Amanda Blake revealed what she missed the most about working on Gunsmoke
After playing Kitty for almost two decades, Blake left the Western series but missed a lot of things about it.
For 20 seasons, Western fans worldwide watched Gunsmoke and indulged in its plots. They fell in love with some of the characters or despised a few, but audiences kept returning each week for a new episode. Kitty, the red-haired saloon owner who spoke with courage and confidence, was played by Amanda Blake.
The character was a vital part of the production, and for 19 seasons, the role stood out, making it a fan favorite. Amanda Blake decided to leave the show; therefore, Kitty was not in the final season. The audience missed her, and the actress shared that feeling about the show.
Being on a series for almost two decades creates strong relationships, and it did just that for Blake. "I'll miss many things about it," she admitted to The Daily Journal in 1974. "It was a wonderful 19 years. Close friendships with my fellow actors and crew, for one thing. They are family."
Blake missed the set, specifically her saloon, which felt like a second home. She missed dressing up in Kitty's wardrobe (although she was also excited to wear modern-day clothes in her new show), laughing with her fellow castmates and all the fun times they had.
"But I've spent half of my adult life as Kitty, owner of the Long Branch saloon in Dodge City. I felt I needed a change. I can really do anything I want to now," the actress added.
Blake did just that. According to the article in the newspaper, less than three weeks after she announced her retirement from Gunsmoke, the actress began her starring role in ABC's Betrayal. It was her first dramatic role outside of Kitty, and she was excited about the new beginning.
"[I have] more time to be devoted to my animals and wildlife conservation. [I can get] a TV or motion picture role when I want. But I also realize that Gunsmoke has made most of this possible. And for that, I am very grateful."
Blake only had one favor to ask of fans who didn't want to see her outside the beloved role. "Try and call me Amanda. The only kitty I'd like to hear now is the sound of a baby cheetah — born in captivity."
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Good for her in following her wish for a change and the happiness it brought her.