About The Show!
Here are some Fun Facts About Gunsmoke. Well, actually many fans already know these facts but let’s continue anyway:
What town did Gunsmoke take place in?
Dodge City, Kansas
More About Gunsmoke
Actor James Arness actually got to meet the current Marshall Of Dodge City, KS, Marshall Ramon House. This gathering was part of a promotional tour the producers were running for the show, and as a result ratings did improve. It took place in a dummy version of the Long Branch Saloon, which was owned by Miss Kitty on the show. Photo below:
Far Right: Marsall Ramon House
The Radio Show
“I’m that man, Matt Dillon, United States Marshal, the 1st man they look for and the last they want to meet. It’s a chancy job, and it makes a man watchful … and a little lonely.” – Matt Dillon
The Gunsmoke TV Show
The Gunsmoke TV show aired for an amazing twenty years (1955-1975)!
Between 1955 to 1961, Gunsmoke was a thirty-minute program. It then progressed to a sixty-minute show. Firstly, it was unique in it’s writing. Secondly, it educated many people on the history of the old west. Thirdly, it introduced the relatively new medium of television to fine acting and directing
Gunsmoke was later titled Marshal Dillon in syndication
Unknown Facts About Gunsmoke
- Actor James Arness was wounded in combat in Anzio, Italy during World War II while serving as a rifleman in the US Army. As a result, his wounds made it difficult to walk around during filming of the show. The director had Arness film most of his upright scenes in the morning when his injuries would be less debilitating
- Three child actors from The Brady Bunch appeared on Gunsmoke. Christopher Knight (Peter Brady), Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) and Eve Plumb (Jan Brady)
- The cast found out about the cancellation of Gunsmoke by reading it in the newspaper. Nobody in management had the decency to tell them in person. Shameful!
- James Arness dyed his naturally blond hair dark brown for 20 years in order to fit into his character
- John Wayne was initially offered the role of Matt Dillon but told producers that James Arness would be a better fit. What a classy move by The Duke! another great unknown factabout Gunsmoke
- Gunsmoke was originally scheduled for cancellation in 1967 due to low ratings but the network president was such a fan of the show that he switched Gunsmoke to the Gilligan’s Island slot and that was the end of Gilligan and friends!
- Gunsmoke filmed 635 episodes and James Arness appeared in every episode!
- Four actors from the classic sci-fi TV show Star Trek appeared on Gunsmoke in different episodes. William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, Deforest Kelley and James Doohan all made appearances as various characters. They did not appear on the show at the same time but rather in separate episodes
- Gunsmoke popularized the saying “Get Out Of Dodge”, referring to it’s location, Dodge City Kansas
- During Gunsmoke’s 20 year run, US Marshall Matt Dillon shot 407 people. POW!
Other Gunsmoke Cast Members
- James Arness as Matt Dillon
- Dennis Weaver as Chester Goode (1955–1964)
- Amanda Blake as Kitty Russell (1955–1974)
- Milburn Stone as Doc Galen Adams
- Ken Curtis as Festus Haggen (1964–1975)
- Burt Reynolds as Quint Asper (1962–1965)
- Roger Ewing as Thaddeus “Thad” Greenwood (1965–1967)
- Buck Taylor as Newly O’Brien (1967–1975)
- Glenn Strange as Sam Noonan (1961–1973)
- Dabbs Greer as Mr. Jonas
- Roy Roberts as Mr. Bodkin (1965–1975)
- Herb Vigran as Judge Brooker
- Howard Culver as Howie the hotel clerk
- Pat Hingle as Dr. John Chapman (1971)
- James Nusser as Louie Pheeters (1956-1970)
- Tom Brown as Ed O’Connor (1959, 1968–1974)
- Ted Jordan as Nathan Burke
There were numerous guest stars throughout the show’s run, including John Wayne, Lee Marvin, and Angie Dickinson.
Despite its popularity, Gunsmoke was not without controversy. In fact, the show was often criticized for its depiction of Native Americans and African Americans, who were often portrayed as one-dimensional stereotypes. However, it’s important to remember that Gunsmoke was a product of its time, and it’s still beloved by many for its incredible storytelling, unforgettable characters, and groundbreaking impact on television history.
In conclusion, Gunsmoke is a show that will always be remembered as one of the greatest of all time. Its impact on popular culture is undeniable, and its legacy lives on to this day. Whether you’re a longtime fan or just discovering it for the first time, Gunsmoke is a must-watch for anyone who loves great television.
Thanks for reading our list of interesting facts about Gunsmoke!