HOMES OF THE WESTERN STARS

THE GUNSMOKE TOUR

by

SPECIAL GUEST BLOGGER 

BOB SILER

On June 3, 2011 America lost one the greatest western heroes in television history –  James Arness, who for played Matt Dillon, the marshall of Dodge City, on ‘Gunsmoke’, which ran for twenty years, making it the longest running tv series of all time, until recently, when ‘Law And Order’, replaced it.

How Arness won the role of Matt Dillion is well known, but is worth repeating. When the producers decided to bring the famous radio show to television they wanted a bigger than life actor to play the lead role of Marshall Matt Dillon. William Conrad had starred in the role on radio but he didn’t look the part. So, it was offered to John Wayne. The Duke wasn’t ready to give up his screen career for the boob tube, but he knew someone who would be perfect for the role and told the producers to check out James Arness, which they did, and the rest is history. Another television show that was popular during the 1960s and 1970s was ‘Mission Impossible’ starring Peter Graves, the kid brother of James Arness. Graves died on March 14, 2010.

This tour is both a tribute to James Arness and ‘Gunsmoke’, the radio and television series. I’ve been unable to find where some of the stars used to live at, or where they are buried, but they are listed just the same for being apart of history.

This is your tour guide – Shug Fisher.

The tour guide stagecoach that will take us to where some of these great radio and tv stars once lived is getting ready to leave. Keep your arms inside and don’t feed any Hagin’s that you might see wondering about. Once you’ve given anything to a Haggen’s they never go away.

 Here we go. First stop – the radio series history.

 

 That way to Dodge City….

PART ONE

THE RADIO SERIES

APRIL 26, 1952 – JUNE 18, 1961 – 413 EPISODES

In the late 1940s one of radio’s most popular shows was ‘The Adventures Of Philip Marlowe’, and one of its biggest fans was CBS bigwig, William S. Paley.

Paley told chief of programming, Hubell Robinson, to put together a hardboiled western series with the main character an old west Philip Marlowe type. Robinson handed the job over to the West Coast Vice President of CBS, Harry Ackerman, who had developed the Marlowe series.

Ackerman auditioned two of the stars of radio shows already being aired on CBS, Michael Rye, star of ‘Michael Shayne’, and Howard Culver, star of ‘Straight Arrow’.

Culver was just what the producers were looking for, but, since he was busy on his series and unable to star on another show, the series was shelved for the next three years, until 1952. It aired on April 26.

Howard McNear (Doc), William Conrad (Matt), Georgia Ellis (Kitty) and Parley Baer (Chester)

File:Gunsmokeradio.jpg

WILLIAM CONRAD AS MARSHALL MATT DILLON

4031 LONGRIDGE ROAD – SHERMAN OAKS

John Wayne lived here and when he decided to move to Newport Beach he sold the house to Conrad, who lived here until his death.

FOREST LAWN, HOLLYWOOD HILLS

PARLEY BAER AS CHESTER PROUDFOOT

4967 BILMOOR AVENUE – TARZANA

FOREST LAWN, HOLLYWOOD HILLS

 HOWARD MCNEAR AS DOC ADAMS

 

LOS ANGELES NATIONAL CEMETERY – WESTWOOD, CA.

 

 GEORGIA ELLIS AS KITTY RUSSELL

 JAMES NUSSER AS LOUIE PHEETERS

More in Part Two.

This is the end of the line for the first part of our tour. Your new tour guide is  Gabby Yakalotz. Inside you’ll find drinks and hot grub.

Your next tour coach will be ready to board soon.

Listen up tourists. On the menu is steak and eggs. The only drinks we have is beer, whiskey and water.

 So sit down and you’ll be served shortly.

 We’ll hit the road as soon as I finish doin’ the dishes.

 PART TWO

THE TELEVISION SERIES

SEPTEMBER 10, 1955 – MARCH 31, 1975 – 635 EPISODES

The first episode was introduced by John Wayne.

JAMES ARNESS AS MATT DILLON

45 NORTH BEVERLY GLEN BOULEVARD

176 GRANVILLE AVENUE – LOS ANGELES

790 RANCH LANE – LOS ANGELES

830 BROOKTREE ROAD – PACIFIC PALISADES

FOREST LAWN, GLENDALE

JENNY LEE AURNESS

Jenny Lee Aurness

In 1975, the twenty – five year old daughter of James Arness, committed suicide.

FOREST LAW, GLENDALE – THE GREAT MAUSOLEUM

AMANDA BLAKE AS KITTY RUSSELL

24962 EL DORADO MEADOW ROAD – HIDDEN HILLS, LOS ANGELES

5105 EAST EXETER ROAD – PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Cremated and scattered

MILBURN STONE AS DOC ADAMS

11100 MT. CASTLE DRIVE – NORTH HOLLYWOOD

EL CAMINO MEMORIAL PARK – SAN DIEGO

DENNIS WEAVER AS CHESTER

SAM MC CLOUD

12217 EMELITA STREET – STUDIO CITY – 1958

16055 ROYAL OAK ROAD – ENCINO – 1966

23840 PARK BELMONTE – CALABASAS – 1980s

25006 PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY – MALIBU

He sold it in 2005

RIDGWAY, COLORADO

HIS EARTHSHIP HOUSE

Outside his home

He was living here at the time of his death. He was cremated and scattered.

