Ken Curtis

    Curtis in the television series Ripcord

    • (T/F) Ken Curtis is the brother of actor Tony Curtis.
      • False

    • (T/F) Curtis's father was a sheriff. Curtis worked at his jail.
      • True

    • In high school, Ken Curtis studied the
      • tuba.
      • saxaphone.
      • recorder.
      • Answer: ... sax

    • In what decade did Ken Curtis first come to Los Angeles?
      • Answer: 1938 - He became a staff singer on NBC radio.

    • Curtis was converted to a singing cowboy by (a) Universal Pictures. (b) Columbia Pictures. (c) Republic Pictures.
      • Answer: b - Columbia. Curtis appeared with Guinn `Big Boy' Williams in a number of low budget Westerns.

    • (T/F) Ken Curtis married the daughter of the great director, John Ford.
      • True - She was his first wife.

    • In which of the following classic John Wayne films did Ken Curtis appear.
      • The Quiet Man (1952)
      • The Alamo (1960)
      • The Searchers (1956)
      • all of the above
      • All of the above. John Ford directed The Quiet Man and The Searchers.

    • During World War II, Ken Curtis served in the (a) air force. (b) marines. (c) infantry.
      • Answer: c - infantry

    • (T/F) Ken Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra as the singer in Tommy Dorsey's orchestra.
      • True ... he was the crooner on Love Sends a Little Gift of Roses and also sang the WWII patriotic song This Is Worth Fighting For with the Shep Fields Orchestra.

    • (T/F) Prior to the role of Festus, Gunsmoke was Ken Curtis' first western.
      • False. He appeared, for example, in a 1960 episode of Have Gun - Will Travel and, as a Festus-like character in an episode of Death Valley Days.

    • Prior to playing Festus, Ken Curtis also played both a cowboy and an Indian on previous episodes of Gunsmoke.


    • (T/F) Ken Curtis had a supporting role in the popular movie Mr. Roberts.


    • (T/F) Ken Curtis did the voice of a buzzard in the Disney animated movie Robin Hood.


Ken Curtis (1947)

  • (T/F) Ken Curtis appeared in the 1988 TV movie Once Upon a Texas Train with a number of other veteran western actors. Name one of them.

    Jack Elam, Chuck Rifleman Conners and Dub Taylor - all who had worked on Gunsmoke. Also, Richard Widmark, Angie Dickenson and Willie Nelson.

  • In the '80's, Ken Curtis starred as Hoyt Coryell, ranch hand, on a television series named after the ranch. What was the name of the series?

    The Yellow Rose

  • Curtis also starred as a sky diver in what television series?

    Ripcord, 1961-63

  • Ken Curtis has appeared in the television program In the Heat of the Night with an actor that was a regular on All in the Family and had done a guest role on Gunsmoke. Name that actor.

    Carroll O'Connor who played Archie Bunker.

  • (T/F) Ken Curtis is listed by Guiness as holding the world's record for downing an eighteen ounce stein of beer.

    False ... although he has downed a beer with one swallow more than once on Gunsmoke.

  • (T/F) Ken Curtis' favorite food is shrimp pizza.


Ward Bond & Ken Curtis on Wagon Train

  • Is Ken Curtis older than James Arness?

    Yes ... he was born on July 2, 1916 in Lamar, Colorado. Arness was born in 1923.

  • (T/F) Ken Curtis was a member of The Sons of the Pioneers, a singing group formed to back Roy Rogers.


  • (T/F) Ken Curtis passed away on April fools day in 1991.

    False ... it was Sunday, April 28. He was 74.

  • Ken Curtis' real name was
    • Curtis Gates.
    • Kevin Kurtis.
    • Calvin Curtis.

Answer: ... Curtis Gates

Click HERE to hear Ken Curtis sing.

Click HERE for his LA Times obituary