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Buck Taylor Went From the Navy to Stunt Work Before Landing ‘Gunsmoke’

Gunsmoke was on television for so long that it was likely one of those shows that felt like a rite of passage for rising stars. After all, with 20 seasons of television, there are plenty of opportunities for actors looking for a big break to snag a guest appearance on the popular Western TV show. Buck Taylor did a lot more than just that. The actor joined star James Arness for roughly half the iconic series’ run. Here’s the wild road that eventually led him to Gunsmoke.

Buck Taylor is best known for his work on TV’s ‘Gunsmoke’

Promotional portrait of the cast of the American television series ‘Gunsmoke,’ July 23, 1969. Foreground, American actors James Arness (Marshal Matt Dillon) and Amanda Blake (1929 – 1989) (as Kitty Russell); on staircase from left, Ken Curtis (1916 – 1991) (as U.S. Deputy Marshal Festus Haggen), Buck Taylor (Newly O’Brien), and Milburn Stone (1904 – 1980) (as Dr. Galen Adams). | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

Taylor joined Gunsmoke in 1967 as Newly O’Brien, acting deputy working alongside Arness’ U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon. At the time, a number of characters hoped to fill that role on a regular basis, including Burt Reynolds’ Quint Asper and Roger Ewing’s Thad Greenwood. But Taylor ended up becoming a long-term player, sticking around until the show’s cancellation in 1975.



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