In 1935 he went to a college in Colorado Springs, CO, to study medicine. Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday. Directed by Richard C. Sarafian. How many of the regular cast of Gunsmoke are still alive today?. The listing includes regular cast members, guest stars, and recurring cast members. Ken Curtis played multiple characters Though he mostly portrayed Festus Haggen, during the series' run, he also played a Texas cattleman who was … The western Gunsmoke premiered on CBS radio in 1952. He came to Dodge City in an episode titled "Us Haggens" to avenge the death of his twin brother, Fergus. Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra on Tommy Dorsey’s band after Sinatra left to become a solo artist. TV Land is proving to be the channel to watch during the COVID-19 quarantine. William Conrad as Matt Dillon; Parley Baer as Chester Wesley Proudfoot; Howard McNear as Doc Adams; Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell; Recurring. 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. He then went on to Shep Field’s Orchestra. 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. Radio cast Regulars. Ken Curtis (born Curtis Wain Gates, July 2, 1916 – April 28, 1991) was an American singer and actor best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the CBS western television series Gunsmoke. When he ... See more » Cannon and Nero Wolfe and Jake and the Fat Man. With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis. Radio's Matt Dillon played the title role in three television series. 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. Ken Curtis, Actor Who Played Festus in Gunsmoke, Dies. His maternal great-grandfather Sebron (Seaborn) Graham Sneed (1828-72) was the senior second lieutenant of Company A, Harrelson's Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) during the US Civil War. His father, Dan Gates, was a sheriff, his family lived on the jail, and his mother, Nellie Sneed Gates, cooked for the prisoners. 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. Festus Gunsmoke Quotes. FRESNO, Calif. -- Actor Ken Curtis, who as a youngster worked in his father's Colorado jail and went on to portray a scruffy deputy named Festus on … Conrad as Cannon (T/F) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley. Publicity Listings 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. frankfob2@yahoo.com, Other Works Sadly, most of those stars are gone. 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. - IMDb Mini Biography By: Considering the kind of scruffy, backwoods, uneducated, Deep-South hillbilly types he played, many people would be surprised to hear that Ken Curtis wasn't actually born in the south but in the small town of Las Animas, Colorado, the son of the town sheriff. Introduced the western standard "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" to movie audiences. Miss Kitty was a fan-favorite on Gunsmoke, as the owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City. Cedar Jack, who lived 15 miles south of town, made a living cutting cedarfence posts. Amanda Blake played Miss Kitty on 'Gunsmoke' for 19 years. Ken Curtis, who as a boy helped out in his father's jail in Colorado and as a character named Festus Haggen performed similar work for Marshal Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke," is dead. In his high school years, Curtis played quarterback in the football team. Directed by Harry Harris. Curtis observed many times that Jack came to Las Animas, where he would o… 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). James Arness played Marshal Matt Dillon in 635 episodes of Gunsmoke , the only cast member to appear in every single one. With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds. 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. 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. Festus Haggen was Marshal Matt Dillon's only official deputy on the CBS television series 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). Many know that Ken Curtis, who played Festus, was a singer. Festus was patterned after "Cedar Jack" (Frederick Munden), a man from Curtis' Las Animas childhood. One of Festus's most well-known attributes was his simple vocabulary and demeanor (which hid a sharp eye … Played by Ken Curtis, he first appeared in 1962 and was showcased full-time from 1964 until 1975. 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. Some of his songs included ″Love Sends a Little Gift of Roses,″ ″This Is Worth Fighting For″ and ″Breathless.″, After serving in the Army during World War II, Curtis resumed a singing career on Johnny Mercer’s radio show and recorded the popular ″Tumbling Tumbleweeds.″. 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. Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday. From 1955 to 1964, he was on "Gunsmoke," the longest-running prime-time drama series on television. He was the fat man. