81 (passed away Feb. 24th, 2006)
Jun. 4th, 1924
Joplin, Missouri, USA
Dennis Weaver's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles2004 - Home on the Range
1971 - What's the Matter with Helen?
1966 - Duel at Diablo
1958 - Touch of Evil
1954 - Dragnet
1954 - The Bridges at Toko-Ri
Guest TV Roles
Sergeant Jay Allen
the Sundown Kid
Sgt. Ted Bentley
William Dennis Weaver was an American actor, best known for his work in television, including his role as Matt Dillon's trusty helper Chester Goode on the long-running western series Gunsmoke.
- Gave his character Chester on _"Gunsmoke" (1955)_ (qv) a bad leg and a limp out of fear that he would not be noticed when playing scenes with the 'James Arness' (qv), who stood 6'6" tall, unless his character had an unusual trait that would call attention to him.
- Placed 6th in the 1948 Olympic Trials in the Decathlon. 'Bob Mathias' (qv) placed first; Weaver won the final event, the 1500 meter run.
- Almost didn't get the part of "Chester Goode" on _"Gunsmoke" (1955)_ (qv) until he asked for a second chance to read the lines in a humorous, countrified accent and won the role.
- He was a struggling actor in Hollywood in 1955, earning $60 a week delivering flowers when he was offered $300 a week for a role in a new CBS television series, _"Gunsmoke" (1955)_ (qv). After nine years as Chester, who he played with a stiff-legged gait, he was earning $9,000 a week.
- Was a committed environmentalist; Weaver's home near Santa Fe, NM, is constructed almost entirely out of recycled materials.
- Died on the same day and at the same age as 'Don Knotts' (qv).
- 'Shelley Winters' (qv) gave him one of his first real breaks by helping him get a part in a stage production of "Come Back, Little Sheba."