Milburn Stone got his inspiration for Gunsmoke's Doc Adams from an old man who hit him on the street

A childhood mishap turned out to be amazing for Stone's acting career.

No one can control when inspiration hits you. Sometimes it can feel like a lightning strike, a great idea that strikes your brain suddenly and quickly, leaving you wondering how you didn't think of it sooner. However, sometimes, certain events happen in our lives that are blessings in disguise and will serve as inspiration for years to come, even if we don't realize it at the moment.

For Milburn Stone, a thunk on the head from an old guy with an umbrella was as good as gold when he signed on as Doc Adams in the hit series Gunsmoke.

According to an interview with the Copley News Service, when Stone was beginning preparations to play Doc Adams, he took inspiration from two separate people and emulated their character to help bring the role to life. The first was a man he'd known his whole life, and the other was a stranger. However, both were equally important.

Stone said, "[Doc Adams was] mostly from my grandfather, Joseph Stone, who was a drummer boy in the Civil War, wounded in a battle in Arkansas and later moved west to Kansas."

Stone described his grandfather as "austere" and said, "He had eyes like a falcon and the vilest temper in the state of Kansas." However, his grandfather had his more genial moments, even if he kept them on the inside. Stone commented, "He never smiled and it wasn't until I was 20 that I realized he was laughing at the world inside. Just like Doc."

The other inspiration for Doc Adams was borne out of a chance encounter with a man whom a young Stone was trying to help. Stone recalled, "My first good deed, as a kid in the Boy Scouts. I tried to help an old man across the street." While his intentions were pure, the old man certainly didn't appreciate Stone's assistance. The actor continued, "The old blankety-blank batted me with his umbrella." It was a memory that Stone would hold onto for years and a personality he'd incorporate into his acting. He confirmed, "I got some of Doc Adams from him."

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Runeshaper 4 months ago
HAHAHAHA well, that is definitely interesting! Doc Adams was a FANTASTIC character and Stone made him that way.
cperrynaples 4 months ago
I'd kinda like to know what the old man said to Milburn UNCENSORED! Reminds me of the Odd Couple open where Felix tries to help a woman cross the street! Not only does she smacks him with an umbrella but a way-too-tall Boy Scout punches him!
cperrynaples cperrynaples 4 months ago
Sorry it was a purse!
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