ActorsSingers

Ken Curtis Net Worth

Ken Curtis Net Worth is
$5 million

Ken Curtis Biography

Ken Wain Gates was born on 2 July 1916, in Lamar, Colorado USA, and was an actor and singer, probably best known for being a part of the long running western television series entitled “Gunsmoke” in which he played Festus Haggen. He was active in the industry from 1941 up to his death in 1991. All of his efforts helped put his net worth to where it is today.

How rich was Ken Curtis? As of late-2017, sources estimate a net worth that is at $5 million, mostly earned through a successful career in acting. He combined both his singing and acting career after finding his breakout in acting. These achievements ensured the position of his wealth before his passing.

Ken Curtis Net Worth $5 million

Ken attended Bent County High School, where played with the school’s football team as their quarterback. He also played the clarinet in the school band. After matriculating in 1935, he attended Colorado College aiming at a career in medicine, but left to instead pursue a career in music. From 1943, he served in the US Army for two years during World War II.

Early in his career, Curtis joined several bands, playing with the Tommy Dorsey Band and later Shep Fields and His New Music. In 1945, he signed a contract with Columbia Pictures to star in various musical Westerns, playing the romantic lead in most of his films. He was also the host of the radio program entitled “WWVA Jamboree”. His net worth increased as more opportunities started to open up for him. He joined the vocal group called “Sons of the Pioneers” as their lead singer from 1949 to 1952; one of their most popular songs was “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky”.

Ken then teamed up with director John Ford for various projects, which included “The Quiet Man”, “The Horse Soldiers”, “The Alamo” and Mister Roberts”. He was also a part of the three Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney produced films “The Searchers”, “The Missouri Traveler” and “The Young Land”. He also did production work, creating two low budget films, all adding to his net worth.

Aside from these, he made guest appearances in several Western television series including “Have Gun Will Travel”, plus a guest appearance in “Perry Mason”, and then “Gunsmoke” before eventually joining the show in the role of Festus. He became the longest serving deputy on the show, appearing for 11 years and a total of 304 episodes of the show. His net worth increased further, as he also participated in various Western-themed stage productions. After his run with the series, he lent his voice in the animated film ‘Robin Hood”, and appeared in the short-lived “The Yellow Rose”. In 1981, he was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. One of his last roles was the television production “Conagher”, in which he played an aging cattle rancher.

For his personal life, it is known that Ken married Lorraine Page in 1943 and the two met while he was under contract with Universal Studios. The marriage eventually ended and his second marriage was to Barbara Ford who is the daughter of director John Ford. They were married in 1952 and divorced in 1964. In 1966, he married Torrie Ahern Connelly and their marriage lasted until his death on 28 April 1991- he passed away in his sleep from a heart attack, at his home in Fresno, California. He had two children from his marriages.

Known for movies

Quick Facts

Full NameKen Curtis
Net Worth$5 million
Date Of BirthJuly 2, 1916
DiedApril 28, 1991, Fresno, California, United States
Place Of BirthLamar, Colorado, United States
Height1.83 m
ProfessionSinger, Actor
EducationColorado College
NationalityAmerican
SpouseTorrie Ahern Connelly (m. 1966–1991), Barbara Ford (m. 1952–1964), Lorraine Page (m. 1943)
ParentsNellie Sneed Gates, Dan Gates
SiblingsChester Curtis, Carl Curtis
IMDBhttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm0193411/
MoviesGunsmoke, The Searchers, The Alamo, Cheyenne Autumn, The Killer Shrews, Mister Roberts, The Giant Gila Monster, The Horse Soldiers, The Wings of Eagles, Conagher, Ripcord, Robin Hood, The Young Land, The Yellow Rose, Pony Express Rider, The Last Hurrah, Two Rode Together, Don Daredevil Rides Again, Once Upon a Texas Train, The Missouri Traveler, Escort West, Riders of the Pony Express, Call of the Forest, Throw a Saddle on a Star, Lost, Song of the Prairie, Lone Star Moonlight, Out of the Depths, That Texas Jamboree Freckles, God's Outlaw, Once Upon a Starry Night, My Dog, Buddy
TV ShowsThe Yellow Rose, Gunsmoke, Ripcord


