Any Gunsmoke Actors Still Alive?

The TV series Gunsmoke aired for 20 years from 1955 to 1975 which is pretty incredible. Most of the original cast members have passed on including James Arness who played marshal Matt Dillon who died at the age of 88. But a few cast members are still around:

Buck Taylor

Buck Taylor

Buck Taylor Then

Buck Taylor 3

Buck Taylor Now

Buck Taylor played Newly  O’Brien for 8 episodes and 13 seasons from 1967-1975. He was born on May 13, 1938 in Hollywood Ca. and currently resides on a ranch outside Fort Worth, Texas. Before becoming a regular cast member, he was on several episodes as a “bad guy”. However, his character afterwards was definitely a “good guy”. He liked Gunsmoke so much that he named two of his sons Mathew Taylor and Cooper Glen Taylor after Matt Dillon and Glenn Strange who played the bartender for many years before dying of lung cancer.

These days, Taylor is known for his paintings. They are mostly Western paintings and include a portrait of James Arness.

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds Then

Burt Reynolds

Burt Reynolds Now

Most of us remember Burt Reynolds for his roles in Smokey and the Bandit, Deliverance, White Lightning, Gator, All Dogs Go To Heaven, The Longest Yard and Boogie Nights. However, he did have a role on Gunsmoke from 1962 to 1965. He played Quint Asper who was a blacksmith and part native American. He sometimes assisted marshal Matt Dillon in solving crimes.

Reynolds was born on February 11, 1936 in Lansing, Michigan. His family moved to Rivieria Beach, Florida where his father became the Chief of Police. Reynolds played high school football and was named first team all state. He received a scholarship to play football at Florida State University.

Roger Ewing

Roger Ewing

Roger Ewing Then

Roger Ewing

Roger Ewing Now

Roger Ewing was born on January 2, 1942 in Los Angeles, CA. He appeared in 36 episodes of Gunsmoke from 1965 to 1967. His character was Clayton Thaddeus “Thad” Greenwood, a part time deputy to marshal Matt Dillon.  Interestingly, his character was superseded by Buck Taylor (above).

He appeared in a number of TV and movie roles including Bewitched, The Bing Crosby Show and the WWII film None But the Brave.

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  1. Rebecca Villegas says:

    My husband and I enjoy watching Gunsmoke reruns.Do any of you go to Kanab,Utah for western days in August? It sure would be nice to meet you. Thank you.

  2. Russell Allison says:

    I have the painting He Kept A Lid on Dodge. I bought it at an MD auction in Wichita Falls. I also bought James Arness’ autographed autobiography. I grew up watching Gunsmoke and watch it to this day. There’ll never be another western like it. It keeps the old west alive.

    • I agree. I watch Gunsmoke reruns almost every night. It’s a sad commentary on the shows of today when a TV series that aired over 30 years ago can still attract viewers.

      • Wow ! I agree with u guys , i started watching gunsmoke last year here in england n i havnt missd one episode so far, i love western films ,gunsmoke is amaziiing,lv all caracters but my favorite got to b festus .

  3. Gunsmoke is simpily the best tv show of all time don’t fully understand why they wont make new shows like Gunsmoke andy griffin show ECT there is obvisley still a big market for shows like that or the reruns would not be shown as much as they are

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