William Conrad

Parley Baer

Georgia Ellis

Howard McNear

The radio version aired from 1952 to 1961. It ran on TV from 1955 to 1975. Two audition radio shows were made in 1949. The hero's name was Mark Dillon and the first starred Rye Billsbury, the second starred Howard Culver. CBS liked the second but the series didn't air until three years later.

The radio version starred William Conrad as Marshall Matt Dillon, Howard McNear as "Doc" Charles Adams, Georgia Ellis as Kitty Russell, and Parley Baer as Chester Proudfoot. The TV producers changed Chester's last name to Goode.

Gunsmoke was considered to be the first radio adult western show. Its scripts often dealt with adult situations and the shows didn't always wind up with a happy ending.

In the radio version of Gunsmoke, the characters Matt Dillon and Kitty Russell were much tougher and more of what you would expect of people in thier time period and situations. In the TV version, Matt Dillon was a laid back person, not what you would expect of a U.S. marshal and Kitty was more lady like than you would expect of a woman that ran a bar in one on the toughest towns in the west.

The Radio Cast of Gunsmoke
Left to right: Howard McNear, William Conrad, Georgia Ellis, and Parley Baer

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