Monday, July 2, 2012

Ken Curtis (1916 - 1991)

Actor Ken Curtis was born in Lamar, Colorado, on July 2, 1916, and died in Fresno, California, on April 28, 1991, at the age of 74. A former big-band vocalist (he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after Frank Sinatra left) and singing cowboy in low-budget westerns of the 1940s, Curtis is best known as the scruffy, bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in the hit western TV series "Gunsmoke" from 1964 to 1975. He also appeared in several films by his then father-in-law John Ford including "Mister Roberts" (1955), "The Searchers" and "Wings of Eagles" (both 1956), "The Last Hurrah" (1958) and "The Horse Soldiers" (1959).