Ken Curtis didn't mind if he was typecast as Festus

Ken Curtis didn't care if he was known as Festus.

We can understand why many actors fear being typecast; Monotony can be grating on the nerves, and there's always the possibility that you'll be denied an interesting role because someone doesn't believe you as the character. Many actors spend years fighting to branch out throughout their careers in an attempt to escape the role they'll forever be recognized as.

But one person who embraced his character was Ken Curtis, who played Festus in Gunsmoke. When asked whether he felt he would be typecast as Festus for the rest of his acting career in an interview with the Associated Press, Curtis granted, "Could be" but added, "I don't care." He explained, "I've got no great ambition to do Shakespeare. I want to do what I can do best, and I think this is my cup of tea."

Sure to increase his appreciation for the role is the fact that Curtis was acting from a place of realism when he played Festus. The character offered some great additional comedy to the show, but some of the traits came from people in Curtis's life. He said, "He's a combination of people I've known all my life."

He continued, "Festus is from my part of the country, the dry lands of Southeast Colorado, the Texas and Oklahoma Panhandles, and part of Kansas." 

So much so that was Curtis known as Festus that it actually affected his daily life. In an interview with United Press International, Curtis said, "I have to wear my best clothes off-stage. Otherwise, I'd be rousted by the police for being a bum. It's necessary for me to have a few days' growth of beard for the show, so I have to counterbalance my appearance as much as possible."

Of Festus, Curtis said, "He has a lot of dimensions. Festus may look like the world's biggest mess, but underneath it all lies a heart of pure gold brick."

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10 Comments

rlb2k1jr 3 months ago
Didja know Ken Curtis had made several appearances in early episodes of Gunsmoke before taking on the role of Festus? Gotta love it when Festus and Festus close out certain episodes with their funny disagreements… The Doc & Festus Show! 😂
rlb2k1jr rlb2k1jr 3 months ago
Typo: Festus & Doc.
tootsieg 3 months ago
Ken Curtis was amazing all through his run on Gunsmoke and during his movie career.
Avie 3 months ago
"So much so that was Curtis known as Festus that it actually affected his daily life."

Huh? What? The above sentence makes no sense. Somebody doesn't know how to write.
LoveMETV22 Avie 3 months ago
" The above sentence makes no sense. Somebody doesn't know how to write."
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Let's use your sentence in the " The M*A*S*H finale" article as an example.

"What is is with some people that they succumb to the irresistible compulsion to drop utterly superlfuous "ofs" into sentences like these?

Talk about poor writing.
1. What is is- corrected should be What is it.
2. some people- just say people.
3. irresistible compulsion- talk about overstating. "feel the need" would work just as well.
4. superlfuous - the correct spelling is superfluous
5. sentences like these- it's a sentence- it doesn't need categorization.

If you're looking to make an example- simplify your sentences, check your spelling and read the sentence before you post it. If you need an example of superfluous, your sentence fits that description.

The same sentence could read:
Why do people feel the need to add an unnecessary "of'' into a sentence.

It says the same thing without all the added fluff.

It seems you're trying to make an example of someone else's writing, when your writing is in need of some polishing.
MeFanFromSavan 3 months ago
Look up video of Ken Curtis dressed as Festus singing "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"
tootsieg MeFanFromSavan 3 months ago
I watched it. Just wonderful.
Runeshaper 3 months ago
Ken Curtis and Festus Haggen were both AWESOME!
harlow1313 3 months ago
"He has a lot of dimensions. Festus may look like the world's biggest mess, but underneath it all lies a heart of pure gold brick."

I know I'm a curmudgeon, but is there any watcher of "Gunsmoke" who hasn't had that message pounded into them with story-line sledge hammers. We get it, Festus is a dirty-saint.
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