for the input. I really appreciate it very much. I will check out the final seasons of Gunsmoke and look out for those tall cast. It looks like you are well-versed with Gunsmoke so are you familiar with other tall actors/celebrities such as Bo Svenson, Fred Dryer and Kevin Nash? These guys are somewhat between 6'5"-6'7".
Shadow2 said on 30/Jun/15
VC, I haven't seen "Cheyenne" for decades but know "Gunsmoke" fairly well. Dennis Weaver (6' 2") and Roger Ewing (6' 5.5") were regulars at different times with Jim. Other regulars Burt Reynolds, Ken Curtis, and Buck Taylor were only "six footers" in their cowboy boots. Re. "Gunsmoke" guest stars, apart from Chuck Connors (6' 5.5"), Buddy Baer (6' 7"), Don Megowan (6' 6"), and Roger Torrey (6' 6"), I remember Mickey Morton (6' 7") and also Ben Bates (6' 7"). The latter actor appeared in one of the final season episodes where two very tall townsfolk are called in to impersonate Jim ("Matt Dillon") in order to distract a sniper from killing him. At the very end of the show there is a long shot where Jim thanks the two men who seem at least his height.
VC said on 27/Jun/15
Shadow2, do you know how many tall actors were regulars on "Cheyenne" and "Gunsmoke"? And how many guest stars were taller than Clint or Jim in their series?
Sam said on 25/Jun/15
Jeff Chandler could look only a fraction taller (0.25-0.5 in or the same) than Jimmy Stewart in Broken Arrow, although you could argue Stewart was more in the 6'3" to 6'4" range than a flat 6'3" and Stewart probably wore bigger heeled cowboy boots against Chandler's "Indian moccasins" or whatever he was wearing.
Shadow2 said on 24/Jun/15
VC, Jeff had "very short" friends too, such as Sammy Davis Jnr. What a shame Jeff died during emergency surgery at only 42, he would have had an even bigger career in the 1960's and beyond. I first remember seeing him in "The Lady takes a Flyer" and was surprised to observe a lead actor almost as tall as Chuck Connors. For a change Chuck is just one of the boys rather than typically dominating the scene with his height. Rob, bring on the Jeff Chandler page!
VC said on 23/Jun/15
Shadow2,speaking of Jeff Chandler, I came across an old story of Jeff and Clint Walker goes back a long way as buddies (on/off screen). They used to go on hunting trips together. What an awesome pair, Jeff was 6'4 & Clint is almost 6'6". Their physical stature were almost equally matched. Unfortunately, Jeff was poisoned by a jellyfish while making a movie.
Shadow2 said on 23/Jun/15
VC, here are some more: Jim Arness, Rock Hudson, and 6' 4" Jeff Chandler in 1951's "Iron Man". Jim, Rock, 6' 4" Robert Ryan, 6' 2" Dennis Weaver, and 6' 1.5" Raymond Burr in 1952's "Horizons West". Jeff Chandler with 6' 6" Fess Parker and Don Megowan in 1959's "The Jayhawkers, along with 6' 2" Henry Silva and Leo Gordon playing the "short guys" for a change. Hey Rob, what about a long overdue page for Jeff Chandler who was a major Hollywood action star and leading man in the 1950's. At 6' 4" Jeff stood tall alongside Jim, Rock, and Fess.
VC said on 20/Jun/15
Shadow2, I really appreciate your data and please do share if you have more.
Shadow2 said on 17/Jun/15
VC, you may want to check out Fess Parker and Alan Napier (both 6' 6") in a confrontation in TV's "Daniel Boone" (clip available on-line), Fred Dryer and Bo Svenson (both about 6' 6") almost head to head on Fred's TV cop show "Hunter", and Fred and Rock Hudson in a confrontation in the TV mini series "The Starmaker" (early 1980's).
VC said on 16/Jun/15
Shadow2, thanks alot for the input and if you have more info or movies/tv episodes of any tall guys, please let me know. I have another for you, both Bo Svenson and late John Matuszak in North Dallas Forty. They looked similar in height.
Shadow2 said on 10/Jun/15
