Gunsmoke

James Arness as Matt Dillon

 

Text and photos courtesty of Sierra

"Good evening. My name's Wayne. Some of you may have seen me before. I hope so. I've been kicking around Hollywood a long time. I've made a lot of pictures out here. All kinds. Some of them have been westerns and that's what I'm here to tell you about tonight. A western. A new television show called Gunsmoke. When I first heard about the show Gunsmoke, I knew there was only one man to play in it. James Arness. He's a young fellow, and maybe new to some of you. But I've worked with him and I predict he'll be a big star. And now I'm proud to present Gunsmoke."  

Thus, John Wayne introduced the premiere episode of GUNSMOKE.

CAST OF CHARACTERS

JAMES ARNESS........................Matt Dillon 
MILBURN STONE.....................Galen "Doc" Adams 
AMANDA BLAKE....................."Miss" Kitty Russell (1955-1974)
DENNIS WEAVER....................Chester Goode (1955-1964)
KEN CURTIS.............................Festus Haggen (1964-1975)
BURT REYNOLDS....................Quint Asper (1962-1965)
ROGER EWING.........................Clayton Thaddeus "Thad" Greenwood (1965-1967)
BUCK TAYLOR.........................Newly O'Brien (1967-1975)

Gunsmoke was broadcast on the CBS Television Network 
Premiere Episode: Sept. 10, 1955 [Matt Gets It]
Last First Run Broadcast: March 31, 1975 [The Sharecroppers]
Last CBS Broadcast: Sept. 1, 1975 [The Busters (rerun)]


(Left to right: Newly O'Brien,"Doc" Adams, Sam, the bartender.

Miss Kitty, Matt Dillon, Festus Hagen

Gunsmoke was on TV for 20 seasons, from 1955 to 1975.

There were 633 total television episodes: 233 half-hour episodes (1955-1960) and 400 hour long episodes (1961-1975). The first 11 seasons were filmed in black and white, the last 9 seasons were filmed in color. Gunsmoke was actually canceled at the end of the 15th season. People were so outraged (it was even mentioned in Congress) that CBS brought it back. 

The only spin-off from Gunsmoke was Dirty Sally, based on the character Sally Fergus from the two-part Gunsmoke episode "Pike." The TV show Dirty Sally ran from January 11, 1974 to July 19, 1974. Jeanette Nolan played the role of Sally all three times. 

Sally's mule was named "Worthless." 
The name of Festus' mule was Ruth.

 

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