Milburn Stone

Milburn Stone Biography

Milburn Stone 2Milburn Stone was born July 5, 1904 in Burrton, Kansas (United States), an American film and television actor, who became famous for his role as Doc (Dr. Galen Adams) in the TV series “Gunsmoke“, also a winner of the “Emmy”.

Life and Career

Milburn Stone was born in Burrton, Kansas, the son of a shopkeeper. His uncle was a Broadway comedian Fred Stone. He started his career in the 1930s, having been featured in Monogram Pictures’ series of Tailspin Tommy adventures. In 1940, he appeared with Marjorie Reynolds, Tristram Coffin, and Stanford Jolley in the comedy espionage film Chasing Trouble. He played a liberal-minded warden in the film Monogram Pictures Prison Riot (1943). In the same year he signed a contract with Universal Studios. Two years later, Stone played a radio commentator in the musical I’ll remember April. After this work, he was given the title role in the TV series The Master Key.

Stone toured with various theater groups across the country before 1935, he moved to Hollywood to become film actor. It was only as an extra, and later in smaller supporting roles, Stone worked mainly in B-movies. In 1955, Stone was offered in the television series Gunsmoke the role of Dr. Galen “Doc” Adams. Milburn Stone took on the series and remained faithful over the entire 20 seasons, but only played in 387 episodes.

When out of the hit CBS Radio’s Western serial Gunsmoke, decided to make a TV version in 1955 with real actors and producers. He fired former Executive role of Doc Howard Maknira and put in its place Milburn Stone. He played in the series until its closure in 1975. In “Windsmoke of the barrel” he is often shown to have played a friendly relationship with Dennis Weaver and Ken Curtis, who played, respectively, Chester Goode and Deputy Festus Haggen. Among the other leading men were listed Amanda Blake, James Arness, Glenn Strange, Buck Taylor and Burt Reynolds. Colleagues on the set called him “Milli”, which he never liked. For his work on this show in 1968, Stone won the “Emmy”, and in 1972 – a nomination for the “Golden Globe”.

An artist from Kansas, Gary Hawk, a painter, drew the character of Doc Adams. When Ronald Reagan the then President and a good friend of Milburn Stone, learned about the picture, he invited Mr. Hawk to show the portrait in the Oval Office of the White House. Milburn Stone lived to see the election of Reagan Republican candidate, but he died before the presidential election.

For his contribution to the development of television Milburn Stone was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  In 1981, he was posthumously entered into the Hall of Fame in the “National Museum of cowboys and westerns” (English National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum) in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States. Cecil College called his name a theater.

Personal Life

Stone was married three times: in 1925, he married Ellen Morrison. Twelve years later she died. She left a daughter – Shirley Stone Gleason. In 1939 he married Jane Harrison. The following year they divorced, but came together again in 1941 and lived together until his death. Jane Harrison died in 2002.


In 1971, at the University of Alabama Hospital, Stone had coronary artery bypass surgery. During the operation, he had two clinical deaths. But he died on June 12, 1980 at the age of 75 at La Jolla, California, U.S. due to heart attack.