VC, thanks. You should also watch the 1963 "Bonanza" episode "A Woman Lost", where Don Megowan and Roger Torrey fight it out in the ring. Lorne Greene has to put his usual boot "lifts" into overdrive to keep up with these two 6' 6" giants.
VC said on 9/Jun/15
Shadow2, I have seen that movie and liked it very much. Another Gunsmoke episode that might interest you very much and it is called "The River". Don was a guest star again along with another 6'6" giant named Roger Torrey. He was in Beverly Hillbillies.
Shadow2 said on 9/Jun/15
VC, if you enjoyed Jim, 6' 6" Don Megowan, and 6' 2" Robert Wilke in the 1960 "Gunsmoke" episode "Big Tom", you will also enjoy their earlier appearance together in Jim's first movie starring role, in "Gun the Man down" made in 1956 (co-starring Angie Dickinson). It still looks to me that Jim is a fraction taller than Big Don when they inevitably fight again.
ladybug said on 6/Jun/15
i am obsessed with Gunsmoke. watching it right now and cannot believe he weighed as low as 220 in these episodes- My bf is 6ft 5 and weighs 220, Mr Arness is way beefier. the man had to be at least 245.
VC said on 2/Jun/15
Shadow2,I can't tell you how grateful am I to see the height comparison between these 2 cowboy legends. It seems that Jim is slightly taller than Clint from the angle shot. However, they looked identical in height. Appreciate your info very much. Don Megowan was standing next to Jim in Gunsmoke and they both looked 6'6". Check out the episode "Big Tom" and you'll find another 6'6" giant at the bar.
Shadow2 said on 29/May/15
VC, the picture of Jim and Clint I'm referring to comes up immediately on a google image search (just type "James Arness Clint Walker"). They are pictured with a small boy, all three of them wearing cowboy hats. Also Jim always had the slight height "edge" on legit 6' 6" Don Megowan whenever they worked together.
VC said on 21/May/15
Shadow2, is it possible you attach the picture of Clint and Jim together? According to my research, Clint is somewhat 6'4-6'5 as confirmed by his spouse so that makes Jim a legit 6'6.
Sam said on 19/May/15
I think it's quite possible that he was in the middle of the range from 6'6" to 6'7" since he claimed both but I agree he seemed probably closer to 6'7", a rare actor who would have been notably taller than myself.
Shadow2 said on 30/Apr/15
VC, it took me watching many episodes of "Gunsmoke" to finally spot a small consistent height difference between actor Roger Ewing (Thad Greenwood) and Jim, and it was in Jim's favor. I agree they usually did look the same height when walking together and in many scenes in the Marshall's office. But Jim was also prone to slouch or hunch over a lot on the show himself, his leg injury from WW2 didn't help. Even Clint said Jim was the taller, and an on-line picture proves it.
VC said on 25/Apr/15
@Shadow2, I wish to share that Thad Greenword in many scenes with Jim was exactly the same height except Thad prefers to hunch over instead of standing straight. Thad was also in another film starring Clint Walker in "None but the Brave". He was as tall as Big Clint. In my opinion, these guys are legit 6'5" barefeet.
VC said on 21/Mar/15
I have to concur with DietMar. Jim Arness was undoubtedly a strong 6'6" man but a weak 6'7" because when he stood next to several 198m actors, his height was similar to them.
Arch Stanton said on 31/Dec/14
Possible that Connors often wore boots to make him look even more imposing. All I know is in a few roles I've seen him in he "looked" like he'd be near a legit 6'6.
dietmar said on 28/Dec/14
Im pretty sure Connors wore lifts in " The Big Country", he really towered over Peck. When he played with 6'3 Cesar Romero, he wasnt wearing lifts, and the difference is noticeable smaller Click Here

