Ken Curtis (né Curtis Gates: July 2, 1916 – April 28, 1991) Born in Lamar, CO. Abandoned a singing career to enlist in the US Army during WW II serving from 1942-45 in the Pacific Theater. Singer and actor best known for his role as Festus in the television series Gunsmoke.
Ken Curtis is best remembered as "Festus Haggen" on Gunsmoke, but many don't realize that he had a beautiful singing voice and was a member of the Sons of the Pioneers for a time. He also appeared on "Gunsmoke" as other characters (usually bad guys) BEFORE Festus came along.
Ken Curtis (1916 – 1991) was an American born Country and Western singer and B-Western actor. He was best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the long-running Gunsmoke television series (1955 - 1975). Before becoming an actor Curtis performed with the popular Sons of the Pioneers from 1949 to 1953 as well as singing with the Tommy Dorsey band.