The characters on the TV series "Gunsmoke" included Marshall Matt Dillon, Dr. Galen Adams, Miss Kitty Russell, Chester Goode and Festus Haggen. Other characters were Quint Asper, Sam the bartender, Thad Greenwood, Newly O'Brien and Mr. Jones.
Others in the cast included Louie Pheeters, Barney, Howie, Ed O'Connor and Percy Crump. Hank was another character, as were Ma Smalley, Nathan Burke, Mr. Bodkin and Mr. Lathrop. Halligan and Miss Hannah rounded out the cast of major characters. Other actors such as Buddy Ebsen, Leonard Nimoy and Kurt Russell were cast for a few episodes.
The show was set in Dodge City, Kansas in the 1880s. Marshall Dillon was a heroic figure meant to stand for justice and truth, and the other characters revolved around him. These included Miss Kitty, who ran the Longbranch Saloon, Matt's loyal deputy Chester and the kindly Doc Adams.
"Gunsmoke" was one of the longest-running shows in the history of television. It premiered in 1955 and went off the air in 1975. It had its beginnings in radio, with William Conrad as the voice of Marshall Dillon. When the show went to television, it was decided that Conrad was not the physical type to play the marshall. John Wayne suggested his younger and taller friend James Arness, who eventually got the part.