No way he is 3in taller than Romero there. Moore like 2in, at the most. You can also see below, that Chuck is shorter than Michael Conrad. There's actually an inch difference there, that would make Chuck only 194,5cm. If you look at the pic above, i can buy that.
Arch Stanton said on 26/Dec/14
Chuck only 195? Can't see it. He had virtually 3 inches on Gregory Peck, more a weaj 6'6 guy.
dietmar said on 15/Dec/14
Chuck Connors towered over Jim in an early Gunsmoke episode, he was 2-3 inches taller. Its obvious he wore lifts. He was really huge Click Here Click Here

In real life Chuck was shorter than 197cm Michael Conrad. They played together in one "Cowboy in Africa" episode Click Here

I believe Chuck was no moore than 195-196cm. Definitely shorter than Michael Conrad.
Shadow2 said on 12/Dec/14
dietmar, thanks for the pics of Jim with some super size co-stars. For two seasons on "Gunsmoke", Jim ("Matt Dillon") had a deputy "Thad Greenwood" described in the script as being 6' 4", but played by actor Roger Ewing who was in reality 197cm (6' 5.5"). It was only in certain scenes that you could clearly see that Jim was an inch or so taller than Roger. As I mentioned here in a post a long time ago, they looked like father and son on the show.
dietmar said on 11/Dec/14
Here's some pics to judge Jim's height.

With mentioned 198cm Don Megowan Click Here

With 197cm Michael Conrad Click Here

With 196cm Christoffer Lee Click Here

With 196cm Med Flory Click Here

With 198cm Fess Parker Click Here

And finally, just to compare, how a legit 191cm guy like Jim Davis, aka Jock Ewing, looks with Arness Click Here

Anything under 198cm is out of the question for Arness. He was somewhere between 198-201cm.
Shadow2 said on 5/Dec/14
Rob, great photo of Jim Arness that's now on this page. In his first movie starring role "Gun the Man Down", Jim appears an inch taller than legitimate 6' 6" big guy Don Megowan.
Arch Stanton said on 21/Nov/14
Rob can you add a photo and add the TV series How the West Was Won and films like Big Jim McLain, Island in the Sky, The Sea Chase, Hondo, Gun the Man Down, Horizons West, Carbine Williams, Hellgate, and Her Twelve Men.

Even 6'4-6'5 for that period was like 6'6-6'7 today, 6'7" then would be like 6'9 or 6'10 today!
Alicia said on 16/Jul/14
Like the statement (see top of page) says "...I've shrunk up a little bit...". Mr Arness developed arthritis and arthritis can do a number on you through the years. Now, somewhere on the 'net it was stated he was about 6'5"/6'5.5" before he died. Wish I could tell you exactly where this is stated but I had found it many years ago and for all I know it might not be on the net anymore. There is an interview with him a few years before he died and he still looks (although he is sitting for the interview) like he could tower over a person and still muster enough strength to "Matt Dillon back-hand" you into next year. BTW I've also noticed in some of the Gunsmoke episodes where their footwear was visible that Mr. Arness boot heel seemed shorter than some of the other male actors. This may account as to why sometimes he didn't look his stated height against other actors near his height range.
nice girl said on 11/Jul/14
How tall was James Arness when he died?? Had he shrunk??
Alicia said on 1/Jul/14
