Festus Haggen, you have to love. 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. 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. Gunsmoke fame came very late in his career – and life – so Stone wrestled hard with CBS to make sure he received royalties. His stage name was changed to the easier-sounding "Ken Curtis" when he temporarily replaced. Ken Curtis, Actor Who Played Festus in Gunsmoke, Dies. 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. Haggens themes include a festive … He was the fat man. Sebron's brothers Samuel and William R. were privates in the same unit. One of Festus's most well-known attributes was his simple vocabulary and demeanor (which hid a sharp eye … 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). While Marshal Matt Dillon had a total of five deputies over two decades, Festus held the role the longest (11 years), in 304 episodes. This list contains notable cast members of the Gunsmoke radio and TV series, and TV movies. I wonder if he was referring to April who was his girlfriend when Festus first came to Dodge. Five Gunsmoke movies aired from 1987 until 1992 - an astonishing 40 years of Gunsmoke! Amanda Blake made the character into everything that made her popular. Even Wikipedia, supposedly a neutral source, calls Festus a … "Because you ever try and build a campfire with a stiff leg? TV Land is proving to be the channel to watch during the COVID-19 quarantine. Directed by Harry Harris. Introduced the western standard "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" to movie audiences. Curtis is survived by his wife and two children. Who came first Chester or Festus on Gunsmoke? He was the son of a sheriff and worked on a jail farm as a boy. Cedar Jack, who lived 15 miles south of town, made a living cutting cedarfence posts. 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! 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. From 1955 to 1964, he was on "Gunsmoke," the longest-running prime-time drama series on television. Other movies he appeared included ″The Alamo,″ ″How the West Was Won,″ ″Mr. 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. Conrad as Cannon (T/F) Conrad married the widow of newsman Chet Huntley. Curtis remains best known for his role as Festus Haggen, the scruffy, cantankerous, and illiterate deputy in Gunsmoke. He was active in … Amanda Blake played Miss Kitty on 'Gunsmoke' for 19 years. This feller has more fans on his back than a dog has fur. Publicity Listings 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. Many know that Ken Curtis, who played Festus, was a singer. While there his love for singing grew and he involved himself in various college musical events. Radio cast Regulars. Perhaps there was an episode I may have missed where they break up which would explain Festus' … Grew up in Las Animas, CO, where his father, Dan Gates, was sheriff. Official Sites, Before 'Gunsmoke', he often appeared in films with. In his high school years, Curtis played quarterback in the football team. This gave Curtis plenty of opportunity to observe him. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. 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.″. Festus Haggen was Marshal Matt Dillon's only official deputy on the CBS television series Gunsmoke. Roberts″ and ″Cheyenne Autumn.″ He also had roles in TV’s ″Rawhide,″ ″Perry Mason″ and ″Have Gun, Will Travel.″. With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Ken Curtis. Fans loved watching the relationship unfold between Marshal Matt Dillon. As he might say, we love him as a June morning. In 1935 he went to a college in Colorado Springs, CO, to study medicine. With James Arness, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, Burt Reynolds. Curtis observed many times that Jack came to Las Animas, where he would o… 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. 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. A look into the life and career of Dennis Weaver (Chester) and Ken Curtis (Festus) and the iconic roles they played on Gunsmoke! Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra on Tommy Dorsey’s band after Sinatra left to become a solo artist. Dan Winrow Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Curtis played Festus Haggin, sidekick to Marshal Matt Dillon, from 1964 to 1975, when the series ended. April 29, 1991. I was delighted to see it canceled." 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.″. 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. 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 then joined the group Sons of the Pioneers, of which celebrity Roy Rogers was a member. But on “Gunsmoke,” his character was no sophisticate. Radio's Matt Dillon played the title role in three television series. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. Directed by Richard C. Sarafian. Miss Kitty was a fan-favorite on Gunsmoke, as the owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City. 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. Columbia Pictures heard the song and signed Curtis as a singing cowboy. Sadly, most of those stars are gone. Curtis, whose real name was Curtis Gates, was born in Lamar, Colo. He also starred in "Gentle Ben," from 1967 to 1969, playing … 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. The western Gunsmoke premiered on CBS radio in 1952. Although it is sad to say it lasted only 5 years before Stone died at 70. He served in the United States Army during World War II between 1943 and 1945 and then decided to study medicine, especially cardiology. He was 74 years old. He replaced Dennis Weaver, who played Chester Goode before leaving the show after nine years. Keeping this in view, who was the first deputy on Gunsmoke? After director John Ford hired the Pioneers for the western film, ″Wagon Master,″ Curtis began getting dozens of movie and TV roles. Festus was patterned after "Cedar Jack" (Frederick Munden), a man from Curtis' Las Animas childhood. 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. 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. Cannon and Nero Wolfe and Jake and the Fat Man. Episode titled `` Us Haggens '' to movie audiences he entered films in the same unit stage name changed. June morning Cedar Jack, who who played festus on gunsmoke 15 miles south of town made. The Gunsmoke radio and TV movies many of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City in an titled. 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