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Remember to visit Retroville - the way cool place to find out everything about the forties, fifties, sixties, and seventies - even neat stuff to buy from way back when...
Retroville - the coolest place on the Net to find out everything about the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s - movies, music, news, cars, fads, crazes, disasters... just about everything... and neat stuff to buy from way back when...
You are here -> HOME - RETROVILLE - 1955 - On Television - Gunsmoke
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Star Registry - name a star!

Welcome to Retroville! It's 1955! The opening screen shot from Gunsmoke
The radio classic made an easy move to television when the creators finally assembled the right visual cast. Already a favorite show, the television version grabbed high ratings right away and maintained them throughout its twenty-year run.

The opening theme music for Gunsmoke, Old Trails, was written by Glenn Spencer and Rex Koury. The familiar sound wafting through a home could bring young boys and older men rushing in to see the latest episode.

Click here to listen to the opening theme to Gunsmoke (in .wav format).
Main Characters:
  • Marshal Matt Dillon played by James Arness
  • Dr. Galen "Doc" Stone played by Milburn Stone
  • Miss Kitty Russell played by Amanda Blake
  • Chester Goode played by Dennis Weaver
  • Festus Haggen played by Ken Curtis
  • Quint Asper played by Burt Reynolds
  • Sam the Bartender played by Glenn Strange
  • Clayton Thaddeus "Thad" Greenwood played by Roger Ewing
  • Newly O'Brien played by Buck Taylor
  • Mr. Jones played by Dabbs Greer
  • Louie Pheeters played by James Nusser
  • Howie played by Howard Culver
  • Barney played by Charles Seel
  • Ed O'Connor played by Tom Brown
  • Percy Crump played by John Harper
  • Hank played by Hank Patterson
  • Ma Smalley played by Sarah Shelby
  • Nathan Burke played by Ted Jordan
  • Mr. Bodkin played by Roy Roberts
  • Mr. Lathrop played by Woody Chamblis
  • Halligan played by Charles Wagenheim
  • Miss Hannah played by Fran Ryan

Show Concept:

  • Marshal Matt Dillon was the law Dodge City. With all of the usual problems familiar to the Old West, Marshal Dillon dealt with lawbreakers, land barons, cattle rustlers, and an odd assortment of townspeople and local ranchers. Taming the Old West might have been hard for another man, but not for Marshal Dillon. No criminal could escape his eagle eye, quick thinking, and helpful friends.

Hosts or Guests:

  • Guests on the show included:
    • John Wayne
    • Claude Akins
    • Sebastian Cabot
    • John Carradine
    • DeForest Kelley
    • Robert Vaughn
    • Charles Bronson
    • Chuck Connors
    • Aaron Spelling
    • Cloris Leachman
    • Mike Connors
    • Denver Pyle
    • June Carter Cash
    • Barbara Eden
    • Pernell Roberts
    • Rose Marie
    • Morey Amsterdam
    • Jack Klugman
    • Martin Landau

Writers or Producers:

  • too many to mention!


  • unknown

Networks or stations:

  • CBS (1955-1975)
  • ABC (1961-1964)

Total shows or length of production:

  • Premiered on September 10, 1955
  • Final episode on September 1, 1975
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