Milburn Stone, born in Kansas on July 5, 1904, is best remembered for his 20-year performance as Dr. Galen “Doc” Adams on Gunsmoke. Appearing throughout the show’s entire run, he filmed approximately 500 episodes in all.
Perhaps encouraged by his uncle, well-known Broadway personality Fred Stone, Milburn left home as a teenager to act for a touring repertory company. He later appeared in vaudeville as a singer and dancer. Following a brief appearance on Broadway in Sinclair Lewis’ The Jayhawkers, he moved to Los Angeles. A series of film roles followed, though none amounted to much.
When Gunsmoke came along in 1955, he was grateful for the opportunity. It wasn’t until 1968 that he won an Emmy for the role. Milburn retired in 1975 at the end of Gunsmoke’s TV run. By that time, his “Doc” title was official, as he had been awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Mary of the Plains College inwhere else? Dodge City, Kansas.
He died of natural causes on June 12, 1980.