The main cast of "Gunsmoke" included James Arness, Milburn Stone and Amanda Blake. The show also featured a large cast of guest stars, due to its run spanning over 20 years.
James Arness played Matt Dillon, Marshall of Dodge City, over the course of 635 episodes of "Gunsmoke" from 1955 to 1975. Milburn Stone played the character of Doc for 603 episodes, and Amanda Blake played Kitty for 568 episodes. Other main cast members included Ken Curtis and Dennis Weaver, who played Festus and Chester. Curtis appeared in 304 episodes from 1959 to 1975, and Weaver appeared in 290 episodes from 1955 to 1964.
Due to the show's episodic nature, many guest stars appeared on the show over the course of its run. Some of these actors went on to successful careers after appearing on "Gunsmoke," such as Beau Bridges, Charles Bronson, Jon Voight and Gary Busey. Actors Leonard Nimoy, Leslie Nielsen, Nick Nolte and Carol O'Connor also achieved fame after their appearances on the show. Some actresses would achieve fame after appearing on "Gunsmoke" as well, such as Suzanne Pleshette, Angie Dickinson and Katherine Ross. The show also featured established stars making guest appearances, such as Bette Davis and John Drew Barrymore.