In his two-and-a-half-hour Archive interview, James Arness (1923-2011) speaks about his early years and experiences, which included serving in the army during World War II, and recalls his start in local radio in Minneapolis. He notes his break into acting in movies and lists several in which he appeared. He describes his experiences in early television, including anthology series that were done "live." He then speaks in great detail about the role for which he is best known, that of "Marshal Matt Dillon" on Gunsmoke. For Gunsmoke, he talks about his initial reluctance to take the part (until convinced by John Wayne for whom he was under contract). Arness describes the series characters and their relationships with each other, and discusses working with the behind-the-scenes talent, including key producers and directors. He also talks about later television roles, including his appearance as a regular on the late 1970s western series How the West Was Won. B-roll consists of photos from his Hollywood years (including films "The Farmer's Daughter" and "The Thing") and a still each of Arness in Gunsmoke and The McCahans. Henry Colman conducted the interview on August 16, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA.