GUNSMOKE (1955–1975) Cast THEN AND NOW 2023 Who Else Survives After 68 Years?

1. Ken Curtis as Festus Hagan
Festus Hagan was known for his distinctive drawl, unorthodox appearance, and folksy mannerisms. Often serving as the comic relief of the show, Festus was also a skilled gunman and a loyal friend to the lead character, Marshal Matt Dillon. His quirky personality and endearing charm made him a fan favorite and a memorable part of the Gunsmoke legacy.

– **Then**: Played by Ken Curtis when he was 43 years old.
– **Now**: Sadly, Ken Curtis passed away in his sleep from a heart attack on April 28, 1991, at the age of 74 in Fresno, California.

2. Amanda Blake as Kitty Russell
Kitty Russell was the owner of the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City, Kansas. A tough and independent businesswoman, Kitty commanded respect from her rough-and-tumble clientele. She had a complicated relationship with Marshal Matt Dillon, with romantic tension that was never fully resolved, yet they remained close friends and allies. Kitty was a strong and complex character who defied stereotypes of women in Westerns.

– **Then**: Played by Amanda Blake when she was 26 years old.
– **Now**: Amanda Blake passed away on August 16, 1989, from liver failure brought on by viral hepatitis at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California. She was 60 years old.

3. Milburn Stone as Doc
Doc was the town physician in Dodge City, Kansas. A respected member of the community, he provided medical care and guidance to Marshal Matt Dillon and other residents. Gruff and cantankerous with a heart of gold, Doc’s witty banter and dry humor added levity to the often tense and dramatic situations in the show.

– **Then**: Played by Milburn Stone when he was 51 years old.
– **Now**: Milburn Stone died of a heart attack in June 1980 at the age of 75 in La Jolla, California.

4. Dennis Weaver as Chester
Chester was the deputy to Marshal Matt Dillon. A trusted and loyal friend, Chester provided support and backup in the dangerous and unpredictable situations they encountered in Dodge City. Known for his distinctive limp and unwavering courage, Chester was portrayed as bumbling and comical but was also a skilled marksman and valuable member of the law enforcement team.

– **Then**: Played by Dennis Weaver when he was 31 years old.
– **Now**: Dennis Weaver died of complications from prostate cancer on February 24, 2006, at his home in Ridgway, Colorado, at the age of 81.

5. James Arness as Matt Dillon
Marshal Matt Dillon was the lawman responsible for maintaining order in Dodge City, Kansas. Stoic and authoritative, Matt commanded respect from both the townspeople and outlaws. Known for his quick draw and unwavering dedication to justice, Matt often found himself in tense and dangerous situations. He was invariably fair and impartial, even when it required subordinating his personal views.

– **Then**: Played by James Arness when he was 32 years old.
– **Now**: James Arness died of natural causes on June 3, 2011, at his Brentwood home in Los Angeles. He was 88 years old.

6. Buck Taylor as Newly
Newly was the newly appointed marshal of Dodge City, having replaced the retired Matt Dillon. Newly aided in fighting outlaws and old nemeses.

– **Then**: Played by Buck Taylor when he was 29 years old.
– **Now**: Buck Taylor is still alive and now 84 years old.

7. Glenn Strange as Sam
Sam was the bartender at the Long Branch Saloon in Dodge City. A trusted confidant to the show’s lead characters and a beloved figure among the townspeople, Sam was known for his easy-going manner and ability to defuse tense situations, often providing valuable information and insight to Marshal Matt Dillon and his deputies.

– **Then**: Played by Glenn Strange when he was 62 years old.
– **Now**: Glenn Strange died of lung cancer on September 20, 1973, at the age of 74 in Los Angeles, California.

8. James Nusser as Louie Pheeters
Louie Pheeters was the town drunk who rarely said more than a few lines in his earliest episodes but managed to hook audiences with his character.

– **Then**: Played by James Nusser when he was 51 years old.
– **Now**: James Nusser died in June 1979 in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 74.

9. Ted Jordan as Burke
Burke was a freight agent who appeared in 108 episodes of the series. A recurring character with a rough exterior, Burke was fair and honest in his business dealings.

– **Then**: Played by Ted Jordan when he was 37 years old.
– **Now**: Ted Jordan died in March 2005 in Palm Desert, California, at the age of 80.

10. Burt Reynolds as Quint Asper
Burt Reynolds got his start on Gunsmoke, playing Quint Asper, a half-Comanche trying to avenge his father’s death.

– **Then**: Played by Burt Reynolds when he was 26 years old.
– **Now**: Burt Reynolds died of a heart attack on September 6, 2018, at the age of 82 at the Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Florida.

11. Howard Culver as Howie
Howard Culver is best known for his role as Howie, the hotel clerk in Gunsmoke. Interestingly, he played the second incarnation of Marshal Dillon in the second radio audition pilot prototype, leading to the regular radio series.

– **Then**: Played by Howard Culver when he was 37 years old.
– **Now**: Howard Culver died on August 5, 1984, while vacationing in Hong Kong after contracting meningitis. He was 66 years old.

12. George Selk as Moss Grimmick
George Selk was known for playing the role of stableman Moss Grimmick in Gunsmoke from 1955 to 1963.

– **Then**: Played by George Selk when he was 62 years old.
– **Now**: George Selk died of a stroke on January 22, 1967, at his home in Montrose, California, at the age of


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