Gunsmoke has a reputation for being one of TV’s most enduring Western dramas. Milburn Stone was part of it but talked about Dennis Weaver.
Stone played Doc Adams opposite James Arness, who played Marshal Matt Dillon, on the show. Weaver played Dillon’s sidekick Chester Goode before leaving for his own show.
What did Stone say about Weaver heading out of Dodge City? Let’s take look at this article from GunsmokeNet.com.
‘Gunsmoke’ Star Did Not Mince Words Over Seeing Weaver Head Out of The Show
“We had about nine funerals over him” after three attempts to do so when he left the show after three abortive attempts. Stone was no big fan of Weaver or even his co-star Amanda Blake, who played Miss Kitty, and their approaches to acting.
“My feeling was that they just didn’t belong in the business,” Stone said. “I’ve been in it all my life, and I feel that people who make a living at it, even a meager one, are the luckiest people in the world. How many people wish to God for a chance like we had? Then to see people fluff it off …”
Stone had a little Doc Adams within himself apparently. The Gunsmoke actor had been around since Vaudeville days and approached his work differently than others.
Stone Played His Part Along With Blake For Many Seasons on CBS
Weaver had a run with a show titled Kentucky Jones, but that fell flat after one season and was canceled. Gunsmoke fans still hold that character close to their hearts. The actor would go on later in his career to famously play Marshal Sam McCloud in the NBC mystery saga McCloud.
What about Stone? He and Blake did hang around Gunsmoke for a long, long time. Their characters are about as beloved as Matt Dillon as well as Festus, played by Ken Curtis, who took over for Chester as Matt’s buddy. Gunsmoke started out as a popular radio show with actor William Conrad providing the voice for Dillon. It then moved to TV and made its first appearance on CBS in 1955.
Maybe you would like to know who actually played a pivotal role in getting the show off to a solid start. In the premiere episode, John Wayne makes an appearance. He gives a tip of his Cowboy hat toward Arness and encourages viewers to give him a chance. Wayne knew Arness from their movie days and reportedly even suggested Jim get the role of Matt Dillon.
Reruns of the famed Western continue to run on TVs all over the world. Even cranky old Doc has his fans, too, as they can see him deal with the Dodge City ruffians in his own way.