Who Was the First Wife of James Arness?

The first wife of James Arness was Virginia Chapman. James Arness married Virginia Chapman in 1948, and the couple divorced in 1963. Chapman died of a drug overdose in 1977, in Malibu, California. The couple had three children together: Jenny Lee, Rolf, and Craig.

The couple's only daughter Jenny Lee Arness committed suicide at 25 years of age. The couple's son, Rolf Arness, went on to become a World Surfing Champion in 1970.

Chapman was a famous actress known for her roles in "Perry Mason," "Highway Patrol" and "Gunsmoke." James Arness played Matt Dillon in the television show "Gunsmoke" for 20 years.