Amanda Blake had this to say about Dennis Weaver's potential return to ''Gunsmoke''

The actor left the series in 1964. Kitty thought it was best for him not to return.

Saying goodbye is hard in any situation, but to say goodbye to one of your favorite characters can sometimes feel as hard as saying goodbye to a longtime friend. There are characters that we laugh and cry with, and often when the time comes for that character to mosey onto greener pastures, it’s common for any longtime viewer to feel more than a few bittersweet emotions.

The good news is that if a character departs a show that is still ongoing, you can still hold hope that perhaps they might return, even if it’s just for a few guest appearances. Even though we had to say goodbye to sweet Barney Fife, Don Knotts was kind enough to return to The Andy Griffith Show multiple times throughout the rest of the series run to remind us just how much we missed him. Sometimes a character's departure feels more final, like when Jean Stapleton left Archie Bunker's Place, and the writers decided it was time for Archie's better half to pass away, dashing all hopes that she'd return.

While Dennis Weaver was an integral part of Gunsmoke, he made the decision to leave the series. In his autobiography, All the World’s a Stage, Weaver explained, “I felt at the time that, if I didn’t break loose, I would never play anything else the rest of my acting career…I had to break loose.” Weaver was also looking for an opportunity where he was poised to play the leading man role, which he got once he was cast in Kentucky Jones.

Unfortunately, Weaver’s new series only lasted one season before it was canceled. With Weaver’s schedule suddenly open with more free time than he had previously anticipated, it’s no wonder that some fans might have questioned whether he might return to our screens as Chester Goode. One actor, however, advised against the decision, and that was Miss Kitty herself, Amanda Blake.

In an interview with the Associated Press, Blake reasoned that in the time Weaver had been away, the show had grown into something new than what it had been before he left. She stated, “The show has progressed since Dennis left.” Blake even ventured to say, “It would be a mistake to go back.”

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16 Comments

Runeshaper 1 month ago
Interesting 🤔 insight. Thanks, MeTV!
GOOSEYGOOSE9 1 month ago
I like Chester better than festus,Danny Thomas,Sheldon Leonard and Louis F.Edelman were the executive producers of Kentucky Jones. T.L.&E productions own Kentucky Jones Tv series. For NBC. Starring Dennis Weaver. Danny Thomas, Sheldon Leonard And Louis F.Edelman Executive Producers of Kentucky Jones Series.
Pacificsun 1 month ago
The moral of the tale is that an actor should never shut the door on planning to leave the Show. Maybe his exit should be written into his contract. However, if Patrick Duffy could return to Dallas after a mysterious 1 year hiatus, then anyone can slip back in!!
Snickers 1 month ago
Don't agree with Blake's reasoning at all. Sounds kind of self centered myself.
Pacificsun Snickers 1 month ago
Sounds like half of them were either resentful or jealous. More power to Dennis Weaver's courage!
Snickers Pacificsun 1 month ago
Could not agree more.
Lisa24 1 month ago
I liked Chester. I prefer the black and white episodes of Gunsmoke with Chester to the color episodes with Festus. Gunsmoke will never fade.
Andybandit 1 month ago
As Chester would say Mr. Dillon, Mr. Dillon.
Andybandit 1 month ago
I didn't like Chester. I liked Festus better. I always thought he was drunk. As Chester
sttvr 1 month ago
No matter what happened or was said, McCloud the series and the tv movie Duel are both epic classics. Dennis left his own mark after Gunsmoke. I really liked Chester, the Chesterland episode always pops in my head and how awesome it was but I always liked Festus better.
trogg888 1 month ago
I would have rather seenmiss kitty leave the show.her and matt never getting together made no sense.at least he got some from .omma walton
Pacificsun trogg888 1 month ago
I'm not saying they shouldn't, or that it was very realistic for the wild west. But from a writing standpoint it would've softened the characters. And eliminated a lot of the drama. Meaning, when something happened to Matt Dillon, there was more drama to Kitty's reaction. That just means the writers weren't as inventive as they needed to be. And there were a lot of viewers just because of that dynamic (my father for one). In a way they were depicting the first independent "business-woman" of the west. And my hunch is Amada Blake fought for that centerpiece. They might've been in danger of losing her, otherwise.
GOOSEYGOOSE9 1 month ago
Danny Thomas Sheldon Leonard and Louis f Edelman executive producers of Kentucky jones starred Dennis weaver earle Hagen and Herbert w spencer did theme music T.L & E productions own kentucky jones tv series for NBC Danny Thomas Sheldon Leonard and Louis f Edelman own Kentucky jones series did they really
Pacificsun GOOSEYGOOSE9 1 month ago
Some punctuation within a paragraph, does wonders!
Tresix GOOSEYGOOSE9 1 month ago
Is this a comment or an eye chart?
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