You have to remember that as people age they can start to shrink. I'm surprised that Mr. Arness didn't end up with a stoop considering how much he had to look down at other actors. Also I've read in many different stories about Gunsmoke that some of the actors were put on something like a crate so they'd appear taller when next to Mr. Arness. Quite frankly, I wouldn't of cared if Mr. Arness and Mr. Weaver were only 4ft high, both were fine actors and people and I'm glad they graced my screen :)
KROC said on 28/Apr/14
@VC
I agree. I've looked at multiple pictures of him with other celebs and he never looks anything over 6'5. 240lbs is believable but he admitted to being 235 at his own admission.
VC said on 25/Apr/14
@Shaun, I agreed with Shaun that Clint is almost 6'6 & probably at 245 in his prime
VC said on 15/Jan/14
I read an article from Clint Walker's wife (Susan) & she mentioned that Clint is about 6'5", no more or less. I also read that Clint was at 240 in his prime but I watched Cheyenne season 7 & he looks much heavier than previous seasons thus he was mature & dwarfed everyone in the show including big Leo Gordon.
avi said on 23/Dec/13
@Rob
How tall do you think Millburn Stone was from Gunsmoke (played Doc)? 5'8 is given online but he looks 5'6 area not even 5'7.
[Editor Rob: not looked at him]
Sam said on 8/Nov/13
Here's Forrest Tucker with John Wayne, he could look about an inch taller.
Click Here
Tucker's the actor who legend has it lost a measuring contest to his size rival Milton Berle, won't tell you what they were measuring (not height).
Greg said on 7/Nov/13
Watching an old Gunsmoke right now, with guest star Forest Tucker. Tucker is listed at 6'4" and looks it, he dwarfs everyone in most scenes. Next to Arness, looks 2 to 3 inches shorter. Arness certainly looks the stated 6'7".
Bobbie said on 21/Aug/13
I never met James Arness however,If James Arness says he was 6'7' when he started Gunsmoke at age 32yrs. then I believe he was 6'7". He had incurred an injury his leg during the war which may have caused some muscle loss resulting in a few inches in height in his latter days.
avi said on 6/Aug/13
Its possible he wore lifts. I doubt he was under 6'6.5.
Sixseven said on 5/Aug/13
James Arness was 196 cm tall(6'5.16")
MyKat said on 10/Jan/13
Dennis Weaver was older and had shrunk but said he was 6'3" and James Arness was 6'7" at his peak. I was about 6' and Dennis was a few inches taller than me, even in tennis shoes.
Answer said on 9/Jan/13
Yes, Jim played the early "Thing." There was one film he was in with possibly John Wayne where they had to cut a rut for him to walk in to not dwarf the star. I confirmed his 6'7" frame at its peak, and the shrinkage down to 6'6" later, in the 1990's in an e-mail with Jim. I really miss him and Gunsmoke.
Answer said on 9/Jan/13
Yes, Jim played the early "Thing." There was one film he was in with possibly John Wayne where they had to cut a rut for him to walk in to not dwarf the star. I confirmed his 6'7" frame at its peak, and the shrinkage down to 6'6" later, in the 1980's in an e-mail with Jim. I really miss him and Gunsmoke.
patrick said on 3/Sep/12
Clint Walker was visibly at least as heavy as peter lupus and probably more, namely 250lbs minimum and Jim Arness was visibly 6'7. As said VC many highly tall actors look notably shorter even 6'4.5 Robert Easton. Clint Walker always said he was effectively just one inch taller than he.
Shaun said on 10/Aug/12
@VC

