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Ken Curtis Net Worth $4 Million

What Was Ken Curtis’ Net Worth At The Time Of His Death?

Ken Curtis was an American actor and singer who had a net worth of $4 million. He is best known for his role as Festus on Gunsmoke. He was born on July 2, 1916, in Lamar, Colorado, as Curtis Wain Gates. He was the youngest of three boys.

His dad served as a sheriff for about 5 years.

I was 12 when Dad was elected,” Curtis said in an interview. He added: “Mother used to cook the meals for the prisoners.”

I guess it was [exciting] in the beginning,” Ken revealed in another interview. “It became an old hat after a while, but it was just a job for Dad because it was during the Depression years.

This was during the days of Bonnie and Clyde and Baby Boy Babyface Nelson [George Nelson, better known as Baby Face Nelson].”

In 1935, he graduated from Bent County High School.

Ken Curtis Net Worth

Ken Curtis, 1970 – @Getty

Curtis made his debut in show business in the 30’s as a singer. At some point, Curtis actually succeeded Frank Sinatra in the Tommy Dorsey band. Later, Ken was the lead singer of the Sons of the Pioneers — a Western singing group.

In 1945, he made his film debut in the comedy Rhythm Round-Up.

From 1961 to 1963, Ken played in 76 episodes of the television series — Ripcord.


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James Arness, Burt Reynolds, Milburn Stone, Amanda Blake, and Ken Curtis – @Getty

From 1964 to 1975, Ken played Festus Haggen in Gunsmoke, a Western drama series based on the radio program of the same name. The radio series first aired on CBS on April 26, 1952.

He had his first appearance as Festus in season 8.

He’s unpredictable,” he revealed about his character in Gunsmoke, Festus Haggen. “But he’s a man of his word – if he shakes hands on it.

After “Gunsmoke” left the air, Ken and Milburn Stone formed a song-and-dance act.

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Ken Curtis and Milburn Stone – @Getty

From 1983 to 1984, Curtis starred in 22 episodes of the TV series The Yellow Rose as Hoyt Coryell. The Yellow Rose was produced by Paul Freeman, and it was broadcast on NBC.

His last appearance on screen was in the western Conagher (1991).


In 1943, Ken married his first wife, Lorraine Page.

In 1952, Curtis married his second wife, Barbara Ford. She worked as a film editor and was involved in the production of Mask and Wagon Master.

Her father was John Ford, a film director who received six Academy Awards and directed more than 140 films. Curtis and Barbara divorced on July 23, 1964. Barbara passed away in the summer of 1985 in Granada Hills, California.

Less than two years after he divorced Barbara, Ken Curtis married Torrie Ahern Connelly. They were together until his death (1991). She passed away on November 2, 1997.


who played festus on gunsmoke

October 16, 1967 – @Getty

On April 28, 1991, Curtis passed away due to natural causes in Fresno, California. According to other reports, he passed away after a heart attack during sleep. 

He was found dead by his wife, Torrie when she awoke in the morning.

He was 74 years old. 


Ken Curtis was 5′ 11″ (1.80 m) tall.

Net Worth

So, how much was Ken Curtis worth? Curtis earned most of his wealth from performing in 66 movies and TV series, including – The Horse Soldiers, In the Heat of the Night, The Searchers, Gunsmoke, Ripcord, The Yellow Rose, and Once Upon a Texas Train. Therefore, at the time of his death, Ken Curtis had an estimated net worth of $4 million.

how much did festus make on gunsmoke

Ken (Festus) Curtis (left), Thayer Tutt of Broadmoor; The two were on hand for Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo opener – @Getty

His biggest project, without a doubt, is Gunsmoke, where Curtis starred as Festus in 306 episodes.

Curtis also made money from his singing career.

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The cast of Gunsmoke – Amanda Blake, Milburn Stone, Ken Curtis, Burt Reynolds, and James Arness – @Getty

He was part of the Tommy Dorsey band and the Sons of the Pioneers as well as he was involved in the production of the soundtrack of several movies and TV series — Song of the Prairie, Hannah Lee: An American Primitive, That Texas Jamboree, Lone Star Moonlight, Over the Santa Fe Trail, Riders of the Pony Express, and Gunsmoke.

There is no information available about Ken Curtis’ real estate, cars, or other high-value goods.


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