  • 1935: Ladies Crave Excitement: Sailor
  • 1935: Cheers of the Crowd: Report
  • 1935: His Night Out: Salesman
  • 1935 Rendezvous: Carter’s help
  • 1935: The Fighting Marines: Red Henchman
  • 1936: Milk soup (The Milky Way): Report
  • 1936: The Princess Comes Across American Reporter
  • 1936: Nobody’s Fool: Clerk
  • 1936 Courier China (China Clipper): Radio operator
  • 1936: The Three Mesquiteers John
  • 1936 Murder with Pictures: Operator
  • 1936 Two in a Crowd: Kennedy
  • 1936 Rose Bowl: Band Booster Club member
  • 1936 The Man I Marry: Stage manager
  • 1936: The Accusing Finger: Convict
  • 1936 Banjo on My Knee: Sailor
  • 1936: Three Smart Girls: Telegraph desk clerk
  • 1937: A Doctor’s Diary: Fred Clark
  • 1937 Swing It, Professor Lou Morgan
  • 1937 They Gave Him a Gun: Defense Attorney
  • 1937: East of Shanghai (Wings Over Honolulu): Telephone operator
  • 1937: The Man in Blue: Henchman ‘Dutch
  • 1937: The Wildcatter: Ed
  • 1937: You Can not Beat Love Wilson
  • 1937: The 13th Man: Jimmy Moran
  • 1937: Blazing Barriers: Joe Waters
  • 1937: Reported Missing: Radio operator
  • 1937 Atlantic Flight: Henry Wadsworth ‘Pokey’ Schultz
  • 1937: Youth on Parole: Ratty (robber)
  • 1937: Music for Madam: Detective
  • 1937: Federal Bullets: Tommy Thompson
  • 1938: Mr. Boggs Steps Out: Burns
  • 1938 Port of Missing Girls: Jim Benton
  • 1938 Sinners in Paradise: T. L. Honeyman
  • 1938: Wives Under Suspicion: Eddie Kirk
  • 1938: Paroled from the Big House: Commissioner Downey
  • 1938: The Storm Hagen (SS officer on Orion)
  • 1938: California Frontier: Evil Halstead
  • 1939: Made for Each Other: Newark official
  • 1939: King of the Turf: Taylor
  • 1939 Tail Spin: Mechanic
  • 1939: Society Smugglers Peter Garfield
  • 1939 Blackwell’s Island: Max
  • 1939 The Spirit of Culver: Instructor
  • 1939: Mystery Plane: ‘Skeeter’ Milligan
  • 1939: The Strange dream (Blind Alley) Nick
  • 1939 Young Mr. Lincoln (Young Mr. Lincoln): Stephen A. Douglas
  • 1939: Stunt Pilot ‘Skeeter’ Milligan
  • 1939 Vigil of Love (When Tomorrow Comes): Head Busboy
  • 1939 Tropic Fury: Thomas E. Snell
  • 1939: Sky Patrol: Skeeter Milligan
  • 1939: Danger Flight: Skeeter Milligan
  • 1939 Fighting Mad: Cardigan
  • 1939: Crashing Thru Delos Harrington
  • 1939: Nick Carter, Master Detective Dave Krebs
  • 1939: The Big Guy: Publicity man
  • 1939: Charlie McCarthy, Detective Joe Felton
  • 1940: Chasing Trouble: Callahan
  • 1940 Framed: Mathew Mattison
  • 1940: Johnny Apollo: Report
  • 1940: Enemy Agent: Meeker
  • 1940: An Angel from Texas: Pooch Davis
  • 1940: Lillian Russell: Report
  • 1940: Buyer Beware: Fredericks
  • 1940: Public Deb No. 1: Report
  • 1940 Colorado: Don Burke aka Captain Donald Mason
  • 1940 Give Us Wings: Tex
  • 1940: The Great Plane Robbery: Krebber
  • 1941: The Phantom Cowboy Stan Borden
  • 1941: The Great Train Robbery: Duke Logan
  • 1941: Death Valley Outlaws: Jeff Edwards
  • 1941 No Hands on the Clock: FBI Man
  • 1942 Frisco Lil Mike
  • 1942: The Wreckers South Seas (Reap the Wild Wind): Lt. Farragut
  • 1942 Pacific Rendezvous Park Hotel desk clerk
  • 1942: Rubber Racketeers: Angel
  • 1942: The Invisible Agent (Invisible Agent): German sergeant
  • 1942: Police Bullets: Johnny Reilly
  • 1942 Eyes in the darkness (Eyes in the Night): Detective Pete
  • 1943 Silent Witness: Joe Manson
  • 1943: You Can not Beat the Law: Frank Sanders
  • 1943: Keep ‘Em Slugging: Duke Redman
  • 1943: Captive Wild Woman: Fred Mason
  • 1943: Get Going: Mr. Tuttle
  • 1943: Submarine Alert: Lt. Winston (Naval Intelligence)
  • 1943 Sherlock Holmes face death (Sherlock Holmes Faces Death): Capt. Vickery
  • 1943 Corvette K-225: Canadian captain
  • 1943: The Mad Ghoul Sgt. Macklin
  • 1943! ‘Gung Ho’: The Story of Carlson’s Makin Island Raiders: Cmdr. Blake