Clint Walker I'd estimate at about 240 pounds in his prime, I doubt he was over 250. And I think he was closer to 6'6".
avi said on 29/Jul/12
Next to a limping 6'2 or so Dennis Weaver he looked over 6'6. There is 5 inches between them. I believe Dennis Weaver was 6'2 NOT over this. I was watching Gunsmoke under the impression he was 6'3 for some reason...He limps so its like hes 6'1ish. Also i think Arness has a boot advantage on the show.
talker said on 5/Jan/12
he didnt look much taller than Rock Hudson in 1952 "Horizons west".But 6'6" is possible,i doubt 6'7".He was really huge in that movie,lost weight afterwards.
Kent said on 6/Dec/11
I don't know how tall he was, but he had such a large stature that the horses he rode in Gunsmoke looked small and strained with him on top. They almost looked like ponies.
VC said on 19/Nov/11
Clearly, he is indeed over 6'6" because he seemed taller than Buddy Baer whom was 6'6 1/2" in a classic Gunsmoke episode. Clint Walker said Jim was an inch taller than he is. Clint is a huge man, weighing over 250 & standing at 6'5". Jim was also taller than big Denny Miller, 6'4" in another Gunsmoke episode. Jim had a list of tall guest stars in Gunsmoke, many were over 6'4". However, I can't recall which Gunsmoke episode because I saw a giant stood next to Jim & he was several inches taller than he was & Jim looked up at him. R.I.P Jim.
LAN Jiao said on 22/Oct/11
No he look 6-5 or lesshe now. 6'6.5 peak and 6'8 cowboy boots.
george555 said on 31/Aug/11
i could picture him being about 6'6 nowadays
Magickster said on 25/Aug/11
At his height, does it really matter whether he was 6'6 or 6'7? Let's just call him f@cken huge and be done with it...
Shaun said on 24/Jul/11
Looked this height next to John Wayne.
Mr. Kaplan said on 14/Jul/11
John Wayne told him something about not wanting guys like him and Gregory Peck towered over by him and to stick to television. 6'7", I buy.
Snausages said on 21/Jun/11
James Arness grew up in Minneapolis. When World War II broke out, he wanted to become a navy pilot, but his enormous height disqualified him. Instead he joined the Army, and received a Purple Heart after suffering serious injuries to his right leg during the 1944 invasion at Anzio, Italy. His injuries left him hospitalized for almost a year
Snausages said on 21/Jun/11
Got a big chunk of his leg blown off in WWII. He walked with a limp and a bit of a slouch because of it for the rest of his life. That could not have helped his height. I can see him being 6'7 when he was young before that took full effect and then 6'6 later on.
Shadow2 said on 10/Jun/11
You were a war hero in real life, and portrayed a 6'7" hero on our TV screens. R.I.P. Jim.
Mark said on 6/Jun/11
Every account I've read, including his own, and also based on comparison heights with other actors (including Chuck Connors, who had to wear lifts to appear taller than him, since he played a bully /go to ourchuckconnors.com), confirms for me that Arness was 6'7 peak.
adam 2 said on 4/Jun/11
6-7 he was. R.I.P.
Viper said on 3/Jun/11
LOL, he wasnt 6-7. 6-6 MAX
Jake T. said on 3/Jun/11
He was billed 6'7 most of the time when he was young but in some interviews he always said 6'6. I think in these last few years he could be 6'5.5. James passed away at age 88 R.I.P. James.
Mr. Kaplan said on 3/Jun/11
6'7".
jake said on 26/May/11
Seemed to mostly claim 6 ft 6 in. I'd say 6 ft 6.5 in (199 cm) peak.
Shadow2 said on 30/Jan/11
The irony of 1951's "The Thing from another world" is that there was another actor in the cast, John Dierkes, playing a scientist, who was 6'6", very close to Jim's height. Obviously Jim and Dierkes towered over the rest of the cast, led by 5'11" Kenneth Tobey. Dierkes appeared in "Gunsmoke" a few times, but had lost a bit of height by the 1970's, with Jim as Marshall Dillon in 1971 easily taller by at least two inches.
Anonymous said on 29/Jan/11
Wasn't James Arness cast as the creature in the original "The Thing (from another world)" back in 1949 or something like that? A film superior to many younger sci-fi films if you haven't seen it... anyway he obviously wasn't chosen because he was slightly taller, but rather because he was MUCH taller than the rest.
Anonymous said on 13/Jan/11
Michael Conrad was definitely at least 6'5 1/2. probably more like 6'6 or 6'6 1/2. Theres an All in The Family episode called "Mike and Gloria's Wedding" (2 parts) with Conrad in both. Next to 6'1 1/2 -6'2 Rob Reiner There is at least 4 inches in height difference. Next to 5'10 Carrol O'Connor you can see a solid 8 inches. Its the same with James Cromwell(who also guest stars in All in the Family) who is also 6'6ish. Both men are same height.
Shadow2 said on 2/Jan/11
Fear not Sepeteus, I have it on good authority that the "well known information site" is steadily improving its height listings. Hopefully Michael will soon be at 6'6" where he belongs, fixed with a few other errors highlighted on this website. We have to be patient for a while longer. In the meantime Rob needs to give actors like Michael their own page, because of the interest in them being as tall as Jim, Chuck Connors, Clint Walker, and Fess Parker.
