Dennis Weaver said he ''mourned'' the cancellation of Gunsmoke, though he left the series in 1964

"I don't think I'll ever completely leave Chester, you know," Weaver said.

CBS Television Distribution

It turns out that when Gunsmoke was finally canceled, the show's departure didn't just crush fans; it also hurt former cast members,

In an interview with The Dispatch, Weaver revealed that after all this time, he still had a soft spot for Gunsmoke, even after the series had been canceled.

"A lot of folks mourned its passing, and I'm one of them," he said. "I loved that show, and I will be grateful for the meal ticket it gave me while I developed as an actor."

Years after Weaver departed from the series, fans still approached him on the street and called him Chester, and he responded amiably. "I don't think I'll ever completely leave Chester, you know. Wherever I go, people won't let me forget it."

It's a notion that might bother some other actors, and perhaps it did bother Weaver earlier in his career. In an interview with the Courier-Journal, the actor remembered his experiences acting immediately after departing Gunsmoke.

"Several people said to me, 'You know I am surprised seeing you do something like this, a stage play, because you were so believable as Chester that I didn't think anybody could really only play it. I thought you had to be it.'"

But after the actor found success in his subsequent series like McCloud, he seemed more excited to acknowledge the successes of his past that helped pave the road to stardom.

"I doubt there will be another Gunsmoke. It was an institution," he said to The Dispatch.

Weaver also expressed his appreciation for Gunsmoke. "It made it possible for me to grow as an actor because I had no worry about where my next meal was coming from," Weaver said to The Courier-Journal

"I could relax and do the kind of work I knew. It is only when you are relaxed that the emotions can come out and you can really create. If you are tense, you just can't do it. It is a marvelous thing for a young actor to know that he is going to have at least a year with money coming in because it does allow him to relax," Weaver said.

Watch Gunsmoke on MeTV!

Monday - Saturday at 1 PM & 1:30 PM

*available in most MeTV markets
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?


Runeshaper 1 month ago
I'm sure many of the cast were very appreciative of what the show gave them and were saddened when it ended.
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?