Ken Curtis

Actor, Singer
Former big-band vocalist (he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after Frank Sinatra left) and singing cowboy in low-budget westerns of the 1940s, Curtis is best known as the scuffy bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in ... Read more »
Born: 07/02/1916 in Lamar, Colorado, USA

Filmography

Actor (27)

In the Heat of the Night 1989 - 1990 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Yellow Rose 1983 - 1984 (TV Show)

Actor

Black Beauty 1977 - 1978 (TV Show)

Actor

Pony Express Rider 1975 (Movie)

Jed Richardson (Actor)

Robin Hood 1973 (Movie)

of Nutsy, a Vulture (Voice)

Cheyenne Autumn 1964 (Movie)

Homer (Actor)

Two Rode Together 1961 (Movie)

Boone Clay (Actor)

The Alamo 1960 (Movie)

Captain Almeron Dickinson (Actor)

The Horse Soldiers 1959 (Movie)

Wilkie (Actor)

Escort West 1958 (Movie)

Burch (Actor)

Missouri Traveler 1958 (Movie)

Fred Mueller--Blacksmith (Actor)

The Killer Shrews 1958 (Movie)

Jerry Lacer (Actor)

The Last Hurrah 1958 (Movie)

Monsignor Killian (Actor)

The Young Land 1958 (Movie)

Lee Hearn (Actor)

The Wings of Eagles 1957 (Movie)

John Dale Price (Actor)

The Growler Story 1956 (Movie)

Captain Howard W Gilmore (Actor)

The Searchers 1956 (Movie)

Charlie McCorry (Actor)

Mister Roberts 1955 (Movie)

Dolan (Actor)

The Long Gray Line 1955 (Movie)

Specialty Bit (Actor)

California Gold Rush (TV Show)

Actor

Call of the Forest (Movie)

(Actor)

Conagher (TV Show)

Actor

Freckles (Movie)

Wessner (Actor)

Gunsmoke (TV Show)

Actor

Once Upon a Texas Train (TV Show)

Actor

The Whirlwind (TV Show)

Actor
Producer (2)

The Giant Gila Monster 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

The Killer Shrews 1958 (Movie)

(Producer)

Biography

Former big-band vocalist (he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after Frank Sinatra left) and singing cowboy in low-budget westerns of the 1940s, Curtis is best known as the scuffy bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in the hit western TV series "Gunsmoke" (1964-75). He also appeared in several films by his then father-in-law John Ford including "Mister Roberts" (1955), "The Searchers" and "Wings of Eagles" (both 1956), "The Last Hurrah" (1958) and "The Horse Soldiers" (1959).

Relationships

Father
sheriff of Bent County

Child
two

Torie Curtis

Wife
married until his death

Barbara Ford

Wife
married in 1952 divorced in 1963 daughter of John Ford

EDUCATION

Colorado State University

Colorado Springs, Colorado
began writing songs(pre-med)

Milestones

1964

Replaced Dennis Weaver as Sheriff Matt Dillon's deputy sidekick on TV series "Gunsmoke" playing new character Festus

1961

Co-starred as sky driver on TV series, "Ripcord"

1959

Produced first feature, "The Killer Shrews"

1950

Joined western singing group Sons of the Pioneers (which included Roy Rogers) which was hired by John Ford to sing on the score of "Wagon Master"

1944

After record hit, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," signed by Columbia Pictures to star as singing cowboy in low-budget Columbia westerns (date approximate)

1944

Film debut "Song of the Prairie", "Rhythm Roundup"

1938

Moved to Los Angeles and landed job as staff singer for NBC radio

Served in infantry and in anti-aircraft unit during WWII

Worked as vocalist with several bands including Tommy Dorsey's during the late 1930s; Dorsey had him change name to Curtis

Worked on jail farm as a boy

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