James Arness was the kind of man who made an impression on the actors that he worked with. Even his contemporaries were fans. In my career interviewing actors, when I ask about their favorite people to work with the most frequent name that has come up was James Arness - easily the nicest guy in Hollywood.
What people had to say to me about James Arness:
"I liked James Arness. He was a lovely man. A lovely star. He didn’t try to reduce you to a zero. He was kind and hospitable and nice to watch." – Ed Asner in a 2010 PCA Interview
"My favorite was when I was on Gunsmoke. I loved them. I loved doing Gunsmoke…James Arness was a wonderful character to work with. A very nice man.” – Eric Braeden in a 2010 PCA Interview
"One thing I remember from that show in particular was that in one scene, when I’m talking to James Arnass, he grabs me from the front of my shirt and jacket and he lifts me off my feet seemingly effortlessly. That kind of impressed me that he was strong enough to lift me off the ground like that." – Brett Halsey in a 2010 PCA Interview