Shadow2 said on 13/Nov/10
In 1965 Jim was joined in "Gunsmoke" for two seasons by a young actor named Roger Ewing playing Matt Dillon's occasional assistant (not precisely a deputy), "Thad Greenwood". Thad was described in the script as 6'4", but it soon became very obvious that Ewing was almost as tall as Jim. I remember seeing Ewing in a scene with 6'3" Wayne Rogers and Ewing was three inches taller. Jim and Ewing looked like father and son in some episodes!
mike c said on 20/Aug/07
Sam, saw a movie with the Duke and James a while back. Both in suits and dress shoes....Arness was at least 2-3 taller...the Duke was 6'4"+ so Arness was at least 6'6.5"....or more. Wish I could remember the name of the movie. Maybe someone out there does.
SAM said on 25/Jul/07
He towered over John wayne In one old movie I saw, and it was back when Wayne was in his prime, I'd say about 2 3/4 inches, no less. If wayne was 6'4 then I'd say that arness was real close to 6'7. If wayne was 6'3 then I'd say about 6'6.
arnees said on 20/Mar/07
Some real tall actors may under estimate their hieght to not apear so tall cause short actors don't want work with real tall ones
Shatner said on 12/Mar/07
We have to remember that Arness was wounded in the right leg at Anzio. As a result, his right leg is an inch shorter than the left. Sometimes he would say that he was "6'7" on the left side and 6'6" on the right."
K.L. said on 13/Dec/06
In one Gunsmoke episode, Chuck Connors towered over Arness because Connors was wearing elevator shoes. Arness often slouched or stood in a hole to fit into a shot. A lot of times, he doesn't look overly tall on television, but anyone who ever met him said he was much bigger in person.
JIM DOWN said on 20/Sep/06
HOW TALL WAS BUDDY BAER? IN A GUNSMOKE EPISODE HE APPEARS ABOUT 1" TO 1 AND 1/2" INCH TALLER THAN ARNESS. BAER IS LISTED AS 6'6" BUT HE HAD TO BE 6'7" OR TALLER IF ARNESS IS 6'6". HOW ABOUT ROD CAMERON? I DO NOT SEE HIS NAME OR DON MEGOWAN LISTED.
Editor Rob said on 7/Sep/06
"I was 6 feet 7 when I started and I've shrunk up a little bit"
Annie said on 10/Jul/06
Clint Walker said in an interview that he was 6'6' and James Arness was 6'7". Clint said he had met James a few times and that he was an inch taller.
Cartoonistguy said on 9/Jul/06
...The man had to be 6'7 in his prime. Catch him in a movie with John Wayne way back...in some shots, he makes Wayne look small. He towers over everyone on Gunsmoke (except today, I happened to catch an episode where a guy was taller than him. Must have been a monster.
Rob said on 22/Apr/06
I knew he was tall when he played Marshall Matt Dillon but I had no idea anybody in that era was as tall as 6'7".
Frank2 said on 18/Apr/06
Arness had to be 6'7" in his younger days. I'm sure he's packed down over the years. As to the difference of two inches, that's what I've been saying on these threads. An inch is tiny. Look at a tape measure. If a 5'10" individual stands next to a six footer and say the 5'10" guy is standing erect and the 6' guy is slightly slumped they can easily look the same height.
Stanley said on 17/Apr/06
Frank2 since you seem to know about every one's height how tall is James Arness? I've heard James Arness himself say that he's 6'6 if you have the 50th anniversary edition of Gunsmoke in an interview he himself said that he's 6'6,
yet all reports say he's 6'7 is he referring to himself without shoes or what?
Have you ever seen an actor who's 5'10 stand on one side of an actor who's 6'0,
and whe the 5'10 actors steps to the other side of the 6'footer they appear to be the same height? I've seen this many times , how can you explain this?

[Editor Rob: you mean if a 5ft 10 guy standing on the right of the frame and 6ft guy to the left, sometimes their apparant heights look similar?]
JenA said on 16/Mar/06
I heard stories about Arness (he is from Minnesota like me) that when he was younger he would get razzed by some guys who were shorter than him. They would ask him, Hey Jim, how's the weather up there by your head? And he would reply, Great, how's the weather down by my asshole? Thought that was a pretty good one!
Frank2 said on 2/Mar/06
I remember watching the old b&w half-hour Gunsmoke as a kid and seeing how he towered over Dennis Weaver. Then many years later when I met Weaver and saw that he was actually six three I realized that Arness was huge!
CelebHeights Editor said on 6/Oct/05
Recently in The Mercury News he said: "I've got a little arthritis that I have to deal with. I was 6 feet 7 when I started and I've shrunk up a little bit. I'm probably 6-5 or so now. But up here at 82 I feel pretty good. I'm sticking in there"
sam said on 15/Aug/05
Yes, Rob, I believe he was measured in a physical in the early days of Gunsmoke. They also referenced his weight and chest circumference, can't remember those, but I do remember his being measured at 6'7".

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