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. A look into the life and career of Dennis Weaver (Chester) and Ken Curtis (Festus) and the iconic roles they played on Gunsmoke! Columbia Pictures heard the song and signed Curtis as a singing cowboy. One of Festus's most well-known attributes was his simple vocabulary and demeanor (which hid a sharp eye … Curtis is survived by his wife and two children. Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. I was delighted to see it canceled." He replaced Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode before leaving the show after nine years. 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. I wonder if he was referring to April who was his girlfriend when Festus first came to Dodge. Cedar Jack, who lived 15 miles south of town, made a living cutting cedarfence posts. 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. 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. In 1935 he went to a college in Colorado Springs, CO, to study medicine. Although it is sad to say it lasted only 5 years before Stone died at 70. Festus was patterned after "Cedar Jack" (Frederick Munden), a man from Curtis' Las Animas childhood. 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. Introduced the western standard "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" to movie audiences. Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday. April 29, 1991. Name one of them. 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). He was 74 years old. 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. Amanda Blake played Miss Kitty on 'Gunsmoke' for 19 years. His real name was Curtis Wain Gates and he was born in Lamar (Colorado), growing up in Las Ánimas (Colorado). With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds. Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday. Five Gunsmoke movies aired from 1987 until 1992 - an astonishing 40 years of Gunsmoke! His stage name was changed to the easier-sounding "Ken Curtis" when he temporarily replaced. 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. Ken Curtis, Actor Who Played Festus in Gunsmoke, Dies. But on “Gunsmoke,” his character was no sophisticate. In his high school years, Curtis played quarterback in the football team. Festus Haggen was Marshal Matt Dillon's only official deputy on the CBS television series Gunsmoke. Keeping this in view, who was the first deputy on Gunsmoke? 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 played multiple characters Though he mostly portrayed Festus Haggen, during the series' run, he also played a Texas cattleman who was … Publicity Listings From 1955 to 1964, he was on "Gunsmoke," the longest-running prime-time drama series on television. As he might say, we love him as a June morning. Curtis, whose real name was Curtis Gates, was born in Lamar, Colo. Directed by Harry Harris. Haggens themes include a festive … This list contains notable cast members of the Gunsmoke radio and TV series, and TV movies. - IMDb Mini Biography By: After the show was cancelled, Conrad said ``Cannon was crap. Official Sites, Before 'Gunsmoke', he often appeared in films with. Curtis, who played deputy Festus Haggin from 1963-75, died in his sleep Sunday at his home here, family members said Monday. He was the fat man. This gave Curtis plenty of opportunity to observe him. 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 was the son of a sheriff and worked on a jail farm as a boy. 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. Radio's Matt Dillon played the title role in three television series. 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! His father, Dan Gates, was a sheriff, his family lived on the jail, and his mother, Nellie Sneed Gates, cooked for the prisoners. They said the cause of death was unkown. Who came first Chester or Festus on Gunsmoke? How many of the regular cast of Gunsmoke are still alive today?. 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). 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. Amanda Blake made the character into everything that made her popular. He came to Dodge City in an episode titled "Us Haggens" to avenge the death of his twin brother, Fergus. 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. Perhaps there was an episode I may have missed where they break up which would explain Festus' … While there his love for singing grew and he involved himself in various college musical events. 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. Played by Ken Curtis, he first appeared in 1962 and was showcased full-time from 1964 until 1975. This feller has more fans on his back than a dog has fur. 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 … He was active in … The western Gunsmoke premiered on CBS radio in 1952. They seemed to have an affectionate, loving relationship. He made his Hollywood debut in 1938 as a singer with swing bands. Cannon and Nero Wolfe and Jake and the Fat Man. True ... her name was Tippy. The show was successful and was adopted for television in 1955 where it aired for 20 years until 1975. 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. Curtis observed many times that Jack came to Las Animas, where he would o… Festus was the character name of the 2nd official deputy on the CBS series called Gunsmoke. 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.″. Conrad as Cannon (T/F) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley. 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. James Arness played Marshal Matt Dillon in 635 episodes of Gunsmoke , the only cast member to appear in every single one. Curtis played Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon, from 1964 to 1975, when the series ended. |  Miss Kitty was a fan-favorite on Gunsmoke, as the owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City. He also starred in "Gentle Ben," from 1967 to 1969, playing … When he ... See more » Other movies he appeared included ″The Alamo,″ ″How the West Was Won,″ ″Mr. Grew up in Las Animas, CO, where his father, Dan Gates, was sheriff. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. Curtis remains best known for his role as Festus Haggen, the scruffy, cantankerous, and illiterate deputy in Gunsmoke. He served in the United States Army during World War II between 1943 and 1945 and then decided to study medicine, especially cardiology. "Because you ever try and build a campfire with a stiff leg? He replaced Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode before leaving the … 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. His first wife, Suzie, died in 1979. 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. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra on Tommy Dorsey’s band after Sinatra left to become a solo artist. 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. 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. Came from a musical family -- his father played the fiddle, his mother the pump organ, brother Chester the banjo, and another brother Carl sang. The listing includes regular cast members, guest stars, and recurring cast members. 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 was 74 years old. Gates, was a fan-favorite on Gunsmoke, the scruffy, cantankerous, and TV movies love him a. Deputy Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon 's only official deputy on Gunsmoke, the cast... 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