‘Gunsmoke’: ‘Miss Kitty’ Actress Amanda Blake Was Roommates with Another Famous Actress Before Landing Role on Show

by Madison Miller
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Amanda Blake is highly recognizable for her 19 years playing the character Miss Kitty on “Gunsmoke.”

Over the course of her career, she had developed a number of connections with key people in the business. Even before that she was roommates with a famous actress.

Amanda Blake: Roommates with Jan Shepard

Before even landing her role in “Gunsmoke,” Blake had an insight into the world of acting. According to IMDb, Jan Shepard was Blake’s roommate right before she became Miss Kitty.

In an interview with A World on Westerns, Jan Shepard shared that Blake was a “frisky lady.”

“She was a beautiful lady, but she wanted that role so bad that when she went on the interview she went to Western costume and got dressed like Kitty would dress and went on the interview like that. Of course, she walked in with that red hair … she got the role and it was wonderful for her,” Shepard said.

Who Is Jan Shepard?

During her acting career, Jan Shepard was in a number of television roles.

She was in “Waterfront,” “Rawhide,” “Laramie,” “The Virginian,” “Perry Mason,” “Tales of the Texas Rangers,” and many more. She was in a total of 114 TV shows and eight different movies.

In addition to that, she had also was in the film “Paradise, Hawaiian Style” alongside Elvis Presley in 1966. She was also in “King Creole” with him.

In an interview with Alan K. Rode, Shepard talked about Elvis Presley’s fun and easygoing personality on set. Check it out below:

While Amanda Blake would go on to be Miss Kitty, Shepard had her own role in “Gunsmoke” as well. She made frequent guest appearances on the show during its long popularity on the screen.

In an interview with Desert News, Shepard talked about her experience on the “Gunsmoke” set.

“Amanda was a true redhead, and she was perfect as Kitty. Dennis Weaver was hard to work with because he was so funny. He kept making us laugh. Jim Arness had a lot of steel in him, but he’s a wonderful man. And Milburn Stone was just such a joy. He and I were buddies,” Shepard said.

A noticeable pattern for Jan Shepard is her expansive experience and her appearance in countless Westerns. She loved the storylines and also loved the look of black-and-white television.

“I loved the Westerns. There was always a moral; there was always a lesson. And it’s our history.”

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