Matt and Kitty

GUNSMOKE

Television Cast Member Info

This page is mainly made up of information sent in by other fans - people who have actually met the stars somewhere and have a nice story to tell about it, or people who have read the latest about one of the cast members. If you have information about one of the main cast members listed here, please send it in.

The Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has lots of information about just about any actor or actress that ever was. I have included links to the IMDb for the cast members here - please follow them for biographical information and a filmography (they will open in a new browser window).


Matt

James Arness
May 26, 1923
Character: Matt Dillon, US Marshal
Years on Gunsmoke: 1955 - 1975 (20 years)
IMDb file on James Arness

Address:
James Arness, P O Box 492163, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Doc Milburn Stone
July 5, 1904 - June 12, 1980
Character: Galen "Doc" Adams, Doctor
Years on Gunsmoke: 1955 - 1975 (20 years)
IMDb file on Milburn Stone
Kitty

Amanda Blake
Feb. 20, 1929 (or 1931, depending on the source) - Aug. 16, 1989
Character: Kitty Russell, Owner of the Long Branch Saloon
Years on Gunsmoke: 1955 - 1974 (19 years)
IMDb file on Amanda Blake
Read about (and see) Amanda Blake's block on the AIDS Quilt

Chester Dennis Weaver
June 4, 1924
Character: Chester Goode, Matt's sidekick
Years on Gunsmoke: 1955 - 1964 (9 years)
IMDb file on Dennis Weaver
Web Page: http://users.independence.net/weaver/home.html
Festus Ken Curtis
July 2, 1916 - April 29, 1991
Character: Festus Hagen, Matt's deputy
Years on Gunsmoke: 1964 - 1975 (11 years)
IMDb file on Ken Curtis
Fan Info:
June, 1997 - Several years ago Mr. Curtis was in Little Rock signing autographs. A friend of mine and I went to see him. Most people there wanted to know the name of his mule or something stupid like that. My friend and I knew he sang with Tommy Dorsey and we started talking with him about that. He related to us that he hadn't thought about some of our questions in along time and invited us to sit down with him and talk. Mr. Dorsey's theme song was I'm getting Sentemental Over You. We asked him if there were any words to the song as we had only played the song as an instrumental. He smiled and sang the song for us at the table.

In our conversation he related how he broke into show business. He left Colorado to be a song writer in L.A. It didn't take long for him to realize that he was not good enough to break into the music scene in that manner. He then hooked on with a small band and started to sing. One night at a performance in attendance was (pardon my spelling) Cecil D. Dimells secretary. I will look wp the correct spelling and send to you. She liked Mr. Curtis' singing so much that she suggested to her boss that he be hired to sing on the MGM lot for visitors. About this time Harold Arlin (wrote music for the Wizard of Oz and many others) had written a new song he wanted to sell to one of the Big Bands. He heard Mr. Curtis sing and paid him a small amount to record his song. Mr. Arlin then sent the record to the main Big Bands of the day hoping they would buy and record his song. When Tommy Dorsey heard the record he did not like the song but loved the voice of then Curtis Gates. Since Frank S. had just left the band he called Curtis Gates and sent him the money to take the train to N.Y. Since Mr. Dorsey did not like the name Curtis Gates he had him change his name to Ken Curtis after I believe Mr. Dorsey's cousin.

Robert Franks

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new Sons of the Pioneers - Lots of people have written to tell me that Ken Curtis sang with the Sons of the Pioneers. You can find out more about them by visiting this web page. Here is a sample letter that I got in Feb. 1998:

Did you know Festus (Ken Curtis) was a singer? He sang with the Sons of the Pioneers for a few years and on some of the John Wayne/John Ford Calvary pictures he's one of the Regimental Singers who serenades John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara on the veranda of the Officers Tent. I think that was Rio Grande.

Bryan Waltz

Quint Burt Reynolds
Feb. 11, 1936
Character: Quint Asper, Blacksmith
Years on Gunsmoke: 1962 - 1965 (3 years)
IMDb file on Burt Reynolds
Web Page: http://www.burtreynolds.com
Thad Roger Ewing
No birthdate listed
Character: Thad Greenwood, part time deputy
Years on Gunsmoke: 1965 - 1967 (2 years)
IMDb file on Roger Ewing
Newly Buck Taylor
May 13, 1938
Character: Newly O'Brien, Gunsmith, part time deputy, apprentice doctor, lawyer
Years on Gunsmoke: 1967 - 1975 (7 years)
IMDb file on Buck Taylor
Web Page: http://www.bucktaylor.com
Fan Info:
August, 1998 - Buck has just filmed a sequence in the upcoming Wild, Wild West feature film. He plays a bad guy, sporting an old facial scar, who gets killed in a bordello.

I worked on the film during this sequence (as a make-up artist) and had a chance to speak with Buck for a few minutes. We had worked on an episode of Wildside (Disney TV/ABC) back in 1985. He told me he is living in Texas and is happily painting. He said the money he makes from his art work allows him to pick and choose his acting parts and he doesn't have to take just anything.

He said he had recently spoken with James Arness for the first time in about 12 years. (the reason he hadn't spoken with him sooner is that Jim is a very private man) He said Jim sounded good and they had a good conversation, as if they had just seen each other last week.

Michael F. Blake

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Matt

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