Interesting Facts

#Fact
1Best friend of James Arness.
2Best remembered by the public for his role as Festus Haggen on Gunsmoke (1955).
3Not only was Ken Curtis in "Dodge City" in the tv series, Gunsmoke, from 1962-1975, he also was in "Dodge City" in the movie Cheyenne Autumn (1964).
4While appearing in John Ford westerns, Ken Curtis initially utilized his musical talents before turning to straight acting. In Rio Grande (1950), he was a guitar-playing lead-singing tenor with the 'Regimental Singers'. In The Quiet Man (1952), he played an accordion and sang tenor in the bar.
5Curtis Wain Gate's maternal great grandfather Sebron (Seaborn) Graham Sneed (1828-1872) was the senior second lieutenant of Company A, Harrelson's Battalion, Arkansas Cavalry (Confederate) during the War Between the States. Sebron's brothers Samuel and William R. were privates in the same unit.
6He met singer Jo Stafford while appearing with Johnny Mercer on a radio program. Mercer invited him to make a guest appearance and, in acknowledgment of Jo's latest recording, Ken sang "Tumbling Tumbleweeds". As a result of this appearance, Columbia Pictures signed him up for a series of musical westerns.
7His stage name was changed to the easier-sounding "Ken Curtis" when he temporarily replaced Frank Sinatra in Tommy Dorsey's band in 1941.
8Went in 1935 to a college in Colorado Springs to study medicine. While there his love for singing grew and he involved himself in various college musical events.
9Came from a musical family -- his father played the fiddle, his mother the pump organ, brother Chester the banjo, and another brother Carl sang.
10Appeared with the Sons of the Pioneers at Carnegie Hall.
11The Sons of the Pioneers, of which Curtis was once a member, were awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6843 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
12Refused an offer to appear as Festus Haggen in the movie Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge (1987), which reunited James Arness, Amanda Blake, Buck Taylor and Fran Ryan from the original series. Money was the issue. Producer John Mantley, interviewed for TV Guide when the movie aired, said Curtis had demanded double what Blake got; other sources say Mantley was at fault in offering Curtis an insultingly low salary (not specified in either account).
13On Gunsmoke (1955) as Festus Haggen, he always drew and fired a pistol with his right hand -- but whenever he had to use a rifle, he would bring it up to his left shoulder and pull the trigger with his left hand (sighting with his left eye and squinting with his right). Often, Festus would squint with the right eye partially closed as well. This was never explained unless the actor or character had lost vision in his right eye.
14Although his character, Festus Haggen, was introduced to Gunsmoke (1955) in an episode called "Us Haggens," in which he arrived in Dodge City to avenge the death of his twin brother, the fact that Festus had a twin was never again mentioned on the show.
15Early in his career, he sang with Shep Fields' Orchestra.
16Inducted (as a cast member of Gunsmoke (1955)) into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1981.
17Son-in-law of director John Ford.
18Before acting career, sang with Tommy Dorsey's band and the Sons of the Pioneers.
19Introduced the western standard "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" to movie audiences.
20Grew up in Las Animas, Colorado, where his father, Dan Gates, was sheriff. As was the custom at the time, they lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie (Sneed) Gates, cooked for the prisoners. He once said he patterned "Festus" after a local character known as Cedar Jack, who lived about 40 miles out in the cedar hills and made a living cutting cedar fence posts for farmers and ranchers. When he came to Las Animas, he usually ended up drunk and in jail. This gave Curtis plenty of opportunity to observe him.


Trademarks

#Trademark
1His beard.
2High-pitched voice.
3The role of Festus Haggen on Gunsmoke (1955).
4Hillbilly accent.


