Curtis branched out into film production in the 1950s with two extremely low-budget monster films, The Killer Shrews (1959) and The Giant Gila Monster (1959), but he is best known for his long-running role as Festus Hagen, the scruffy, cantankerous deputy in the long-running TV series Gunsmoke (1955). But on “Gunsmoke,” his character was no sophisticate. This list contains notable cast members of the Gunsmoke radio and TV series, and TV movies. Sadly, most of those stars are gone. He was the son of a sheriff and worked on a jail farm as a boy. Curtis observed many times that Jack came to Las Animas, where he would o… Grew up in Las Animas, CO, where his father, Dan Gates, was sheriff. Curtis played Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon, from 1964 to 1975, when the series ended. Roberts″ and ″Cheyenne Autumn.″ He also had roles in TV’s ″Rawhide,″ ″Perry Mason″ and ″Have Gun, Will Travel.″. Directed by Richard C. Sarafian. While fellow regulars Amanda Blake and Milburn Stone can't top that, they were both in more than 500 episodes — a significant achievement by any standard! From 1955 to 1964, he was on "Gunsmoke," the longest-running prime-time drama series on television. Keeping this in view, who was the first deputy on Gunsmoke? Miss Kitty was a fan-favorite on Gunsmoke, as the owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City. With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis. Radio cast Regulars. While Marshal Matt Dillon had a total of five deputies over two decades, Festus held the role the longest (11 years), in 304 episodes. Festus Haggen, played by Ken Curtis, was introduced in an eighth-season episode (“Us Haggens”), became a recurring character in the ninth season, and took over as Matt’s sidekick when Chester left –edging his predecessor out by appearing in 304 episodes. Festus was the character name of the 2nd official deputy on the CBS series called Gunsmoke. When that genre died out, Curtis turned to straight dramatic and comedy parts and became a regular in the films of director John Ford (who was his father-in-law). After director John Ford hired the Pioneers for the western film, ″Wagon Master,″ Curtis began getting dozens of movie and TV roles. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Festus Gunsmoke Quotes: “Blaming her would be like blaming her for being dark in the night.” Gunsmoke is an American radio (1952-1951) and television (1955-1975) of western drama series. In addition to his television roles, Curtis acted with John Wayne in some of Hollywood’s classic films, including ″The Searchers″ and ″The Quiet Man.″. Played by Ken Curtis, he first appeared in 1962 and was showcased full-time from 1964 until 1975. Ken Curtis, a singer and actor who played the scruffy deputy Festus on the television series “Gunsmoke,” died in his sleep on Sunday at his home. His first wife, Suzie, died in 1979. He came to Dodge City in an episode titled "Us Haggens" to avenge the death of his twin brother, Fergus. Gunsmoke is an American radio and television Western drama series created by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston.The stories take place in and around Dodge City, Kansas, during the settlement of the American West.The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on television. Ken Curtis played multiple characters Though he mostly portrayed Festus Haggen, during the series' run, he also played a Texas cattleman who was … In 1935 he went to a college in Colorado Springs, CO, to study medicine. Fans loved watching the relationship unfold between Marshal Matt Dillon. Five Gunsmoke movies aired from 1987 until 1992 - an astonishing 40 years of Gunsmoke! This feller has more fans on his back than a dog has fur. Festus Haggen was Marshal Matt Dillon's only official deputy on the CBS television series Gunsmoke. I was delighted to see it canceled." Gunsmoke fame came very late in his career – and life – so Stone wrestled hard with CBS to make sure he received royalties. Official Sites, Before 'Gunsmoke', he often appeared in films with. One died during the run of the show, in 1973, at the age of 74—Glenn Strange, a real New Mexico cowboy who played Sam the bartender. When he came to Las Animas, he usually ended up drunk and in jail. They would probably be even more surprised to learn that he began his show business career as a singer in the big-band era, and was a vocalist in the legendary Tommy Dorsey orchestra. Ken Curtis, Actor Who Played Festus in Gunsmoke, Dies. The goofy nephew of Festus, Eliab Haggen, comes to Dodge with the hope of shooting off a tiny piece of his ear, because Festus bit off a piece of his dad's ear years ago in a fight. The listing includes regular cast members, guest stars, and recurring cast members. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. How many of the regular cast of Gunsmoke are still alive today?. Who came first Chester or Festus on Gunsmoke? FRESNO, Calif. (AP) _ Ken Curtis, a singer and actor who starred as Marshal Matt Dillon’s sidekick on the long-running television western ″Gunsmoke,″ has died at age 74. Name one of them. He once said he patterned "Festus" after a local character known as Cedar Jack, who lived about 40 miles out in the cedar hills and made a living cutting cedar fence posts for farmers and ranchers. He then went on to Shep Field’s Orchestra. Not only was he a resident of Dodge City, KS, in the TV series, Best remembered by the public for his role as Festus Haggen on, View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro. With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds. Curtis is survived by his wife and two children. William Conrad as Matt Dillon; Parley Baer as Chester Wesley Proudfoot; Howard McNear as Doc Adams; Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell; Recurring. 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