Home Celebrities Jenny Lee Arness Wiki, Cause of Death (July 2024)

Jenny Lee Arness Wiki, Cause of Death (July 2024)

jenny lee arness

Jenny Lee Arness was a California-based actress born on 23 May 1950. Her acting career started getting appreciation after the release of ‘The Gunsmoke Tv series.

This article will share information about Jenny’s life, career, and the cause of her death.

Who was Jenny Lee Arness?

On 23 May 1950, Jenny Lee Arness was born in Los Angeles, California, USA. She was a fantastic actress but died on 12 May 1975. One of the famous works from which she started getting appreciation for her acting skills was the ‘Gunsmoke’ Tv series.

Gunsmoke was a western television drama directed by Norman Macdonnell, and written by John Meston. This television drama revolves around Dodge City, Kansas, showing the American West settlement.

The principal character Marshal Matt Dillon, in this series was played by James Arness.

Basic information about her

Full nameJenny Lee Arness
Date of Birth23 May 1950
Date of Death12 May 1975
BirthplaceLos Angeles, California, USA
Zodiac SignGemini
Net Worth$2 million

Body Stats

Height in mNot Known
Height in cmNot Known
Height in inchesNot Known
Weight in KgNot Known
Weight in poundsNot Known


Father’s nameJames Arness
Mother’s nameVirginia Chapman
SiblingsRolf Aurness, Craig Aurness
CousinsAmanda Graves
Claudia Graves
Kelly Graves
GrandparentsRolf Cirkler Aurness
Ruth Aurness

Social Media Accounts


About her Early Life

James Arness was the father of Jenny. His father was a well-known American actor. Her mother, Virginia Chapman, was also a USA-based actress famous for her refined acting skills.

Jenny began her acting career at a very young age. And after no point in time, she started getting appreciation for her brilliant acting skills. Jenny was not the only child in her family. She has two brothers, Craig and Rolf.

Craig was adopted by her parents and Rolf was born on 18 February 1952. Both of her brothers were talented. Craig started a stock photography agency wrestling and was famous for his geographic photography. On the other hand, Rolf was a professional surfer who won the World Surfing Championship in 1970.

Jenny’s Career

Jenny had a tiny career because she passed away very young. Still, one of the best works she has done throughout her career was ‘Gunsmoke’ in 1955, for which she got massive attention.

Jenny and the Arness family were dedicated, hardworking, and passionate towards their work. The work Jenny Lee delivered at a very young age would be remembered in golden words. It was a significant loss for the whole acting industry, as they lost a gem of an actress at a very young age.

Her famous television drama series – Gunsmoke (1955)

Gunsmoke was a western drama series which was released in 1955. The series was created by a famous director, Norman Macdonnell, and a famous writer, John Meston. This television drama series revolves around the settlement of the American West.

Initially, the series was titled Gun Law, but after some discussion and debates, it was renamed Gunsmoke. The series was released on two different platforms, firstly on the radio and secondly on western television.

Jenny Lee’s life only revolves around this 1955 television drama series because she delivered an immense performance and raised the acting bar through her performance. She played the role of a 10 years old Laurie.

It is being said that the role helped her to gain a lot of fame in the industry. Jenny’s father was also in this series, portraying the character named Marshal Matt Dillon.

He played the lead role in the television drama series and according to some news articles, he was paid $1200 per episode, which was the highest per day ever given to an actor at that time. After some negotiation, the actor was even offered around $20,000 for each episode.

jenny lee arness cause of death

What is Jenny Lee Arness’s Cause of Death

It was heartbreaking when everyone knew she passed away in Malibu, California, on 12 May 1975. She was just 24 years of age when she passed away.

According to the sources, the reason behind her death was a drug overdose. Her toxicology reports indicate that she was high on heroin. She was diagnosed with Schizophrenia – a mental illness due to an overdose, before her death.

The reason behind Jenny starts taking drugs was her mental instability due to her breakup with Gregg Allman. A few people also claim that she committed suicide because of her mental illness, Schizophrenia, from which she was confused between the real and imaginary worlds.

Her mother, Virginia Chapman, was also a drug addict and died due to a drug overdose.

What about Jenny’s Personal Life

There’s not much information about her personal life. But according to sources, she was in a relationship with Gregg Allman, a great musician, singer and songwriter. After some time, they both broke up for personal reasons, but it had a destructive impact on Jenny’s mental health.

She starts taking drugs and leads to her death.

Took Birth to the two most Renowned Actors in the Industry

Let’s talk a little bit about her father and mother.

James Arness

On 26 May 1923, James Arness was born in America. He was an American based actor who was famous for his exemplary acting skills, and he also got famous for playing Marshal Matt Dillion in the series, Gunsmoke.

Other than that, he has also acted in various other popular series such as The Red Skelton Chevy Special, The Chevrolet Golden Anniversary Show, A Salute to Television’s 25th Anniversary and many more. His younger brother Peter Graves was also an actor.

Unfortunately, James passed away at the age of 88 years because of a natural cause on 3 June 2011. He was in Los Angeles at his Brentwood home when he passed away.

Virginia Chapman

On 14 June 1921, Virginia Chapman was born in California, USA. She was a well-known American based actress, famous for her various works such as Official Detective, Highway Patrol, Medic and many more. Previously, she was married to James Arness, but they divorced, and after that, she married Myron Morton.

According to sources, Virginia got divorced from her ex-husband, James in 1960. Unfortunately, she passed away at the age of 56 years on 29 July 1977, in Malibu, California, USA. It is being said that the cause of her death was also a drug overdose like her daughter Jenny.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What was the net worth of Jenny Lee Arness?

Her estimated net worth of Jenny was around $2 million, including all her income, money and assets. She had a tiny career because she passed away when she was just 24 years old, but she still made a good net worth in a short period.

2. How did her mother die?

According to the reports, her mother, Virginia, was a drug addict and died from a drug overdose.

3. What kind of mental illness was Jenny suffering from?

She had Schizophrenia – a severe mental disorder which resulted in confusion between the real and imaginary world. This type of mental disorder requires lifelong treatment and medication.


Life is very unpredictable, and you have to be blessed with both luck and hard work to get a stable life in this world. Unfortunately, at a very young age, Jenny passed away. But still, she gained a lot of respect and fame in the industry due to her marvellous performance in Gunsmoke.

Hopefully, we have answered all your queries in this article. For more such informative articles, keep following our website regularly.

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