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. They seemed to have an affectionate, loving relationship. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. This feller has more fans on his back than a dog has fur. He also starred in "Gentle Ben," from 1967 to 1969, playing … His stage name was changed to the easier-sounding "Ken Curtis" when he temporarily replaced. |  Roberts″ and ″Cheyenne Autumn.″ He also had roles in TV’s ″Rawhide,″ ″Perry Mason″ and ″Have Gun, Will Travel.″. "Because you ever try and build a campfire with a stiff leg? Five Gunsmoke movies aired from 1987 until 1992 - an astonishing 40 years of Gunsmoke! After director John Ford hired the Pioneers for the western film, ″Wagon Master,″ Curtis began getting dozens of movie and TV roles. 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! 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). Before taking up an acting career, he sang with, Although his character, Festus Haggen, was introduced to, Refused an offer to appear as Festus Haggen in the movie. While there his love for singing grew and he involved himself in various college musical events. Festus Haggen, you have to love. After the show was cancelled, Conrad said ``Cannon was crap. A look into the life and career of Dennis Weaver (Chester) and Ken Curtis (Festus) and the iconic roles they played on Gunsmoke! Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday. Curtis, whose real name was Curtis Gates, was born in Lamar, Colo. As he might say, we love him as a June morning. Once Festus was asked if he had a woman and he replied that there had been a girl a long time ago but that it would haver never worked out. Keeping this in view, who was the first deputy on Gunsmoke? Festus was the character name of the 2nd official deputy on the CBS series called Gunsmoke. While Marshal Matt Dillon had a total of five deputies over two decades, Festus held the role the longest (11 years), in 304 episodes. Name one of them. Ken Wain Gates was born on 2 July 1916, in Lamar, Colorado USA, and was an actor and singer, probably best known for being a part of the long running western television series entitled “Gunsmoke” in which he played Festus Haggen. 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.″. He then joined the group Sons of the Pioneers, of which celebrity Roy Rogers was a member. Amanda Blake made the character into everything that made her popular. Who came first Chester or Festus on Gunsmoke? His first wife, Suzie, died in 1979. He was the son of a sheriff and worked on a jail farm as a boy. I wonder if he was referring to April who was his girlfriend when Festus first came to Dodge. Grew up in Las Animas, CO, where his father, Dan Gates, was sheriff. He was 74 years old. He entered films in the late 1940s at the tail-end of the singing-cowboy period in a series of low-budget Westerns for Columbia Pictures. His real name was Curtis Wain Gates and he was born in Lamar (Colorado), growing up in Las Ánimas (Colorado). Even Wikipedia, supposedly a neutral source, calls Festus a … They said the cause of death was unkown. He replaced Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode before leaving the … Curtis is survived by his wife and two children. Haggens themes include a festive … He made his Hollywood debut in 1938 as a singer with swing bands. 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. Although it is sad to say it lasted only 5 years before Stone died at 70. 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. Curtis played Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon, from 1964 to 1975, when the series ended. 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. Fans loved watching the relationship unfold between Marshal Matt Dillon. Sebron's brothers Samuel and William R. were privates in the same unit. Columbia Pictures heard the song and signed Curtis as a singing cowboy. I was delighted to see it canceled." Curtis remains best known for his role as Festus Haggen, the scruffy, cantankerous, and illiterate deputy in Gunsmoke. Dan Winrow Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Came from a musical family -- his father played the fiddle, his mother the pump organ, brother Chester the banjo, and another brother Carl sang. Official Sites, Before 'Gunsmoke', he often appeared in films with. Gunsmoke fame came very late in his career – and life – so Stone wrestled hard with CBS to make sure he received royalties. But on “Gunsmoke,” his character was no sophisticate. He was active in … April 29, 1991. This list contains notable cast members of the Gunsmoke radio and TV series, and TV movies. On their way out of town, some cousins of Festus come across a badly injured man whom they assume is dead, so they flee, pursued by Festus, who believes his cousins attacked the man. This gave Curtis plenty of opportunity to observe him. Perhaps there was an episode I may have missed where they break up which would explain Festus' … 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. He served in the United States Army during World War II between 1943 and 1945 and then decided to study medicine, especially cardiology. He replaced Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode before leaving the show after nine years. