‘Gunsmoke’ Actor Milburn Stone Born On This Day in 1904: Relive Doc’s Best Moments

by Keeli Parkey
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“Gunsmoke” was one of the longest-running series in the history of television. One reason for its success and longevity was its interesting and beloved characters. One of those fan-favorite characters – Doc Adams – was played by Milburn Stone.

Stone was born on this day (July 5) in 1904. And thanks to his work as Doc, the character became one of the most popular in the beloved Western television series.

Here’s one of the many memorable moments Milburn Stone as Doc Adams gave to fans of “Gunsmoke.” In this clip, Doc shares his thoughts on politics with Marshal Matt Dillon. Dillon was played by James Arness.

https://youtu.be/88DeCIBXIA0

‘Gunsmoke’ Star Milburn Stone Was Born in Burton, Kansas

As fans are aware, “Gunsmoke” was set in the town of Dodge City, Kansas. This is a state Milburn Stone was familiar with because he was born there. He came from the town of Burton, Kansas. He left his hometown when he was a teen. Stone chose to leave in order to pursue a career in acting. He did so by working with repertory groups of actors who traveled around.

Stone worked in both Vaudeville and on Broadway. However, it was in 1935 that he decided the place he needed to be to have a successful acting career was Los Angeles, California. At first, he struggled to get his career off the ground. Early on, he worked mostly in parts where he played background characters and did not receive billing for his work. Some of these films were “The Princess Comes Across,” as well as “They Gave Him a Gun.”

There, however, films in the late 1930s where the future “Gunsmoke” star played the lead role. These included “Federal Bullets,” as well as “The Great Alaskan Mystery.”

During the 1940s and into the 1950s Milburn Stone began to land supporting roles that brought him attention. These films included “Colorado,” “Captive Wild Woman,” “Black Tuesday,” and “Smoke Signal.”

It was in 1955 that Stone began his decades-long tenure on “Gunsmoke” as Doc Adams. The show aired from 1955 until 1975 and Stone was a part of the cast during all those years. Also, thanks to his work as Doc Adams, the actor won an Emmy Award for supporting actor.

Sadly, Milburn Stone passed away only five years after “Gunsmoke” concluded its original television run. He passed away from a heart attack at the age of 75 on June 12, 1980, in La Jolla, California.

Doc and Festus Have Humorous Exchange About Buying Land Outside Dodge City

In this clip from “Gunsmoke,” Milburn Stone’s character, Doc, refuses to buy the character Festus a beer. Festus was played by Ken Curtis. Festus, however, claims he wanted to buy one for Doc. Of course, the wise Doc advises Festus to use his money wisely and make an investment in land outside of Dodge City. What follows is a humorous exchange fueled by a misunderstanding between “a lot” of land and a “lot of land.”

Outsider.com