By Steve Cichon
Excerpt from 100 Years of Buffalo Broadcasting
For 20 years, Sunday nights in many households across the country meant an episode of “Gunsmoke” before the late local news. For 19 of those years, a woman who attended Hamburg Junior High and Amherst Central was one of the stars of the show.
Long before Amanda Blake played Miss Kitty, the saloon-owning love interest of Marshall Matt Dillon from 1955-74, she grew up in Western New York.
Born at Millard Fillmore Hospital on Delaware Avenue, the young “Miss Kitty” began her elementary schooling at Kenmore’s Lindbergh Elementary, also living in Hamburg and Amherst until 1946, when her father’s job at Curtiss-Wright took the family to California.
A 1960 promotional trip was the actress’s first trip back to Western New York since moving out west—but it wasn’t her last. She stayed in regular contact with old friends and relatives, and visited several times—including to attend her 40th high school reunion– before her death in 1989.
Amanda Blake surrounded by her Gunsmoke co-stars, including a young Burt Reynolds, who played Deputy Quint Asper on the show for three seasons. Blake was on Gunsmoke for all but the final season of the show’s 20-year run.
Gene Barry starred as Bat Masterson for three years on NBC and Ch.2. On a promotional visit to Buffalo, he was interviewed by Helen Neville on WGR-TV and Dan Neaverth on WGR Radio.
This page is an excerpt from 100 Years of Buffalo Broadcasting by Steve Cichon
The full text of the book is now online.
The original 436-page book is available along with Steve’s other books online at The Buffalo Stories Bookstore and from fine booksellers around Western New York.
©2020, 2021 Buffalo Stories LLC, staffannouncer.com, and Steve Cichon