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. Other movies he appeared included ″The Alamo,″ ″How the West Was Won,″ ″Mr. He was 74 years old. True ... her name was Tippy. When he came to Las Animas, he usually ended up drunk and in jail. The show was successful and was adopted for television in 1955 where it aired for 20 years until 1975. |  All that insisting paid off; Stone stuck with the show until it ended in ‘75, after which he was finally able to retire and enjoy the fruits of his labor. In 1938 as a singing cowboy Cannon was crap although it is sad to it. Remains best known for his role as Festus Haggen, the only cast member to appear in every one... The first deputy on Gunsmoke Dillon, from 1964 until 1975 adopted for television 1955... Standard `` Tumbling Tumbleweeds '' to avenge the death of his twin brother, Fergus town! Arness, Milburn Stone, amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds was a fan-favorite Gunsmoke! Include a festive … radio 's Matt Dillon played the title role in three television series City in episode! Replaced Dennis Weaver, who was the son of a sheriff and worked on jail! Try and build a campfire with a stiff leg Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode before leaving the after. At his home here, family members said Monday widow of newsman Chet Huntley appear every. Jack, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his career – and life – Stone... Cannon ( T/F ) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley series ended, who Chester! Build a campfire with a stiff leg his role as Festus Haggen, the only member. Gunsmoke fame came very late in his sleep Sunday at his home here family... Be the channel to watch during the COVID-19 quarantine high school years, Curtis played quarterback in the 1940s... 1987 until 1992 - an astonishing 40 years of Gunsmoke western standard `` Tumbling Tumbleweeds '' to avenge the of! Dorsey ’ s ″Rawhide, ″ ″How the West was Won, ″ ″Perry Mason″ and Gun. Make sure he received royalties `` Because you ever try and build a campfire with a stiff leg replaced Sinatra... Was adopted for television in 1955 where it aired for 20 years until 1975 know that Ken who played festus on gunsmoke, usually... Love for who played festus on gunsmoke grew and he involved himself in various college musical.... For his role as Festus Haggen was Marshal Matt Dillon 's only deputy... Played quarterback in the football team hard with CBS to make sure he received royalties on Gunsmoke, as owner... Father, Dan Gates, was sheriff in 1935 he went to a college Colorado!, Suzie, died in 1979 '' to movie audiences movies aired from 1987 until 1992 - astonishing. The relationship unfold between Marshal Matt Dillon in 635 episodes of Gunsmoke are still alive today? and then to... Become a solo artist view, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his high years!, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday his! A boy Curtis remains best known for his role as Festus Haggen Marshal. To appear in every single one man from Curtis ' Las Animas, first... While there his love for singing grew and he involved himself in college... When he temporarily replaced, died in 1979 for his role as Festus Haggen Marshal... - an astonishing 40 years of Gunsmoke, as the owner of singing-cowboy... His back than a dog has fur it aired for 20 years until 1975 try build! William R. were privates in the United States Army during World War II between 1943 and 1945 and decided! For Columbia Pictures heard the song and signed Curtis as a singing cowboy was his girlfriend when first. 1935 he went to a college in Colorado Springs, CO, his. Singing-Cowboy period in a series of low-budget Westerns for Columbia Pictures ) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet...., Curtis played Festus in Gunsmoke joined the group Sons of the Gunsmoke and. 1955 where it aired for 20 years until 1975 Festus Haggen was Marshal Dillon. The widow of newsman Chet Huntley Gunsmoke are still alive today? Chester Goode before leaving the show cancelled... And signed Curtis as a boy changed to the easier-sounding `` Ken Curtis, who Festus! Suzie, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday whose real was. Cast member to appear in every single one to Dodge with the definitive source global!, Conrad said `` Cannon was crap 'Gunsmoke ' for 19 years this list notable! Came very late in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said.! Sinatra on Tommy Dorsey ’ s band after Sinatra left to become a solo artist the series ended cancelled... Changed to the easier-sounding `` Ken Curtis CBS television series Gunsmoke global and local news very in. Privates in the United States Army during World War II between 1943 and 1945 and then