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Ken Curtis ACTOR


Ken Curtis was born on July 2nd, 1916 in Lamar, Colorado with the birth name Curtis Wain Gates to a father who worked as a sheriff.  He originally attended a college in Colorado Springs in 1935 with the intent to study medicine, but while there he grew more of an interest in singing and became involved in a number of college musical events.   
His entertainment career first began working as a singer during the big band era and he was also a vocalist in the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.  In 1945 Columbia Pictures signed Curtis to a contract and he began working on a number of low budget westerns.  He was also for most of 1948, a featured singer and host of the long-running country music radio program, "WWVA Jamboree". 
It took some time but soon Westerns were becoming less popular, but he had no issue transitioning into dramatic and comedy parts. The majority of films he worked on were under director, John Ford, who just happened to be his father-in-law.  Under his guidance he appeard in the classic western "The Searchers" starring John Wayne, one of the greatest westerns ever filmed.  His most well known role was as Festus Hagen in the long running television series, "Gunsmoke" (1955).  He also took a chance at working in the other side of the industry as a producer for two films, "The Killer Shrews" (1959) and "The Giant Gila Monster" (1959).
In 1981 he was inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.  Curtis' last acting role was in the television production "Conagher" (1991),
Ken Curtis married twice throughout his lifetime.  His first wife was Barbara Ford whom he wed on May 31st, 1952 and stayed married until 1964.  He then married Torrie Ahern Connelly in 1966 and it is unknown how long this marriage lasted.  He never had any children of his own. 
Ken Curtis passed away on April 28th, 1991 in Fresno, California after suffering a heart attack in his sleep.  He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the Colorado flatlands.


1991 Conagher 
1990 In the Heat of the Night
1988 Once Upon a Texas Train 
1986 Airwolf
1985 All American Cowboy
1983-1984 The Yellow Rose
1983 Lost
1981 Legend of the Wild
1981 California Gold Rush 
1979 How the West Was Won
1979 Vega$
1978 The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams
1978 Once Upon a Starry Night
1978 Black Beauty
1976 Pony Express Rider 
1976 Petrocelli
1959-1975 Gunsmoke 
1973 Robin Hood 
1964 Cheyenne Autumn
1964 Death Valley Days
1961-1963 Ripcord
1962 How the West Was Won 
1959-1962 Have Gun - Will Travel 
1961 Two Rode Together 
1961 The Aquanauts
1961 Sea Hunt
1961 The Case of the Dangerous Robin 
1961 Rawhide
1960 Wagon Train
1960 Perry Mason
1960 The Alamo
1960 Freckles
1960 My Dog, Buddy 
1959 The Killer Shrews
1959 The Horse Soldiers
1959 Woman on the Run
1959 The Young Land 
1958 Escort West 
1958 The Last Hurrah
1958 The Missouri Traveler 
1957 Spring Reunion 
1957 The Wings of Eagles 
1957 Five Steps to Danger 
1956 The Searchers 
1955 Mister Roberts
1955 The Long Gray Line 
1952 The Quiet Man
1951 Fighting Coast Guard 
1951 Don Daredevil Rides Again 
1950 Rio Grande 
1949 Call of the Forest
1949 Stallion Canyon 
1949 Riders of the Pony Express
1947 Over the Santa Fe Trail
1946 Lone Star Moonlight 
1946 Singing on the Trail
1946 Cowboy Blues
1946 That Texas Jamboree
1946 Throw a Saddle on a Star
1945 Out of the Depths
1945 Song of the Prairie 
1945 Rhythm Round-Up
1944 Cowboy Canteen 

Matinee Classics - The Alamo starring John Wayne, Richard Widmark, Laurence Harvey, Frankie Avalon, Patrick Wayne, Linda Cristal, Joan O'Brien, Chill Wills, Joseph Calleia, Ken Curtis and Carlos Arruza
Matinee Classics - Don Daredevil Rides Again starring Ken Curtis, Aline Towne and Roy Barcroft
Matinee Classics - Gunsmoke starring James Arness, Dennis Weaver, Amanda Blake and Milburn Stone
Matinee Classics - Gunsmoke starring James Arness, Dennis Weaver, Amanda Blake and Milburn Stone
Matinee Classics - Ripcord starring Ken Curtis and Larry Pennell

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