Actress Amanda Blake

Celebrities, Celebrity Q&A, People
on October 17, 2004

Could you tell me what happened to Amanda Blake, who played Kitty Russell on Gunsmoke?

—Peggy E., North Carolina

Born Beverly Neill in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1929, Blake worked as a telephone operator before finding success in show business. Called “the Young Greer Garson,” she appeared in 15 films, including High Society and A Star is Born, before she became Marshall Dillon’s love interest on Gunsmoke, where she worked from 1955 until 1974. When the show ended, she returned to films, but she spent most of her time working for animal rights, forming the Arizona Animal Welfare League and hosting the first Annual “Sato” Mutt Show, an answer to purebred dog championships. Married three times, she died of AIDS-related throat cancer at 60 in 1989.