Blake finally had enough of waiting around and stormed off the Gunsmoke set, which was a big shock to the crew however, James Arness had the power to turn everything around
Gunsmoke actor Amanda Blake was a staple in the Western television show as Kitty Russell. She was aware of her star power on the show and developed habits that she felt were earned. Nevertheless, Blake finally had enough of waiting around and stormed off the Gunsmoke set, which was a big shock to the crew. However, James Arness had the power to turn everything around.
Amanda Blake required complicated makeup in ‘Gunsmoke’ to become Kitty Russell
According to a 1964 TV Mirror interview, Blake talked about the long preparation to play Kitty on Gunsmoke. She explained how the process of physically transforming into the character while in the makeup chair took quite some time. The interviewer called the application “complicated … by the flock of pesky freckles which go with a redhead’s fair skin.
Blake was known for her lack of punctuality, but producer Norman Macdonnell said “that’s the perorogative of a girl whose been on the show nine years.” The production adjusted to the fact that she was typically late for set, so things went a little differently on a day where she did show up on time.
Blake recalled the particular day on the Gunsmoke set that started like any other day. She sat in the makeup chair to undergo all of the behind-the-scenes magic to officially step into the role of Kitty. However, Blake wasn’t getting any time in front of the camera. TV Mirror pointed to the fact that she wasn’t used for a single shot by the time the clock hit noon. Once it was 5 p.m., she refused to wait any longer.
“All day, I had sat there in heavy makeup and costume – and neither are exactly comfortable–and there it was, 5 in the afternoon, and I hadn’t spoken as much as a line of dialogue–or been in as much as one scene!,” Blake said. “And to top it all off, there really wasn’t any reason or me to be in the scene they called me in to do that day. Finally, I got up and announced, to no one in particular, that I was leaving–and goodnight!”