The main actor was Jon Voight gun smoke a few times before he found fame in feature films. His big break came with his Oscar-nominated performance in the 1969s Midnight Cowboy as Joe Buck. The actor would go on to take notable roles in pictures such as: liberation, Return homeand The winner. However, Voight looked back at his gun smoke Performances with preference, where an actor stands out from the others.
Voight first starred in gun smoke 1966 as Petter Karlgren in Season 12 Episode 11 entitled “The Newcomers”. Petter is a Swedish immigrant who arrives in Dodge City with his father. However, he gets involved in a brawl that spirals out of control.
The actor returned to the western television show in 1967 as Cory in Season 13 Episode 10 entitled “Praire Wolfer”. The story follows two fur trappers who plan a robbery after their prized furs become worthless. They want to travel west to California, but nothing goes as planned.
Voight’s Finale gun smoke Episode was in 1969 as Steven Downing in season 14 episode 25 entitled “The Prisoner”. It follows a prisoner as he makes his way into town where a likely unfair trial awaits him. However, Miss Kitty (Amanda Blake) intervenes until the Marshal returns.
According to Ben Costello Gunsmoke: An American institution celebrating 50 years of Best Western on TV, Voight wrote about his experience on the show. He paid tribute to both the production itself and the legendary cast he had the privilege of working with. However, Voight pointed out that Festus Haggen actor Ken Curtis was a step ahead of the rest.
“I was particularly impressed with Kenny Curtis,” Voight wrote. “I’m a character actor at heart and this guy just seemed like something out of the pages of a book about time. He seemed very authentic. The craziness of his outfit, his hat, even his accent was so extraordinary.”
Voight continued, “Kenny is slick and a very intelligent guy, and he played this crazy jerk – just a lovely character. I always tried to watch Kenny Curtis’ scenes because I knew he would come up with something in every scene. I wanted to see how he would play it. I would read what was on the page and then see what Kenny would do with it. Stunning!”
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Curtis first appeared in gun smoke as Festus in the Season 8 episode titled “Us Haggens”. He was originally written as a man out for revenge to kill his uncle for killing his brother. However, Festus eventually became Matt Dillon’s (James Arness) second-in-command and one of his close friends.
Voight wasn’t the only person kidnapped by Curtis’ Festus. The character became a fan favorite for many gun smoke audiences around the world. Luckily for her, Curtis stayed with the show for the remainder of the television show’s 20th season.