Jenny Lee Arness: Early Life, Family, Love Life, Mental Disorder, Demise & Possible Causes of Death

Celebrity kids have been getting the limelight all the time. The same happened with Jenny Lee Arness, she’s the beloved daughter of late veteran actor, James Arness. She landed some minor roles in ‘Gunsmoke’, but besides that, she had no other career streak. Despite being born into a privileged family, her life was not jovial. She lived quite a saddening life and died at a young age.

There are various speculations surrounding her suicide, she either got a rough breakup from her lover or she was suffering from schizophrenia. Let’s find the real reason here which pushed her to take such a horrendous step in life.

In this article, we will delve deeper into Jenny Lee Arness’s life history, her early life, family, career, love life, mental health, demise, and cause of death. 

Early Life of Jenny Lee Arness

Why Jenny Lee Arness has suddenly become trendy? The fans never forget their favorites, and Jenny’s beauty and acting are not something to forget about. The stunning young lady was born on May 23rd, 1950 in California, USA. From her birth till her demise, she went through many challenges. 

Life has been hard for her; she went through a troubled broken family. Although, their father did his best to give her time and affection that wasn’t enough. 

She got her early education from the local school in California, then migrated to Switzerland. 

She met her demise in Malibu, California in 1975, when she was just 24 years old. Her death will always be a sad matter to remember, and she missed dearly. 

Family of Jenny Lee Arness

Jenny lived in a happy family just like most of us have before things become messy. You won’t be unfamiliar with her father, James Arness, a well-known award-winning actor. Virginia Chapman, her mother was also a fine actress of her time. Her parent used to dote on her and her siblings. 

Yes, you have guessed right! She wasn’t the only child. She had two brothers, the older one was Craig Arness who was adopted by the couple before their marriage. However, her younger brother’s name is Rolf Arness. The happy family was living a cozy life at the Cape Cod Cottage at Pacific Palisades.

But all of it doesn’t end here, things become rough for her parents when her father becomes busier with his career when Jenny is 13.

As the sources claim, Chapman motivated James Arness to become successful. But with the success comes the baggage, he gets busier and has no time for his family. His wife became upset and that led to fights. 

The couple ended their marriage after 15 years in 1963, and James got custody of all of his children. 

Jenny Lee Arness’s Career

Following her father’s career footsteps, Jenny Lee Arness adopted the same profession. She made her way into Hollywood at a relatively small age. Coincidently or not, her career also revolves around ‘Gunsmoke’, but she landed minor roles. 

She appeared in two episodes, one in Aunt Thede (1964), and another in The Glory and the Mud (1964). Despite limited screen time, she brilliantly flaunts her exceptional acting skills. Her beauty along with her marvelous acting still has retained its space in admirers’ hearts. 

Her father also left a remarkable legacy. He first gave his services as a World War II military officer, but later on made his way into Hollywood just after a year. His services are unforgettable which we will cherish forever. 

Jenny Lee Arness’s Love Life

Unfortunately, fate wasn’t on Jenny Lee Arness’s side when she fell in love. She has a troubled relationship with popular musician and songwriter, Gregg Allman. They officially started dating in 1972, but it lasted for a fleeting time. 

Jenny Lee Arness: Early Life, Family, Love Life, Mental Disorder, Demise & Possible Causes of Death

Jenny was crazy in love, but Allman didn’t reciprocate her feelings. He broke her heart and started dating another musician. It deeply affected Jenny and she took this grief to heart. People have also speculated that this heartbreak could also be a cause of her demise. 

Was Jenny Lee Arness Suffering From Schizophrenia? 

There is some other news which came out that Jenny Lee Arness was suffering from a psychological disease i.e., Schizophrenia. The disorder is accompanied by many symptoms, the main ones being hallucinations and delusions. It could be a valid reason for her suicide. 

Although, we haven’t gathered any exact proof of this speculation yet. 

Is Jenny Lee Arness Dead?

Jenny Lee Arness died on May 12th, 1975 due to a drug overdose. There were few days left in her mid-20s, but she took her life. There are almost 5 decades have passed, but Jenny’s demise is still a saddening matter. She got high on drugs and slit her wrist; her brother found her but that was late by then. She even left a death note behind that said,

“I’m sorry for everything I’ve done to hurt anyone I love.”.

Well just two years after Jenny’s death, her mother Virginia also died due to being high on sleeping pills. Fate had been cruelling to Arness women. Both met the same fate and are equally disturbing. However, her father, James Arness spent a healthy long life and died naturally when he was 88. 

Jenny Lee Arness’s Cause of Death

It is difficult to deduce the exact cause of her death, there could be many things that ultimately led to her suicide. She was suffering from schizophrenia, which has many symptoms mainly delusion, and paranoia that are hard to cope with. 

She had heartbreak, her beloved lover left her for another woman and even married her. She was devastated by this news. She even belonged to a broken family. Her life was not a bed of roses, she suffered a lot. 

The young lady was obviously in need of more love and affection which she didn’t receive either at home or from outside. That’s a stark reminder for people to consult mental health professionals if they are suffering from depression and other mental disorders. 


Concluding the biography of Jenny Lee Arness, she was a stunning fine actress who lived a relatively short life. She was born in 1950 and died in 1975. Her death has been a tragic matter for both her family and fans. The lady didn’t marry but fell in love and that wrecked her for good. 

Her parents separated when she was barely a teenager. She even suffered from schizophrenia during her lifetime. We assume, her heartbreak or her disorder could be because of her early death. 

Give a good read, and tell us was Jenny Arness your favorite as well? Have you seen her acting and what do you think of her untimely death? 

Share your opinions with us, and let us know what you would like to read next. 

FAQs on Jenny Lee Arness

What episode of Gunsmoke was Jenny Lee Arness?

She was featured in two episodes of Gunsmoke, ‘Aunt Thede’ and ‘The Glory and the Mud’.

Did James Arness have a daughter?

Yes, her daughter Jenny Arness was born in 1950 but attempted suicide in 1975 and died. Her suicide was a tragedy for her family, which they never recovered from.

How old is Jenny Arness?

She was only 24 years old at her death time in 1975. 

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Hamza Ashraf

Mr Hamza is the admin of Whatsmind.com. He is an SEO Executive having the practical experience of 5 years. He has been working with many Multinational companies, especially dealing in Portugal. Furthermore, he has been writing quality content since 2019. His ultimate goal is to provide content seekers with authentic and precise information.

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