KEN CURTIS AS FESTUS

BENT COUNTY JAIL – LAS ANIMAS, COLORADO

File:Old Bent County Jail, Las Animas, CO IMG 5730.JPG

Ken’s father was the sheriff in Bent County and the family lived here, above the jail.

He spent his boyhood years here.

CLOVIS, CALIFORNIA

KEN CURTIS / FESTUS STATUE

Ken and his wife, Torrie, retired to his ranch here, where they lived until his death.

He was cremated and his ashes were scattered in the flatlands of Colorado. This statue of Ken as Festus is located in downtown Clovis.

GLENN STRANGE – SAM THE BARTENDER


FOREST LAWN, HOLLYWOOD HILLS

BURT REYNOLDS – QUINT ASPER

1960s

LAUREL CRESCENT DRIVE – LOS ANGELES

With wife, actress Judy Carne

1980s

245 NORTH CAROLWOOD DRIVE – BEL AIR

1991 – 1995

3355 CLEREDON ROAD – BEVERLY HILLS

(Gated community of Mulholland Estates)

With wife, actress Loni Anderson

1990s

22336 PACIFIC COAST HIGHWAY – MALIBU

His beach house

2004 – 2005

12078 SUMMIT CIRCLE – BEVERLY HILLS

ROGER EWING – THADDEUS ‘THAD’ GREENWOOD 

7733 HAMPTON AVENUE #4 – LOS ANGELES

BUCK TAYLOR – NEWLY O’BRIEN

 

ROUTE 2, BOX 150 – ENNIS, MONTANA

JAMES NUSSER – LOUIE PHEETERS

 

VALHALLA MEMORIAL PARK – NORTH HOLLYWOOD

ROY ROBERTS – MR. BODKIN

512 NORTH ROSSMORE AVENUE – LOS ANGELES

Longtime home.

GREENWOOD MEMORIAL PARK – FORT WORTH, TEXAS

DABBS GREER – MR. JONUS

284 SOUTH MADISON AVENUE, PASADENA

TED JORDAN – NATHAN BURKE

 

HANK PATTERSON – HANK

Hank Patterson

 

Before he became the father of a pig named Arnold Ziffel on ‘Green Acres’, he

played Hank on ‘Gunsmoke.

19545 ROSCOE BOULEVARD – NORTHRIDGE

13255 READLEY AVENUE, SHERMAN OAKS 

FOREST LAWN, HOLLYWOOD HILLS

BERT RUMSEY – BARTENDER SAM NOONAN – 1956 – 1959

Bert Rumsey

CHEROKEE MEMORIAL PARK,  LODI, CALIFORNIA

FRAN RYAN – MISS HANNAH COBB

She appeared in the twentieth and last season. She took over The Long Branch after

Kitty left Dodge.

She reprised the role in the

1987 TV movie – ‘Gunsmoke – Return To Dodge’.

HOLY SEPULCHRE CEMETERY – HAYWARD, CALIFORNIA

GEORGE SELK – MOSS GRIMMICK

SARAH SELBY – MA SMALLEY

GEORGE SEER – BARNEY, THE TELEGRAPH OPERATOR

GUNSMOKE FILMING LOCATIONS

Bell Ranch, Santa Susana, California, USA
Big Sky Ranch – 4927 Bennett Road, Simi Valley, California, USA
Bronson Canyon, Griffith Park – 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California, USA
CBS Studio Center – 4024 Radford Avenue, Studio City, Los Angeles, California, USA
California Studios – 5530 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
(interiors)
Coronado National Forest, Arizona, USA
Corriganville, Corriganville, Ray Corrigan Ranch, Simi Valley, California, USA
Hill City, South Dakota, USA
(episodes16.6 and16.7)
Hollywood Center Studios/KTLA Sunset Lot – 5800 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
(studio)
Iverson Ranch – 1 Iverson Lane, Chatsworth, Los Angeles, California, USA
Johnson Canyon, Kanab, Utah, USA
Kanab Movie Ranch – 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, Utah, USA
Kanab, Utah, USA
Melody Ranch – 24715 Oak Creek Avenue, Newhall, California, USA
Old Tucson – 201 S. Kinney Road, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Paramount Ranch – 2813 Cornell Road, Agoura, California, USA
Sierra Railroad, Jamestown, California, USA
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park – 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Rd., Agua Dulce, California, USA

Bob Siler grew up in Burbank, not far from Universal Studios and Warner Brothers where they made his favorite monster movies.  A long-time fan of Westerns, he still has a hard time believing that the great John Wayne could die.  Bob has created many lists detailing where the famous and infamous lived, are buried, and the cars they drove.  He has recently completed this list of Western Stars homes after many years.  Burbank Bob now resides in Portland, Oregon.

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