Milburn Stone Once Won a Real-Life Medical Award for Playing Doc Adams on ‘Gunsmoke’

Milburn Stone Once Won a Real-Life Medical Award for Playing Doc Adams on ‘Gunsmoke’

James Arness Says This Is Why He Never Kissed Miss Kitty
James Arness Says This Is Why He Never Kissed Miss Kitty

Milburn Stone Once Won a Real-Life Medical Award for Playing Doc Adams on ‘Gunsmoke’

Long-running television shows have the ability to leave an impact on popular culture and beyond. Gunsmoke certainly did that through multiple approaches, including Doc Adams actor Milburn Stone through his charismatic performance. Audiences tuned in so often that the cast started to feel like a familiar asset to homes across the country. So much so that Stone once won an award from a medical society for his role as Doc on Gunsmoke for all of the good that his character did.

‘Gunsmoke’ actor Milburn Stone played Doc Adams for 20 seasons

'Gunsmoke' actor Milburn Stone in a black-and-white picture with a plain expression on his face wearing Western clothing

Gunsmoke network CBS brought Stone on in the first season along with James Arness, Amanda Blake, and Dennis Weaver. They became some of the most recognizable faces on television, consecutively placing at the top of the ratings. However, the show went through some changes over the years that pulled it further away from the original radio iteration.

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Along with Stone, Arness’ Matt Dillon was the only other cast fixture from season 1 to last through the entire show’s run. Gunsmoke aired for an impressive 20 seasons, allowing it to set several longevity records that it held for quite some time.

Kansas Medical Society awarded ‘Gunsmoke’ actor Milburn Stone with an award

Stone left quite the impression on a wide variety of folks thanks to his Gunsmoke performance as Doc. The Journal of the Kansas Medical Society once published that they awarded him with a prestigious award – 1959’s Outstanding Service Award. They celebrated the actor’s portrayal of the Doc along with some kind words.

“Because of the warmth, the integrity, and the humanity of his portrayal of a pioneer Kansas physician in the television program Gunsmoke,” the journal wrote. “And because as ‘Doc’ Adams, he performs a notable service to the medical profession in bringing to the people of this nation a better understanding of the doctor.”

  MILBURN STONE - PHOTOGRAPH - SIGNED - GUNSMOKE - DOC ADAMS - PIPE

The Kansas Medical Society honored the Gunsmoke actor with the award in front of more than 370 members and guests. He showed up donning the role of Doc for all to see, but he didn’t turn up alone. Blake also attended the event to show her support for her co-star, although they were also sure to put on a show.

The members and their guests had the opportunity to enjoy a 30-minute show with Stone and Blake playing Doc and Miss Kitty Russell from Gunsmoke. Finally, the actors spent over an hour signing autographs for all those who wanted them.

The Western show left an impact on society

Stone and his Gunsmoke co-stars left quite a legacy after the show’s demise. CBS abruptly canceled the Western television show after it showed signs slipping in the ratings in 1975, but the cast and crew didn’t even realize it was happening until it was printed in the papers.

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Gunsmoke had the opportunity to return to television screens in 1987 with the first of five made-for-TV movies. They were subtitled Return to Dodge, To the Last Man, The Long Ride, and One Man’s Justice.

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