  • 1944: The Great Alaskan Mystery: Jim Hudson
  • 1944: Hands that kill (Phantom Lady) District Attorney (voice)
  • 1944: The Impostor (The Impostor) Chauzel
  • 1944: Weird Woman: Radio voice
  • 1944: Hat Check Honey David Courtland
  • 1944: Hi, Good Lookin ‘! : Bill Eaton
  • 1944: Moon Over Las Vegas: Jim Bradley
  • 1944: Gambler’s Choice: Doctor
  • 1944 Twilight on the Prairie: Gainsworth
  • 1944: Jungle Woman: Fred Mason
  • 1945: She Gets Her Man ‘Tommy Gun’ Tucker
  • 1945: I’ll Remember April: Willie Winchester
  • 1945: The Master Key: Agent Tom Brant
  • 1945 Swing Out, Sister: Tim
  • 1945 The Frozen Ghost: George Keene
  • 1945: On Stage Everybody Fitzgerald
  • 1945: The Beautiful Cheat: Lucius Haven
  • 1945: Strange Confession: Stevens
  • 1945: The Royal Mounted Rides Again: Brad Taggart
  • 1945 The Daltons Ride Again Graham
  • 1946: The Scarlet Horseman: Narrator (voice)
  • 1946: Two vendors simpletons (Little Giant): Prof. Watkins (voice)
  • 1946: Smooth as Silk: John Kimble
  • 1946: The Spider Woman Strikes Back: Mr. Moore
  • 1946: Strange Conquest Bert Morrow
  • 1946: Her Adventurous Night: Cop # 1
  • 1946: Inside Job: District Attorney
  • 1946: Danger Woman: Gerald King
  • 1946: Little Miss Big: Father Lennergan
  • 1947 The Michigan Kid: Lanny
  • 1947 Abbott and Costello Meet demobilized (Buck Privates Come Home): Auto race announcer
  • 1947 Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman: Raven Club Announcer (voice)
  • 1947 Time Out of Mind: Stage manager
  • 1947: Killer Dill: Maboose
  • 1947: The Eternal Torment (Cass Timberlane) Nestor Purdwin
  • 1947: Heading for Heaven: Harding
  • 1947: Killer McCoy: Henchman
  • 1948 Train to Alcatraz: Bart Kanin
  • 1949: The Judge Martin Strang
  • 1949: The Green Promise: Rev. Jim Benton
  • 1949: The Sky Dragon: Tim Norton
  • 1949: The Prairie Girl (Calamity Jane and Sam Bass): Abe Jones
  • 1950: Chains of Destiny (No Man of Her Own) Plainclothesman
  • 1950: Snow Dog: Dr. McKenzie
  • 1950: The Fireball: Jeff Davis
  • 1950: Branded (Branded): Dawson
  • 1951: Operation Pacific: Ground Control officer
  • 1951 Flying Leathernecks (Flying Leathernecks) Fleet CIC radio operator
  • 1951 Roadblock: Egan
  • 1951: The Racket: Member of Craig’s team
  • 1952: The Atomic City Insp. Harold Mann
  • 1952: The Savage: Corporal Martin
  • 1952: Behind Southern Lines
  • 1953 Invaders from Mars (Invaders from Mars): Capt. Roth
  • 1953: The sun shines for everyone (The Sun Shines Bright): Horace K. Maydew
  • 1953: The Port of drugs (Pickup on South Street): Det. Winocki
  • 1953: Second Chance (Second Chance): Edward Dawson
  • 1953: The Witch of the Rio Grande (Arrowhead), Charles Marquis Warren: Sandy MacKinnon
  • 1954: Attack of the Red River (The Siege at Red River), Rudolph Maté Benjy Thompson
  • 1954: On Tuesday, it will bleed (Black Tuesday): Father Slocum
  • 1955: It’s not goodbye (The Long Gray Line): Capt. John Pershing
  • 1955: White Feather (White Feather): Commissioner Trenton
  • 1955: Smoke Signal: Sgt. Miles
  • 1955: The Private War of Major Benson: Shift. Gen. Ramsey
  • 1957: Drango Col. Bracken

Television (Selected):

1987: The Revenge of the convict (Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge): Dr. Galen Adams

Little Known Facts About Milburn Stone

  • Nephew of Fred Stone, cousin of Paula Stone.
  • Inducted (as a cast member of Gunsmoke (1955) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1981.
  • Brother of Charles Joseph Stone.
  • In 1961 he sold his residual rights of Gunsmoke (1955) to CBS for $100,000.
  • He was at one time the singer with Harry James and His Orchestra.
  • The Gunsmoke cast affectionately called Milburn Stone “Millie”


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