You know what they say, “You can take the actor out of the wild west TV show but you can’t take the wild west TV show out of the actor”…or something like that. Well, that was certainly the case for actor James Arness. Arness spent a record-breaking 20 years playing Marshal Matt Dillon on “Gunsmoke.” But even after a couple of decades of taking on bad guys in Dodge City, Kansas, Arness wasn’t ready to hang up his cowboy hat.
So, in 1994 he reprised his role as Matt Dillon, this time playing retired Marshal Matt Dillon, in the TV movie, “Gunsmoke: One Man’s Justice.” During the movie, Dillon sets out to find, and potentially save, a fifteen-year-old boy who runs away. The boy runs away to find the men responsible for killing his mother during a stagecoach robbery. However, the boy quickly realizes that he’s in over his head. And Dillon soon discovers that knowing who he can and can’t trust may not be as easy as he thought.
Seeing their favorite cowboy back in action was a treat for “Gunsmoke” fans. Additionally, this was James Arness‘ final acting role before his death on June 3, 2011. So the movie was a beautiful conclusion to the iconic actor’s career.
‘Yellowstone’ Star Makes An Appearance In The James Arness Film
However, James Arness wasn’t the only star to grace the screen in “Gunsmoke: One Man’s Justice.” He may not have been as famous as he is today but “Yellowstone” actor Forrie J. Smith made an appearance in the film. Smith, who plays Lloyd Pierce on “Yellowstone,” played a character named Donnie in the movie. Although no information is available about Smith’s character in the movie, we’re willing to bet he played a gunslinging badass.
And it makes sense, Forrie J. Smith isn’t just a cowboy in the movies or on TV. He’s a real cowboy, born and raised. In fact, he’s basically got rodeo in his blood. His grandfather was a rodeo man and his father is in the Canadian Cowboy Hall of Fame. So, playing a cowboy alongside James Arness came naturally. During an interview, Smith said that the rodeo has always been his “world.”
“I’m a product of rodeo. As a kid I was kind of an outlaw,” said Smith. “Rodeo, when I went behind the shoot. the juvenile probation officer, the principals, or whoever was on you at the time, I [could say] ‘this is out of your realm. This is my world now.’”