Born Curtis Wain Gates in Colorado, Ken Curtis made his fame playing the cornpone, one-eyed deputy Festus Haggen on the television Western series Gunsmoke from 1959 to 1975. Prior to that, however, Curtis had a long career in film and music. He began his entertainment career as a singer and even sang lead for the Sons of the Pioneers from 1948 to 1952. In 1952 Curtis married John Ford’s daughter, Barbara, and became a member of the John Ford Stock Company, playing roles in such major Westerns as Rio Grande (1950), The Searchers (1956), The Horse Soldiers (1959), Two Rode Together (1961), and Cheyenne Autumn (1964).

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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