Quotes

#Quote
1I'm really proud of Gunsmoke (1955). We put on a good show every week, one that families could all watch together without offending anyone.


Pictures

Won Awards

Won awards

YearAwardCeremonyNominationMovieAward shared with
1967Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsFictional Television DramaGunsmoke (1955)Calvin Clements Sr. (writer)

Philip Leacock (producer)

John Mantley (producer)

Mark Rydell (director)

Albert Salmi (actor)

Amanda Blake (actor)

Milburn Stone (actor)

James Arness (actor)


Filmography

Actor

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Conagher1991TV MovieSeaborn Tay, Cattle Rancher
In the Heat of the Night1990TV SeriesTom McCauley
Once Upon a Texas Train1988TV MovieKelly Sutton
Airwolf1986TV SeriesCecil Carnes Sr.
The All American Cowboy1985TV Movie
The Yellow Rose1983-1984TV SeriesHoyt Coryell
Lost1983
Legend of the Wild1981
California Gold Rush1981TV MovieKentuck
How the West Was Won1979TV SeriesSheriff Orville Gant
Vega$1979TV SeriesDigger Dennison
Once Upon a Starry Night1978TV MovieUncle Ned
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams1978TV Series
Black Beauty1978TV Mini-SeriesHoward Jakes
Pony Express Rider1976Jed Richardson
Petrocelli1976TV SeriesHarry Underwood
Gunsmoke1959-1975TV SeriesFestus Festus Haggen Frank Eaton ...
Robin Hood1973Nutsy - A Vulture (voice)
Cheyenne Autumn1964Joe
Death Valley Days1964TV SeriesSkinner Graydon
Ripcord1961-1963TV SeriesJim Buckley / Ken Buckley
How the West Was Won1962Cpl. Ben (uncredited)
Have Gun - Will Travel1959-1962TV SeriesMonk / Lucky Laski / Tom Strickland / ...
The Aquanauts1961TV SeriesHead Waiter / Horton
Two Rode Together1961Greeley Clegg
Sea Hunt1961TV SeriesDean
The Case of the Dangerous Robin1961TV Series
Rawhide1961TV SeriesVic Slade
Wagon Train1960TV SeriesKyle Cleatus / Pappy Lightfoot
Perry Mason1960TV SeriesTim Durant
The Alamo1960Capt. Almeron Dickinson
Freckles1960Wessner
My Dog, Buddy1960Dr. Lusk
The Killer Shrews1959Jerry Farrell
The Horse Soldiers1959Cpl. Wilkie
Woman on the Run1959TV Movie
The Young Land1959Lee Hearn
Escort West1958Trooper Burch
The Last Hurrah1958Monsignor Killian
The Missouri Traveler1958Fred Mueller
The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp1957TV SeriesMajor Hendericks
Spring Reunion1957Al
The Wings of Eagles1957John Dale Price
5 Steps to Danger1956FBI Agent Jim Anderson (uncredited)
The Searchers1956Charlie McCorry
Mister Roberts1955Yeoman 3rd Class Dolan
The Long Gray Line1955Specialty (uncredited)
The Quiet Man1952Dermot Fahy (uncredited)
Fighting Coast Guard1951Ken - Member Sons of the Pioneers
Don Daredevil Rides Again1951Lee Hadley / Don Daredevil
Rio Grande1950Donnelly - Regimental Singer (uncredited)
Everybody's Dancin'1950Ken - Member Sons of the Pioneers (as Sons of the Pioneers)
Call of the Forest1949Bob Brand
Stallion Canyon1949Curt Benson
Riders of the Pony Express1949Tom Blake - posing as Tom Bledsoe
Over the Santa Fe Trail1947Curt Mason
Lone Star Moonlight1946Curt Norton
Singing on the Trail1946Curt Stanton
Cowboy Blues1946Curt Durant
That Texas Jamboree1946Curt Chambers
Throw a Saddle on a Star1946Curt Walker
Out of the Depths1945Buck Clayton
Song of the Prairie1945Dan Tyler
Rhythm Round-Up1945Jimmy Benson
Shep Fields and His New Music with Ken Curtis1941ShortKen Curtis - Band Singer
Santa Fe Trail1940Oficer singung at celebration (uncredited)

Soundtrack

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Ich möcht' so gern Dave Dudley hör'n1979TV Movie performer: "Tumbling Tumbleweeds"
The Searchers1956performer: "Skip to My Lou" - uncredited
The Quiet Man1952performer: "The Wild Colonial Boy" - uncredited
Call of the Forest1949performer: "Git Along Little Dogies"
Riders of the Pony Express1949performer: "Red River Valley", "Skip to My Lou", "Git Along Little Dogies", "Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair" - uncredited
Over the Santa Fe Trail1947performer: "Hi-Yo Texas", "Over the Santa Fe Trail" / writer: "Hi-Yo Texas"
Lone Star Moonlight1946performer: "It's Great To Be Back", "Lone Star Moonlight", "Home on the Range" / writer: "It's Great To Be Back", "Lone Star Moonlight"
Singing on the Trail1946performer: "Singing on the Trail" / writer: "Singing on the Trail", "Soft Breeze"
Cowboy Blues1946performer: "The First Thing I Do Every Morning" / writer: "Little Cowgirl", "A Lot of Elbow Room"
That Texas Jamboree1946writer: "Never Tangle with Old John Law", "Prairie Serenade" - uncredited
Throw a Saddle on a Star1946"The Strawberry Blonde on the Strawberry Roan" / performer: "The Strawberry Blonde on the Strawberry Roan", "I'll Take You Home Again, Kathleen" uncredited
Song of the Prairie1945performer: "Sing To Me Cowboy", "Idaho-Ho", "Silver on the Sage"
Rhythm Round-Up1945performer: "Tumbling Tumbleweeds", "Empty Saddles"

Producer

TitleYearStatusCharacter
My Dog, Buddy1960producer
The Giant Gila Monster1959producer
The Killer Shrews1959producer

Thanks

TitleYearStatusCharacter
John Wayne's 'The Alamo'1992Video documentary short dedicated to the memory of

Self

TitleYearStatusCharacter
When the West Was Fun: A Western Reunion1979TV Movie documentaryHimself
Ich möcht' so gern Dave Dudley hör'n1979TV MovieHimself
The World of Sport Fishing1972Documentary
This Is Your Life1972TV SeriesHimself
The Mike Douglas Show1972TV SeriesHimself - Actor
Spirit of the Alamo1960TV Movie documentary
Screen Snapshots: My Pal, Ringeye1947ShortHimself

Archive Footage

TitleYearStatusCharacter
Pop Culture Beast's Halloween Horror Picks2014TV Series documentaryJerry Farrell
Battleground2006TV Series documentaryCaptain Howard W. Gilmore
A Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies1995TV Movie documentaryCharlie McCorry, 'The Searchers' (uncredited)
Legends of the West1992DocumentaryActor in 'Cheyenne Autumn' (uncredited)
Fonda on Fonda1992TV Movie documentaryYeoman 3rd Class Dolan (uncredited)
John Wayne's 'The Alamo'1992Video documentary shortHimself
Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge1987TV MovieFestus Haggen (flashback sequence)
Hollywood: The Gift of Laughter1982TV Movie documentaryActor - 'Mr. Roberts' (uncredited)
Henry Fonda: The Man and His Movies1982TV Movie documentaryActor in 'Mr. Roberts' (uncredited)
AFI Life Achievement Award: A Tribute to Henry Fonda1978TV Special documentaryActor 'Mr. Roberts' (uncredited)
The American West of John Ford1971TV Movie documentaryactor 'Rio Grande' (uncredited)
The Secret of Wendel Samson1966ShortFestus Haggen
Source
IMDB Wikipedia
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