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GUNSMOKE

Basic Television Series Information

* Main Cast:

      JAMES ARNESS..........................Matt Dillon  
      MILBURN STONE...................Galen "Doc" Adams  
      AMANDA BLAKE........................Kitty Russell  (1955-1974)
      DENNIS WEAVER.......................Chester Goode  (1955-1964)
      KEN CURTIS..........................Festus Haggen  (1964-1975)
      BURT REYNOLDS.........................Quint Asper  (1962-1965)
      ROGER EWING.....Clayton Thaddeus "Thad" Greenwood  (1965-1967)
      BUCK TAYLOR.........................Newly O'Brien  (1967-1975)

      Here's a graphical timeline showing which characters appeared
      season by season. (The first season was 1955-56, the last season
      was 20 years later, 1974-75).  Only seasons that marked the 
      first or last time that we saw a character are labeled.
      
             timeline of characters

* Look here for detailed info on the main cast, including pictures

* Major Supporting Cast:

      GLENN STRANGE..................Sam, the bartender (1962-1974)
      DABBS GREER.............................Mr. Jonas (1955-1960)
      JAMES NUSSER.......................Louie Pheeters
      CHARLES SEEL...............................Barney
      HOWARD CULVER...............................Howie (1955-1975)
      TOM BROWN.............................Ed O'Connor
      JOHN HARPER...........................Percy Crump
      HANK PATTERSON...............................Hank (1957-1975)
      SARAH SELBY............................Ma Smalley (1962-1975)
      TED JORDAN...........................Nathan Burke (1964-1975)
      ROY ROBERTS............................Mr. Botkin (1965-1975)
      WOODY CHAMBLIS........................Mr. Lathrop (1966-1975)
      CHARLES WAGENHEIM........................Halligan (1967-1975)
      FRAN RYAN.............................Miss Hannah (1974-1975)

* Broadcast Information:

Gunsmoke was broadcast on the CBS Television Network

      First Broadcast:  Sept. 10, 1955 ("Matt Gets It")
      Last First Run Broadcast: March 31, 1975 ("The Sharecroppers")
      Last CBS Broadcast: Sept. 1, 1975 (a rerun of "The Busters")


      Sept 1955 - Sept 1961  Sat 10:00-10:30
      Sept 1961 - Sept 1967  Sat 10:00-11:00
      Sept 1967 - Sept 1971  Mon 7:30-8:30
      Sept 1971 - Sept 1975  Mon 8:00-9:00

Additionally, the half-hour episodes were rerun on Tuesdays at 7:30 from October 1961
to June 1964. These reruns went by the name "Marshal Dillon".

* Miscellaneous Information (television):

Gunsmoke was on TV for 20 seasons, from 1955 to 1975.
  • There were 633 total television episodes: 233 half-hour episodes (1955-1960) and 400 hour long episodes (1961-1975).
  • The first 11 seasons were filmed in black and white, the last 9 seasons were filmed in color.
  • The Library of Congress has 2 half-hour episodes; 17 hour long, black and white episodes; and 77 hour long color episodes.
  • Pat Hingle played the role of Dr. John Chapman in 7 episodes in the fall of 1971 (in the seventeenth season). Milburn Stone (Doc) was recovering from open heart surgery at the time.
  • The actor originally slated to play Matt Dillon was Denver Pyle (yes, that's right, Uncle Jesse from the Dukes of Hazzard and Mad Jack from Grizzly Adams).
  • Gunsmoke was actually canceled at the end of the 15th season. People were so outraged (it was mentioned in Congress, even) that CBS brought it back.
  • The only spin-off from Gunsmoke was Dirty Sally, based on the character Sally Fergus from the two part Gunsmoke episode "Pike." (In syndication the name has sometimes been changed to "Dirty Sally"). "Pike" I and II aired in 1971, and another episode with Sally, "One for the Road," aired in 1972. The TV show Dirty Sally ran from January 11, 1974 to July 19, 1974. Jeanette Nolan played the role of Sally all three times. Sally's mule was named "Worthless."
  • The name of Festus' mule was Ruth. For a picture of Ruth and Festus, visit the FAQ.
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Matt

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