Janet Surtees; Her Beautiful Love Story with Husband

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  • Post last modified:April 13, 2023
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Janet Surtees (aka Janet Surtees Arness) is the widow of the late Hollywood icon James Arness. Her late hubby gained tremendous popularity following his enduring role as Marshal Matt Dillon in the cult-hit CBS TV series Gunsmoke. The couple had started dating a year before the end of the drama series.

They were in a blissful marital relationship until James died in 2011. Aside from their long-lasting marriage, many people want to know if Janet and her late husband James shared any biological children. So, we are here to reveal the secret of their blissful marriage and information regarding their kids.

Furthermore, we’ll also talk about James Arness’s wife Janet’s parents and other details!

Janet Surtees Biography Summary

  • Full Name: Janet Surtees
  • Gender: Female
  • Date of Birth: February 15th, 1947
  • Joseph Herbert Jr., Age: 75-Years-Old
  • Ethnicity: Caucasian
  • Nationality: American
  • Horoscope: Aquarius
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Widowed (Husband: James Arness)
  • Janet Surtees Parents: Unknown
  • Janet Surtees Siblings: Unknown
  • Height: 5ft 4inches
  • Net Worth: $1 million

Who are Her Parents? Janet Surtees Date of Birth

Surtees’ father was a pilot, but the information about her mother is out of the media. She has a brother who also worked as a pilot in the past.

Moving towards her birth details, Janet was born on February 15, 1947, in the United States of America. She holds an American nationality and belongs to the Caucasian ethnicity.

Inside the marriage of Janet and her Late Husband James Arness

The couple tied the knot on December 16th, 1978 in a private wedding ceremony. They led a happily married life since their nuptials, supporting each other through thick and thin until the actor’s passing in 2011.

Janet Surtees married James until his death in 2011.
Janet Surtees with her late husband, James. Source; Getty Images

Despite their long-time marriage, the two remained low-profile about their love life throughout their relationship. They used to make sporadic public appearances.

One of their rare outings was their joint appearance during a signing of James’ book James Arness: An Autobiography in 2001 in Los Angeles.

How Did They First Meet? The Couple Started Dating Three Months After They Met

Janet used to work at James Arness’s makeup artist Glen Alden‘s wife’s shop, which was located on Tujunga Avenue. She spent around six years working in the shop. It was there Janet met her future husband.

Glen’s wife used to talk about James’ adventures and his fantastic roles in both movies and TV shows, especially on the CBS drama Gunsmoke. But, Surtees was unknown of James’ successful Hollywood career at the time. One day, the actor himself came over for dinner where Janet was working, and the two had their first-ever encounter.

After a few days, they went to Red Ridge Meadows, Mammoth Lakes. The two had a lot of fun there. The actor rented horses for the couple. They both were avid skiers too.

After spending some quality time together, they came back home, and James told his future wife he was going to Alaska and would call her only after his return from there.

James Arness married Janet until his demise.
The two didn’t share any children.
Source: Getty Images

But, Janet revealed that the actor didn’t call her for around a couple of months. Eventually, after three months gone, James called her, and the couple went for dinner. They subsequently started dating and dated for around four years before they got married.

Did they share any children? Janet Has a Son From Her Previous Relationship

No, the duo didn’t have any biological children. But, both James and Janet had kids from their previous relationships. Surtees has a son Craig from her past love affair. Her late hubby adopted her son after they married. However, the details of her son’s biological father are still missing. Besides, Janet’s son was a big fan of Gunsmoke.

On the other side, James had two children; a son Rolf (born February 18, 1952), and a daughter Jenny Lee Arness (b May 23, 1950) from his first marriage to Virginia Chapman. Their son Rolf was the 1970 World Surfing Championship winner. Sadly, their daughter Jenny died of a drug overdose in 1975.

Janet Surtees’ Husband’s Death

One of the greatest actors, James, passed away on 3rd June 2011. He was 88 years old at the time of his demise. He died of natural causes in his Brentwood home in Los Angeles.

His body was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

What is Janet Surtees doing after her husband’s demise?

She is currently into charity work. Like her late hubby, Surtees has the same passion for humanity. She supports the United Cerebral Palsy Research and Education Foundation.

Take a Look at Her Net Worth

Janet’s estimated wealth is $1 million. She currently resides in Los Angeles. The average median price of a home in the city is $650,000.

On the other hand, her late husband, James, had a net worth of $8 million at his death. He mainly earned his wealth from his acting career. He began his acting career by working in the movie The Farmer’s Daughter in 1974.

The actor rose to stardom after his fan-favorite role in the acclaimed TV series Gunsmoke. He worked in the series from 1955-75. He also appeared in five made-for-television Gunsmoke movies.

Source: Celebsuburb.com

Did Janet Surtees appear on Gunsmoke?

She and her late husband James first met on the show, which means she was on the set but if she appeared on the show or not is a matter of mystery.

Is Janet Surtees still alive?

Yes, she is very much alive and kicking, although she is living an incredibly secretive life.

How many kids does Janet Surtees has?

She has only one biological child, Craig, whom she shares from her previous relationship. Her late hubby adopted Craig after they marry.


Sagar Chand, who goes by Cannon, is a founder at celebsuburb.com. With an aim to cover the life of celebrities, he started the website in 2020 and has been continuously working as an author, editor, and administrator. He has over 6 years of work experience in the entertainment field. Further, he is also one of the Co-Founders at Pandora Group of Companies. Contact: sagarchand242@gmail.com