James Arness said Burt Reynolds fit right into Gunsmoke's family

"He just fit right in with the family group, and we had a wonderful time."

When Burt Reynolds joined Gunsmoke, his role was small, but his presence on and off screen was significant. It was a presence felt by fans and the cast, especially lead actor James Arness.

Arness played Marshal Matt Dillon, who took pride in restoring law and order in the town of Dodge City. When he wasn't protecting the town, he showed his admiration for Kitty, played by Amanda Blake. Like any classic series, Gunsmoke went through a few cast changes while the show was on air for 20 seasons.

Reynolds joined after Dennis Weaver decided to leave while the series was still in demand. Although it was only for three seasons, Reynolds quickly became a part of the Gunsmoke family, according to Arness.

In an interview with the Television Academy, the actor revealed what it was like working with the then-newcomer. "You could tell very quickly that Burt was a guy who had a great presence," Arness said. "As we learned in the later years, one of his great skills is his comedic skill."

Although his ability to be charming and hilarious was evident, it was something Reynolds couldn't show through his character. The actor played blacksmith Quint Asper.

"Of course, he was not able to bring that to the character at all. He had to be a very serious guy, actually," the western actor added. "He had to play that, so he couldn't really use his strongest point, which is his marvelous sense of humor."

Although he was only in 50 episodes and joined mid-season, Reynolds didn't feel like an outsider. In fact, while he was there, he and the cast became great friends.

"He was a wonderful guy to work with, and we all became friends," Arness said. "He just fit right in with the family group, and we had a wonderful time. He was there, I think, for only a couple of seasons, and then he moved on to gigantic screen stardom."

While on the show, Reynolds was a fan favorite, and the cast loved the actor.

Watch Gunsmoke on MeTV!

Monday - Saturday at 1 PM & 1:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
 
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
Close

6 Comments

tootsieg 2 months ago
I like watching Burt on Gunsmoke. Wished he was on the show longer.
bagandwallyfan52 2 months ago
https://youtu.be/oG_fSoYFWLA
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing
Happy Trails To You which was the
Theme Song for The Roy Rogers
Show.
LoveMETV22 2 months ago
Enjoy Burt Reynolds character on Gunsmoke. He certainly wasn't a stranger to television at the time. Perhaps a relative new comer to Film though.
Andybandit 2 months ago
He was good in Gunsmoke. To bad he didn't stay on longer than 3 seasons.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?