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Former big-band vocalist (he joined the Tommy Dorsey Band after Frank Sinatra left) and singing cowboy in low-budget westerns of the 1940s, Curtis is best known as the scuffy bewhiskered deputy sheriff Festus Haggen in the hit western TV series "Gunsmoke" (1964-75). He also appeared in several films by his then father-in-law John Ford including "Mister Roberts" (1955), "The Searchers" and "Wings of Eagles" (both 1956), "The Last Hurrah" (1958) and "The Horse Soldiers" (1959).
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