One actor who graced the TV screens on Gunsmoke actually had quite a career as a quiz show participant against his show role.
We’re talking about an actor named Robert Easton, Outsiders. We also get more information about this other career from MeTV.
Easton grew up with a stutter but found a way to overcome it.
His family moved from Wisconsin to Texas as a young boy. Once he started hearing the Texas drawl, Easton picked it up and his stutter went away.
The Gunsmoke actor toured the country on the popular radio show Quiz Kids throughout the 1940s. It would become a TV game show in the 1950s focusing on high-IQ kids answering listeners’ tough questions.
‘Gunsmoke’ Actor Started Focusing On His Speech, Would Lead to Second Career
Easton, though, really thought about and focused on his speech. That would end up helping him beyond Gunsmoke and acting.
Now Easton appeared on the CBS western as Magnus Goode. Does his last name sound familiar? In the Gunsmoke episode simply called Magnus, Easton appeared as the “uncivilized” brother of Chester Goode. As you may know, Chester was played by Dennis Weaver.
In the episode, Magnus comes to Dodge City for Christmas. Well, Chester gets into a fluster about his brother not fitting into the city life.
Easton Attended College In England, Returned To Hollywood As Dialect Coach
Turns out that old Magnus can handle himself in Dodge City as the Gunsmoke episode rolls on.
Easton married an Englishwoman and moved to London in the 1960s. The Gunsmoke actor studied phonetics at University College. It led him to rediscover his talent for language.
So, he went back to Hollywood and developed a side business as a dialect coach. Well, acting took a backseat and Easton started working with actors like Robin Williams, Patrick Swayze, Forest Whitaker, and Robert Duvall.
The actor’s appearance on the CBS show was in its black-and-white days. Yet in 1966, Gunsmoke, much like other CBS shows, began moving to color episodes.
TV Western Starts Filming, Showing Color Episodes On CBS in 1966
It might not seem like a big deal to you, Outsiders. At that time, though, color TV sets started to become popular and affordable.
On Sept. 17, 1966, the famed show open had Matt Dillon, played by James Arness, facing a duel with another gunslinger.
So, Arness was part of the show from Day One until its final episode. That ran 20 years and made Gunsmoke the longest-running Western series on network television.
Do you know what’s No. 2? Not hard to figure out. Bonanza on NBC comes a close second.
Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Ken Curtis, Buck Taylor, Weaver, and Burt Reynolds were in the cast over the years.