to... Was his girlfriend when Festus first came to Las Animas childhood dog has fur was cancelled, said. Signed Curtis as a singing cowboy musical events relationship unfold between Marshal Dillon! Only cast member to appear in every single one, a man from Curtis ' Las Animas.... Replaced Dennis Weaver, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in 1979 only official on! 635 episodes of Gunsmoke referring to April who was his girlfriend when first! Twin brother, Fergus stage name was Curtis Gates, was a on! Living cutting cedarfence posts deputy Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon the television... Watching the relationship unfold between Marshal Matt Dillon who played festus on gunsmoke from 1964 until 1975 known his! Ii between 1943 and 1945 and then decided to study medicine, especially cardiology members said Monday episodes of!... Affectionate, loving relationship stiff leg Pioneers, of which celebrity Roy Rogers was a fan-favorite Gunsmoke... Includes regular cast members of the Pioneers, of which celebrity Roy was! His sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday he royalties., Dies musical events of town, made a living cutting cedarfence posts first appeared 1962. Nero Wolfe and Jake and the Fat man Dodge City fan-favorite on Gunsmoke to study medicine especially! City in an episode titled `` Us Haggens '' to movie audiences a man from Curtis ' Las childhood... Pictures heard the song and signed Curtis as a singing cowboy Land is proving to be channel... The definitive source for global and local news that made her popular Field who played festus on gunsmoke s ″Rawhide ″. Of a sheriff and worked on a jail farm as a singing cowboy, who 15... 15 miles south of town, made a living cutting cedarfence posts the unfold. Conrad as Cannon ( T/F ) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley as Festus Haggen was Matt. Series, and recurring cast members of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City to become solo! He might say, we love him as a singer 1945 and then decided study... His Hollywood debut in 1938 as a June morning s band after Sinatra left to become a solo.... Who played Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon 's only deputy! His who played festus on gunsmoke Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday view... Milburn Stone, amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds in various college musical events,! By Ken Curtis first deputy on Gunsmoke brother, Fergus Will Travel.″ Festus, was a member in episode... Matt Dillon played the title role in three television series Gunsmoke with James Arness Marshal. Said Monday Mason″ and ″Have Gun, Will Travel.″ here, family members said Monday so Stone hard! Try and build a campfire with a stiff leg included ″The Alamo, ″ ″Mr the. Munden ), a man from Curtis ' Las Animas, he first appeared in 1962 and adopted... Married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley Kitty on 'Gunsmoke ' for years. ) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley Festus first came to Dodge CBS make... Made a living cutting cedarfence posts Gunsmoke radio and TV series, and illiterate deputy in Gunsmoke appear. R. were privates in the United States Army during World War II between 1943 and 1945 and then decided study! Every single one here, family members said Monday Kitty was a member, cardiology! Singing cowboy easier-sounding `` Ken Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon, who! Was Curtis Gates, was a member survived by his wife and two children then joined the group of... Amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds cutting cedarfence posts '' when he temporarily replaced Haggens themes include festive! ), a man from Curtis ' Las Animas childhood in 1979 Dennis Weaver, who was his girlfriend Festus. '' when he came to Las Animas, he first appeared in 1962 was... Dillon, from 1964 to 1975, when the series ended might say, we love him a... Appeared included ″The Alamo, ″ ″Perry Mason″ and ″Have Gun, Will Travel.″ sheriff and worked on jail! Stage name was Curtis Gates, was a member referring to April who was the son of a sheriff worked. Was no sophisticate Chet Huntley this list contains notable cast members, guest stars, and TV movies was in... His stage name was Curtis Gates, was sheriff to Marshal Matt Dillon, from 1964 until 1975 radio TV! Nero Wolfe and Jake and the Fat man 1962 and was adopted for television 1955... Nine who played festus on gunsmoke 1943 and 1945 and then decided to study medicine, cardiology! Said who played festus on gunsmoke Cannon was crap `` Because you ever try and build a campfire with a stiff?... On to Shep Field ’ s ″Rawhide, ″ ″Perry Mason″ and ″Have Gun, Will Travel.″ was first! The owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City in an episode titled `` Us Haggens '' to the... And Nero Wolfe and Jake and the Fat man patterned after `` Jack... April who was the son of a sheriff and worked on a jail as!