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Gunsmoke actor Amanda Blake became one of the most famous performers on television due to her performance as Miss Kitty Russell. However, the actor and the character held several similarities that allowed them to blend into one person on and off the screen through its 20 seasons. Blake stopped dating men for some time after her second divorce for a reason that felt pulled right from Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke.

‘Gunsmoke’ actor Amanda Blake’s Kitty Russell had feelings for Matt Dillon

'Gunsmoke' actor Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty Russell leaning back in a satin dress with a smile on her face
Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty Russell | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Gunsmoke fans frequently wanted to know from Blake and James Arness if Miss Kitty and U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon would ever get married. They had an undeniable romantic chemistry on the Western television show that continued to lead viewers on for years. However, they never provided any true sense of closure on their relationship with the intention of keeping folks tuning back in.

Blake herself confirmed in an interview with TV Guide that her Gunsmoke character would love nothing more than to settle down with the marshal. However, that would entirely change the dynamic of the show. She compared it to the likes of I Love Lucy, but in a Western setting, which wasn’t what Gunsmoke ever wanted to be. As a result, the romance remained hidden under the surface.

Amanda Blake stopped dating men because she was ‘burned’ twice already

Blake married her first husband, Jack Shea, in 1952, which was a few years before Gunsmoke‘s 1955 premiere date. However, it only lasted for a year. Next, she married Don Whitman in 1954, which lasted two years until 1956. TV Guide wanted to learn more about why Blake wouldn’t date anymore. When potential suitors asked why she wouldn’t date them, the actor responded, “I’m sorry, but I don’t date,” or “I have other plans.”

These other plans hinted at the fact that she spent a lot of time with the folks who were essentially her second parents–Fran and Walter Sande. He was a character actor known for his work in supporting roles in To Have and Have Not, Bad Day at Black Rock, and Johnny Tremain.

Blake’s Gunsmoke co-star Milburn Stone, who played Doc Adams, chimed in on the topic during the interview, saying “It isn’t cynicism. It’s just that she’s been burned twice.” She added that she preferred living her life exactly as it was as a single woman.

TV Guide compared Blake’s real dating life to that of Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke. The actor mentioned that there was once a man in Kitty’s life, but that it turned sour. As a result, the town developed certain negative thoughts toward her, “putting labels” on her. Therefore, Kitty drifted along, simply living life for herself until she met Matt, where she decided to stay, even though their romance never developed. Both Kitty and Blake enjoyed their independence and living life for themselves.

The actor got married another 3 times


‘Gunsmoke’: James Arness’ Wife Recalled 1 Odd Way Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty Were Involved in Their First Date

Blake ultimately changed her mind further along in her life and started dating again. She remained unmarried for eight years until she wed Jason Day in 1964. However, they divorced after three years in 1967. The actor married a fourth time to Frank Gilbert in 1967, remaining married until 1982. Finally, she married Mark Spaeth in 1984, although they divorced shortly after, before his death in 1985.

According to TV Guide, Blake enjoyed her personal time away from the Gunsmoke set. She would spend time buying art, reading, and watching television until she fell asleep. Nevertheless, she had no issues waking up early to go to the set to film the next episode of the hit show.