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 (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.