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James ARNESS

American James ARNESS

born James AURNESS

American actor

Born: on May 26, 1923 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA  (96 years)


Biography

James Arness was born as James Aurness in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His parents were Rolf Cirkler Aurness and Ruth Duesler, descendants of Norwegian and German immigrants. The original family name was 'Aursnes', but when Arness's grandfather came to Ellis Island, he later changed the name to 'Aurness'. Arness attended Washburn High School, Minneapolis, (Class of 1941). Arness is the elder brother of actor Peter Graves (his brother Peter Aurness changed his surname to stage name of 'Graves', a maternal family name).

Arness served as a rifleman in the United States Army during World War II with the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, and was severely wounded during Operation Shingle, at Anzio, Italy.

According to his 2001 autobiography, James Arness – An Autobiography, he landed on Anzio Beachhead on January 21, 1944 while serving as a rifleman with 2nd Platoon, E Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Regiment of the 3rd Infantry Division. Due to his height (6'6"), acting as "a depth finder", he was first ordered off his landing craft to determine the depth of the water (it came up to his waist).

On January 29, 1945, having undergone numerous surgeries, Arness received an honorable discharge. His wounds would affect him for the rest of his life. In later years Arness has suffered from acute leg pain (which prevented him from mounting a horse) and has undergone a series of operations to remove bullet fragments that had infused into the bone.

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See Also :

- Category Actor