Amanda Blake

(Frank) And we’re back again. (Deb) We are. (Frank) I went to the hot chocolate, so I could have a sugar rush, so I could talk this morning. (Deb) I’m planning ahead. Got a couple of gals that I want to mention. We’re going to interview Beckey Burgoyne. And we met her out at Dodge City when they were having the Wild West Fest and Michael and I went out and did some wonderful interviews. So, you’re gonna love meeting Beckey. In the interim I want to remind you of our own Melissa Jarboe. Melissa is just the most amazing woman. She is the founder of the Military Veteran’s Project and a widow, as a result of our wars in the Middle East. And this is an incredible, incredible story. It’s very touching and very courageous and a really important story. So, I think that the proceeds from these books go to support the work of the Military Veteran’s Project. So, you can find that on their website and find them on Facebook and support all the good things they do to help the veterans. So check it out. It would make a great gift, very meaningful gift. And another great gift would be Beckey Burgoyne’s book about Amanda Blake, who of course was Miss Kitty for nearly 20 years on Gunsmoke. And just every boy I knew had a crush on Miss Kitty. And when we visited with Burt Reynolds, he said he had a crush on Miss Kitty. You know, Buck Taylor, they all had crushes on Miss Kitty. How could you not? Hey, she’s this gorgeous red head and she runs the saloon. How can you go wrong? (Frank) There were two Kansans in that cast too. (Deb) Who? Milburn Stone and who else? (Frank) Milburn Stone and her. (Deb) Oh! Hey, let’s take a look. (Deb) Welcome folks, we’re visiting with Beckey Burgoyne who is the biographer of Amanda Blake. Of course all you Gunsmoke fans know her as Miss Kitty. So Beckey it great to have you with us today. (Beckey) thank you. It’s wonderful to be here in Dodge City. (Deb) In Dodge City. Isn’t this great fro a Gunsmoke fan? Doe it get any better? So how did you become interested in, obviously there are a lot of fans who don’t go so far as to write the biography. (Beckey) I’ve loved her since I was about 11 or 12 and always followed Gunsmoke. And then when she suddenly passed away I woke up one morning and said, “Hmmmm, I need to write this story.” It just came out of the blue. I knew her manager and I called and said I’d like to write her story. She said don’t worry; a couple of people are going to do that. So I waited about 15, 20 years and no one ever did. And it came to me one time I should try to do it, so you always follow your heart, always follow that dream no matter how strange it is. So a schoolteacher from Covington, Indiana, in the middle of both coasts, the middle of the country, I had to fly to the east coast and west coast to gather all the information I needed on Amanda. It took three year’s of research and we made some wonderful friends on the way and it’s just been a dream come true. (Deb) So tell me what’s the most remarkable thing about Amanda Blake? (Beckey) the most remarkable thing about Amanda Blake is she was honest to herself. She was feisty. And what you saw was what you got. She never saw herself to be the star, even though she was. And she greeted everyone warmly. She has that wonderful spirit of the Gunsmoke family we find with those that are still alive, from the Gunsmoke family. (Deb) You know Miss Kitty was a businesswoman. She was unique for women on TV at the time. (Beckey) She was and I find that fascinating. I mean she was independent. You know Matt Dillon and her couldn’t get married because it would ruin the whole plot… (Deb) Dynamics. (Beckey) …the dynamics would be gone. And they couldn’t have Matt Dillon’s woman be just a woman for everybody. She had to become a businesswoman. Amanda liked that. She said Kitty was a lot stronger than her in reality. She really loved being that first businesswoman to look up to . A friend of Amanda’s once asked her, it was a couple of years before she passed away, OK, so just what was it that you liked so much about being n Gunsmoke for 20 years? Are you kidding honey? I was Queen of the Long Branch. And she was. She was their queen. (Deb) Wow, something we all aspire to. Thanks for joining us. (Beckey) Thank you and thanks for having me. (Deb) We love having you. Stay tuned