Family & Companions
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 scuffy bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in the hit western TV series "Gunsmoke" (1964-75). 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).
Cast (Feature Film)
Producer (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Art Director (Feature Film)
Moved to Los Angeles and landed job as staff singer for NBC radio
After record hit, "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," signed by Columbia Pictures to star as singing cowboy in low-budget Columbia westerns (date approximate)
Film debut "Song of the Prairie", "Rhythm Roundup"
Joined western singing group Sons of the Pioneers (which included Roy Rogers) which was hired by John Ford to sing on the score of "Wagon Master"
Produced first feature, "The Killer Shrews"
Co-starred as sky driver on TV series, "Ripcord"
Replaced Dennis Weaver as Sheriff Matt Dillon's deputy sidekick on TV series "Gunsmoke" playing new character Festus