Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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James Arness Prank, "Gunsmoke" Open
Melody Ranch

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From the collection of James Arness comes this sequence of four still frames (as one 8x10 glossy print) showing a self-explanatory prank pulled by Arness during filming of the original opening sequence to the long-running CBS television series, "Gunsmoke," at Melody Ranch in 1955. (Watch it below.)

"Gunsmoke" frequently used Gene Autry's Melody Ranch studio in Placerita Canyon for exteriors from 1955 (premiered September 10) until the ranch burned down in August 1962.

Watch the real "Gunsmoke" open in this 2006 SCVTV interview with Arness.



LW3405: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photograph purchased 2018 by Leon Worden.
"GUNSMOKE"

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Legacy: James Arness
(SCVTV 2006)

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James Arness 1950s

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Prank Open 1955

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Dennis Weaver, James Arness 1956

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Dell No. 679 (Gunsmoke No. 1)

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James Arness, Amanda Blake at Vasquez Rocks

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TV Guide May 1957

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Jim Garner and "Gunsmog" 1959

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Memo: Use of Firearms 1974

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