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Why Did Milburn Stone Leave Gunsmoke?

Fans of Milburn Stone’s portrayal of Doc Adams on the long-running western series Gunsmoke (which aired from 1955 to 1975) are likely to recall fond memories (and Howard McNear on the radio). Here you will read about why did Milburn Stone leave Gunsmoke?

Milburn appeared in 605 episodes of the original series but missed a few episodes over the show’s 20-year run. Although, Doc’s departure from Gunsmoke in the 1970s has been the subject of speculation. Keep reading to find out what we have found out.

Why Did Milburn Stone Leave Gunsmoke?

Despite the common belief that performers quit shows due to backstage drama, Doc Adams did not depart Gunsmoke voluntarily. According to IMDb, he was in an astounding 605 out of 635 episodes throughout the whole 20-year run of the series from 1955-1975.

Though he returned to the show in 1973, he missed a few episodes in 1971 when a heart attack necessitated surgery. For the time being, actor Pat Hingle stepped in to play Dr. Chapman instead of Milburn.

However, after Milburn recovered from his health scare, he returned to the program for the last four years, and Hingle was let go. James Arness, who played protagonist Matt Dillon, was the only regular cast member to appear in every show’s 200 episodes during its 20 seasons.

Milburn Stone’s Previous Roles On-Screen and Film?


In addition to his role in Gunsmoke, for which he became famous and for which he won an Emmy in 1968 for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama, Milburn appeared in some other films and television shows throughout the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s.

Sky Patrol, Stunt Pilot, The Three Mesquiteers, A Doctor’s Diary, Atlantic Flight, Climax!, Drango, TV Reader’s Digest, The Man Behind the Badge, Fireside Theatre, Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok, and countless others are just a few of the shows in which he has appeared.

Is Milburn Stone Alive?

Milburn couldn’t be reached for comment because he died 40 years ago. His heart attack in 1980 at age 75 resulted from the bypass surgery he underwent in 1971 (when he had to leave Gunsmoke for a while). Five years after Gunsmoke finished, he passed away.

Is A New Season Of “Gunsmoke” Currently In the Works?

Even though we live in a time when many classic television shows are being brought back from the dead, there has been no Gunsmoke revival yet, and there has been no public discussion of one. The film was released in 1987, but Milburn had already passed away. Thus, he did not appear in it.

We can only hope that, should the show ever return to television, they’ll cast someone with as much charisma and charm as Milburn Stone did in the role of Doc Adams.

Keep following for more updates.

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Marina Daniel
Marina Daniel
I'm Marina Daniel and I'm a research junkie. Marketing and promotion are my favorite roles in the team because I love to see them come to life. As an SEO editor, my role is to strategize and plan content that will help our website's rankings in Google search results.I have a special knack for finding factual information about topics quickly, which is why I love what I do. If you're ever interested in how SEOs work or need any input on your own SEO strategy, feel free to email me.

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