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Ken Curtis Age, Height, Net Worth, Spouse, Cause of death, Movies and TV Shows, Twin Brother, Family



Ken Curtis

Curtis Wain Gates, popularly known as Ken Curtis, was an American singer. While alive, Curtis diversified his career.

Aside from music, he also delved into acting. The talented actor rose to fame for playing the role of Festus Haggen on the TV series Gunsmoke.

In addition to being a singer and an actor, Ken Curtis was also a film producer. But how rich is he? As of 2023, the American actor and singer has an estimated net worth of $5 Million.

Want to learn more about Ken Curtis? We covered his biography, family, cause of death, career, and more. So read on.

Ken Curtis Biography

Ken Curtis was born on July 2, 1916, in Lamar, Prowers County (southeastern Colorado), United States. He lived for 74 years before his demise on April 28, 1991.

At 10, his family moved to Las Animas, in Bent County, Colorado, United States, so his father could run for Bent County Sheriff. Living in Bent County, Ken Curtis attended Bent County High School.

While in high school, Curtis was very active in athletics. He was the quarterback of his high school football team.

Back in Bent County High School, Cutis was also very active in his school band and played clarinet for the school band. The Late American singer graduated from high school in 1935.

After high school, he got admission into Colorado College. He studied medicine while in college but did not finish up.

Curtis dropped out of college to pursue his music career. He also served in the United States Army during the second world war between 1943 and 1945.


Full Name Curtis Wain Gates
Nick Name: Ken Curtis
Birth Place: Lamar, Prowers County (southeastern Colorado), United States
Birthday: Jul 2, 1916 – Apr 28, 1991
Zodiac Sign: Cancer
Net Worth: $5 Million
Age: 74 (dead)
Currently live in: N/A
Debut: 1938
Nationality: American
Religion N/A
Ethnicity: N/A
High School: Bent County High School, Colorado, United States
College: Colorado College
Profession: Actor


Film producer

 Social Media Accounts: N/A

Ken Curtis’s Family, Girlfriend, And Relationships

The name of Ken Curtis’ father is Dan Sullivan Gates, while his mother’s name is Ellie (Sneed) Gates. Curtis’ father was a sheriff for Bent County, Colorado, United States.

His father served as Bent County Sheriff between 1926 and 1931, while his mother worked as a prison cook. Curtis was not the only child of his parents.

The late American singer also had two older siblings (who are boys as well). The names of his two brothers are Chester K Gates (born in 1912) and Carl Melvin Gates (born in 1909).

Regarding his love life and relationships, Ken Curtis dated and married quite some women. He first got married to Lorraine Page in 1943.

The two love birds met while working with Universal Studio as they both signed under Universal Studio. Unfortunately, Curtis and Page eventually divorced.

After his divorce from Page, Curtis moved on to Barbara Ford, the daughter of the famous American film director John Martin Feeney (professionally known as John Ford). Curtis and Barbara Ford tied the knot on May 31, 1952.

Their marriage lasted for 12 years before Barbara Ford filed for divorce. Ken Cutis and Barbara Ford separated on July 23, 1964, with allegations of Curtis being a wife-beater.

Two years after his divorce from Barbara Ford, Curtis tied the knot again in 1996, and this time, his last marriage before his demise. The union was with Torrie Ahern Connelly, former wife of Lex Connelly. Ken Curtis only had two stepchildren from his marriage.

Late Ken Curtis with Wife, Torrie Ahern Connelly

Late Ken Curtis with Wife, Torrie Ahern Connelly


Father Name: Dan Sullivan Gates
Mother Name: Nellie (Sneed) Gates
Brother Name: Chester K Gates (brother)

Carl  Melvin Gates (brother)

Sister Name: N/A
Girlfriend: N/A
Marital Status: Married
Wife Name: Lorraine Page (m. 1943, divorced)​

Barbara Ford ​(m. 1952; div. 1964)​

Torrie Ahern Connelly (m. 1966)

Children: 2


Ken Cutis died at his home in Fresno, Fresno County, California, USA, on April 28, 1991. The Late Talented singer died from a heart attack in his sleep.

Physical Appearance

Ken Curtis was good-looking while alive. He weighed 75 kg (165 lbs) and was 6 Feet (1.83 m) tall.

The late American singer and actor had brown eye color. His hair color, on the other hand, was black.


Weight: 75 kg (165 lbs)
Height: 6 ft (1.83 m)
Eye Color Brown
Hair Color Black


Ken Curtis kicked off his musical career in the 1940s. He joined his first band (Tommy Dorsey band) in 1941 as a vocalist replacing Frank Albert Sinatra until 1942 when Dick Haymes replaced Sinatra based on a contract.

Aside from singing, Curtis also took the job of a host. Most of his work in 1948 was being a featured singer and hosting WWVA Jamboree, the second oldest country music radio program in the United States.

While in music, Ken Curtis also delved into acting. He joined the film sector in the late 1940s and was able to combine the two careers.

He came into the limelight as an actor on the popular long-running TV show Gunsmoke, where he played the role of Festus Hagen. Aside from gun smoke, he starred in many other TV shows and films like Ripcord, The Yellow Rose, Out of the Depths, The Quiet Man, etc.

Ken Cutis and some of his fellow Gunsmoke cast

Ken Cutis and some of his fellow Gunsmoke cast

In addition to his singing and acting career, Cutis was also a film producer. One of his major works as a film producer includes the 1959 American independent science fiction film, The Killer Shrews, which he co-produced with Gordon McLendon.

Curtis also produced the 1959 American science fiction horror film, The Giant Gila Monster, Co-produced with B.R. McLendon.

Ken Curtis Net Worth Summary

With an estimated net worth of $5 Million, Curtis made a significant part of this wealth from his musical career as a singer. He made lots of money as a singer from live performances and album sales.

Aside from music, Curtis also made good money from TV shows and films. He starred in many Films and TV shows which fetched him good money, especially the popular TV show Gunsmoke.

James Arness, his fellow actor on the show, made about $30 Million (about $230 Million today) for his work on Gunsmoke. Arness received about $20,000 (about $150,000 today) for each episode he starred in.

Aside from acting, Ken Curtis also delved into film production. This also contributed to an increase in his net worth.


Ken Curtis was very hardworking while alive, and having an impressive net worth of about $5 Million is proof of this. He ensured he diversified his career to avoid having only a source of income.

He went from being a singer to going into TV as an actor and working behind the scenes as a film producer. Not only did he choose these career paths to earn, but he was also dedicated and passionate about his work. He left a legacy that will live on forever.

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