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Gunsmoke was a long-running radio and television western. The radio show ran 1952 - 1961, and the television show 1955-1975, so they were running concurrently for six years.

William Conrad played Marshall Matt Dillon on the radio show. Howard McNear was Doc, Georgia Ellis was Kitty, and Parley Bear was Deputy Chester.

James Arness played Marshall Matt Dillon throughout the run of the television show. His deputy was at first Dennis Weaver playing Chester, then Ken Curtis playing Festus. Other important ongoing characters were the alcoholic doctor, Doc (Milburn Stone) and the saloon girl, later saloon owner, Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake).

Actors asked to play Matt Dillon on TV before James Arness included John Wayne and Denver Pyle. It was John Wayne who suggested James Arness.

The show premiered in the fall of 1955 and ran through the spring of 1975, on the CBS television network. From 1955 to 1960, Gunsmoke was a half-hour show. It then went to an hour-long format for the rest of its long run. From 1955 to 1966, it was in black and white, then in color from 1967 to 1975. In its fifteenth year, CBS planned to cancel the series, but widespread viewer response -- it was even mentioned in Congress -- convinced them to continue it.

Regular Cast, Major Characters:

Regular Cast, Minor Characters: There was also a Gunsmoke video game produced for the NES by Capcom.