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Gunsmoke with James Arness

Gunsmoke, the television western series, originally started on radio in 1952 with William Conrad the voice of Matt Dillon. When it was decided to move to television John Wayne was asked to be Marshall Matt Dillon but he turned it down because he didn't want the rigors of doing a weekly television show.  John Wayne recommended James Arness, a relatively new actor. John Wayne introduced the first episode when it aired on CBS in 1955. There was a total of 233 thirty minute episodes and 402 sixty minute episodes produced. It is still the longest running western ever produced.

Gunsmoke was set in Dodge City, Kansas. Although Marshall Dillon and Kitty Russell, who own the Long Branch Saloon, had a flirtuous relationship, they never got together in the entire 20 years on TV.

Doc Adams was the town doctor, who just like everybody else hung out at the Long Branch.

There were many cast changes over the years. Chester, the deputy, (played by Dennis Weaver) left the show in 1964 and Festus Hagan, a hillbilly by definition of the word,  became the deputy and remained for the rest of the show.

A young Burt Reynolds played the town's blacksmith for short period of time. The series began in 1955 and ended 20 years later.

 CBS aired the reruns as Marshall Dillion.


The Cast:

Marshall Matt Dillon
James Arness
Deputy Chester Goode
Dennis Weaver
Miss Kitty Russell
Amanda Blake
Deputy Festus Haggen
Ken Curtis
Galen 'Doc' Adams
Milburn Stone
Quint Asper
Burt Reynolds
Howie Uzzell
Howard Culver
Sam, the bartender
Glenn Strange
Newly O'Brien
Buck Taylor
Clayton Thaddeus 'Thad' Greenwood
Roger Ewing
Moss Grimmick
George Selk
Nathan Burke
Ted Jordan
Mr Bodkin
Roy Roberts
Mr Lathrop
Woody Chamblis
Miss Hannah
Fran Ryan
Charles Wagenheim
Ed O'Connor
Tom Brown
Louie Pheeters
James Nusser
Barney Danches
Charles Seel
Percy Crump
John Harper
Hank Miller
Hank Patterson
Nathan Burke
Ted Jordan
Ma Smalley
Sarah Selby




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