Milburn Stone was annoyed by James Arness in the beginning of ''Gunsmoke''

James Arness had been yelled at by Milburn Stone and lived to tell the tale!

Sometimes costars are just two people who work together, and other times, an undeniable bond forms and they turn into buddies for life.

The cast of Gunsmoke grew so close to one another that at times, they seemed more family than friends. However, two actors on set, Milburn Stone and James Arness, unfortunately, got off on the wrong foot when they first met.

According to The Gunsmoke Chronicles: A New History of Television's Greatest Western, written by David R. Greenland, Stone explained that when he first began working with Arness, he was annoyed by him. Stone, best known for his role as Doc Adams, recalled, "I felt he did not belong in the business at all." He remembered one specific instance in which he snapped at the actor. Stone explained, "I said, I've read my contract and there's nothing in it that says I have to put diapers on you or wait for you. And if you ever show up late again buddy, you'll have two things to explain - not only where you were, but where I went!"

While Arness was playing the Marshal of Dodge, Stone didn't have any problem giving him a stern talking to. Stone said, "He used to annoy me because at rehearsals he'd sit there and whistle or make all kinds of silly noises." Eventually, all that annoyance gave way to anger, and Stone unleashed a fury on Arness so mighty that it seemed to scare the actor straight.

Stone said, "So one time I started in on him really screaming and yelling. Jim's got a frightening habit in such circumstances. When he gets really tense, he kinda winces and bites his front teeth together real fast."

But despite his obvious fear, Arness took the criticism in stride, and according to Stone, replied with, "Milburn, you're absolutely right."

It was a graciousness that, despite his anger, Stone could appreciate. He stated, "I had embarrassed the hell out of him, but Jim stood there and took it and then had the guts to say that."

Obviously, Arness straightened out and once the two actors were on the same wavelength, they got along just fine. In a later interview, Stone told TV Guide, "I spent the first two years on Gunsmoke despising Jim's lack of professionalism. Now I say his acting has reached classical proportions." Moreover, when he spoke to the Los Angeles Times, Stone stated, "Jim is the star on and off the set and we never had a serious quarrel or impasse."

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?


DTL1962 2 months ago
I Watch Gunsmoke Everyday It Is One Of My Favorite TV Shows A lit Better Than That 💩 That’s On TV Today. Good Clean TV.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?