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Ken Curtis

Ken Curtis

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Also Known As: Curtis Gates Died: April 28, 1991
Born: July 2, 1916 Cause of Death: Natural causes
Birth Place: Lamar, Colorado, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Former big-band vocalist (he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after Frank Sinatra left) and singing cowboy in low-budget westerns of the 1940s, Curtis is best known as the scuffy bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in the hit western TV series "Gunsmoke" (1964-75). He also appeared in several films by his then father-in-law John Ford including "Mister Roberts" (1955), "The Searchers" and "Wings of Eagles" (both 1956), "The Last Hurrah" (1958) and "The Horse Soldiers" (1959).

Former big-band vocalist (he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after Frank Sinatra left) and singing cowboy in low-budget westerns of the 1940s, Curtis is best known as the scuffy bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in the hit western TV series "Gunsmoke" (1964-75). He also appeared in several films by his then father-in-law John Ford including "Mister Roberts" (1955), "The Searchers" and "Wings of Eagles" (both 1956), "The Last Hurrah" (1958) and "The Horse Soldiers" (1959).

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Conagher (1991) Seaborn Tay
2.
 Once Upon a Texas Train (1988) Kelly Sutton
3.
 California Gold Rush (1981) Kentuck
4.
 Black Beauty (1978) Howard Jakes
5.
6.
 Robin Hood (1973) Voice Of Deputy Sheriff
7.
 Cheyenne Autumn (1964) Joe
8.
 Two Rode Together (1961) Boone Clay
9.
 Freckles (1960) Wessner
10.
 The Alamo (1960) Capt. Almeron Dickinson
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Worked on jail farm as a boy
1938:
Moved to Los Angeles and landed job as staff singer for NBC radio
:
Worked as vocalist with several bands including Tommy Dorsey's during the late 1930s; Dorsey had him change name to Curtis
:
Served in infantry and in anti-aircraft unit during WWII
1945:
After record hit, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," signed by Columbia Pictures to star as singing cowboy in low-budget Columbia westerns (date approximate)
1945:
Film debut "Song of the Prairie", "Rhythm Roundup"
1950:
Joined western singing group Sons of the Pioneers (which included Roy Rogers) which was hired by John Ford to sing on the score of "Wagon Master"
1959:
Produced first feature, "The Killer Shrews"
1961:
Co-starred as sky driver on TV series, "Ripcord"
1964:
Replaced Dennis Weaver as Sheriff Matt Dillon's deputy sidekick on TV series "Gunsmoke" playing new character Festus
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Colorado State University: Colorado Springs , Colorado -

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Barbara Ford. Married in 1952; divorced in 1963; daughter of John Ford.
wife:
Torie Curtis. Married until his death.

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