Dennis Weaver knew that Chester Goode was unforgettable, even after he left ''Gunsmoke''
Although Weaver left the series, he knew his presence would still linger.
It takes a lot of confidence to make an impact on an already incredible series like Gunsmoke, but that's nothing compared to the confidence you'd need to have faith that your impact will linger after you're gone.
Dennis Weaver had a healthy dose of confidence in himself and his acting ability. While he knew that Gunsmoke was an incredible show, Weaver had enough trust in himself to know that being Chester Goode forever just wasn't his destiny. Weaver was confident that if he left the show, he would finally be cast as the protagonist role he had been dreaming of for so long.
Granted, it took a few hits and misses before Weaver was actually able to achieve that dream, but when he did, he hit the ground running. The actor found success in McCloud as Sam McCloud. The role was everything Weaver had hoped for, and then some. In an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal, Weaver said, "It was the kind of role I was looking for when I quit Gunsmoke."
Still, while Weaver was finally content in his destination, that didn't mean that he wasn't able to look back and appreciate the journey that got him there. He wasn't looking to leave poor Chester behind in the dust, he just wanted to show the world that he could make a name for himself.
Weaver was secure in the effect that the character had on Gunsmoke. He said, "I don't think we'll ever get to the point where people won't remember Chester. I don't want them to forget the character."
However, he clarified, "But I think the industry no longer associates Dennis Weaver with Chester."