The ‘Gunsmoke’ Actor With the Highest Net Worth Quit the Show Early

Gunsmoke remains one of the most popular television shows of all time. The cast was undeniably infectious, as longtime viewers heavily identified with at least one character they called their favorite. One would imagine that the cast made quite the fortune starring on such a wildly successful television show, especially those who starred on it for its entire 20-season run. The Gunsmoke star with the highest net worth actually didn’t stick around for so long.

‘Gunsmoke’ is one of the biggest television shows of all time

'Gunsmoke' net worth Milburn Stone as Doc Adams, Ken Curtis as Festus Haggen, Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty Russell, Burt Reynolds as Quint Asper, and James Arness as Matt Dillon in a publicity photo surrounding Blake, who is sitting down.
L-R: Milburn Stone as Doc Adams, Ken Curtis as Festus Haggen, Amanda Blake as Miss Kitty Russell, Burt Reynolds as Quint Asper, and James Arness as Matt Dillon | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Gunsmoke started as a popular radio show before it transformed into its television adaptation. Original fans were initially upset that they didn’t port the voice actors over for the show, but they ultimately warmed up to the cast that came along. They were highly compatible and determined to present the best show possible.

The adult Western television show ranked at the top of the ratings charts for four years running between 1957 and 1961. Gunsmoke wasn’t ever able to recover to quite the same spot, but it was still a favorite show of many audiences across the country. It even initially survived CBS trying to cancel the show, but then it later succumbed to exactly that in 1975 after its 20th season. However, the cast and crew were blindsided, without any advanced knowledge that there wouldn’t be another season.

The ‘Gunsmoke’ actor with the highest net worth was Dennis Weaver

The main recurring cast on the Western television show included James Arness, Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Dennis Weaver, Burt Reynolds, Ken Curtis, and Buck Taylor. However, they all had varying times that they lasted on the show. Additionally, only Arness, Blake, Stone, and Weaver were included in the original cast starting with season 1.

It turned out that Weaver had the highest net worth at the time of his death in 2006 out of the Gunsmoke cast. According to his Celebrity Net Worth, he was valued at $16 million, even though he left the show for good to explore his creativity with other roles away from Chester Goode after season 9.

The second-highest Gunsmoke net worth was the leading man of the show – Arness, who played Matt Dillon for all 20 seasons. Arness’ Celebrity Net Worth claimed that he had a net worth of $8 million at the time of his death in 2011. He even returned to the show for five made-for-TV movies that pushed the show’s legacy further.

The next slot is actually a tie between Curtis, who played Festus Haggen, and Taylor, who played Newly O’Brian. Curtis’ Celebrity Net Worth and Taylor’s Celebrity Net Worth both wrote that their net worths were $5 million at the time of Curtis’ death in 1991 and Taylor’s current analytics.

Reynolds’ Celebrity Net Worth confirmed that he was at $3 million at the time of his death in 2018. He played Quint Asper on Gunsmoke between seasons 8 and 10. The next Gunsmoke net worth amounts below appear to take a dip, but there’s a conversion to account for.

According to Famous People Today, Doc Adams actor Stone had a net worth of only $600,000 at the time of his death in 1980. That comes to a total of $2.1 million in modern-day’s currency. Other than Arness, he was the only actor to stick around for all 20 seasons. Meanwhile, Blake’s Celebrity Net Worth confirmed that her net worth was only $500,000 when she died in 1989. That comes to roughly $1.2 million in a modern-day sum. Blake remained on Gunsmoke for the first 19 seasons and then returned for the first made-for-TV movie.

They kept varying degrees of contact with one another

Related

Milburn Stone Admitted the First Thing He Bought With His ‘Gunsmoke’ Money

Regardless of net worth, the Gunsmoke stars didn’t have the sense of ego that plagued many television show sets. Rather, they remained a close-knit family that lasted over the years. They grew incredibly close over time to the point where a producer wanted to do a Gunsmoke retrospective. Unfortunately, scheduling issues resulted in it never happening.

The original cast members still occasionally kept in touch over the years. Arness was typically the shyest, keeping his private life away from any sort of publicity for the show. However, that didn’t necessarily mean that the cast members didn’t still occasionally visit with one another.