‘Gunsmoke’ Star James Arness Once Reflected on Matt and Kitty Not Tying the Knot

by Joe Rutland

Viewers have tuned in to Gunsmoke over the decades and see Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty chat it up. They never got married. Why not?

James Arness, who played Dillon for 20 seasons on CBS before the show entered classic TV lore, talked about this. Amanda Blake played the Dodge City saloon keeper for most of the show’s run.

Arness shared his thoughts while being interviewed by the Amarillo (Texas) Globe-Mail newspaper. We get an assist in this matter from GunsmokeNet.com.

‘Gumsmoke’ Icon Says ‘It Would Make A Lot of Difference’ If They Were Man, Wife

“If they were man and wife, it would make a lot of difference,” Arness said about Gunsmoke. “The people upstairs decided it was better to leave the show alone as it was, which I totally agreed with.” The “people upstairs” he refers to are CBS executives who just decided that having Matt and Kitty marry might be confusing.

Remember the times, too, where a United States Marshal would marry a person who runs a bar. That probably would not fly with a number of Americans in the 1950s and ’60s.

Yet Gunsmoke remains popular with new generations always finding the show worth watching. Young and old alike have been known to sit and watch Gunsmoke marathons on their TV sets.

Arness and Blake were joined in the cast by Milburn Stone, who played Doc. Also part of the show over the years was Ken Curtis, who played Festus; Buck Taylor, who played Newly; and Dennis Weaver, who played Chester. Recently, INSP secured the entire catalog of Gunsmoke episodes. The channel shows them throughout the week on there.

Blake Receives Clever Encouragement To Try Singing As Her Character

If you have ever heard Amanda Blake speak, then you know that the actress had a pretty deep voice. It would not be one that a person would consider as a singing voice. But that all changed thanks to Stone and his background in the theatrical world of Vaudeville.

See, Stone, Blake, and Curtis or Weaver would go out and do public appearances. At times, they’d show up in their TV character’s look from Gunsmoke. Then, they would do some type of performance for fans in attendance.

Stone and others helped write a ballad for her titled The Long Branch Blues. She would wail like an old blues tune might sound and, boy, did she make her appearance stand out. The song helped Blake use her voice while emphasizing the Kitty-Dillon relationship.

“I thought they were out of their minds,” Blake said. “But the funny thing is, now I sing harmony and counterpoint.” And that’s how Miss Kitty sang a tune.