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‘Gunsmoke’ Actor Buck Taylor Had to Quit Gymnastics After a Stunt Work Injury

Buck Taylor wasn’t part of the original cast of Gunsmoke. But the actor has become a significant part of its legacy. The series – which began life as a radio drama – premiered on television in 1955, with James Arness as U.S. Marshal Matt Dillon. However, the road that led Taylor to Gunsmoke involves a path the actor very nearly walked down instead of success as a TV star.

Buck Taylor joined ‘Gunsmoke’ as Newly O’Brian in 1967

gunsmoke buck taylor
Promotional portrait of American actor Buck Taylor (as Newly O’Brien) from the television series ‘Gunsmoke,’ 1970. | CBS Photo Archive/Getty Images

For nearly Gunsmoke‘s entire run, the show principally starred Arness and Amanda Blake. But around 1967, Taylor joined as a character named Newly O’Brien. Following Burt Reynolds’ Quint Asper and Roger Ewing’s Thad Greenwood, Newly was the latest in a series of acting deputies who played an ongoing role on the show. But this time, the character stuck around.



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