Known for movies

Short Info

DiedAugust 16, 1989, Sacramento, California, United States
SpouseMark Spaeth, Frank Gilbert, Jason Day, Don Whitman
FactAfter enduring oral cancer surgery in 1984, the American Cancer Society awarded her with its Courage Award which was presented to her in Washington, DC by President Reagan. In 1985, Blake received the American Cancer Society's Sword of Hope award.

Amanda Blake was born on February 20, 1929, in Buffalo, New York, the only child of middle-class parents. Her father, George, was an insurance salesman, and her mother, Mildred, was a homemaker. Blake began her acting career as a child, appearing in school plays and community theater. She later studied acting at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

Blake’s first professional acting job was in a 1949 episode of the television series “The Lone Ranger.” She went on to appear in a number of other television shows, including “Gunsmoke,” for which she is best known. She played the character of Miss Kitty Russell on the show for 19 years.

In addition to her work on television, Blake also appeared in several movies, including “The Three Musketeers” (1973) and “The Shootist” (1976).

Blake was married three times. Her first husband was actor Frank Gilbert, with whom she had one child. Her second husband was businessman Merrill Panitti, and her third husband was actor Jason Robards, with whom she had two children.

Blake retired from acting in 1991 and died of cancer in 1989.

General Info

Full NameAmanda Blake
DiedAugust 16, 1989, Sacramento, California, United States
Height1.67 m


SpouseMark Spaeth, Frank Gilbert, Jason Day, Don Whitman
ParentsLouise Neill, Jesse Neill


NominationsGolden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Drama, Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Miniseries, or Motion Picture Made for Television, Primetime Emmy Award for Ou...
MoviesGunsmoke: Return to Dodge, A Star Is Born, Lili, The Glass Slipper, The Boost, The Adventures of Hajji Baba, Sabre Jet, Miss Robin Crusoe, Cattle Town, Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard, Betrayal, Merchants of Death
TV ShowsThe Edge of Night, Gunsmoke

Social profile links


1Amanda raised cheetahs on a ranch she owned with her 4th husband, producer Frank Gilbert. They send the cheetahs to zoos. Amanda credits former Secretary of the Interior James Watt for spurring her interest in wildlife and conservationism.
2Her second husband, Jason Day, was an Arizona cattleman.
3Smoked 2-3 packs of cigarettes a day until being diagnosed with oral cancer in 1980.
4In 1961 she sold her residual rights to Gunsmoke (1955) for $100,000.
5After enduring oral cancer surgery in 1984, the American Cancer Society awarded her with its Courage Award which was presented to her in Washington, DC by President Reagan. In 1985, Blake received the American Cancer Society's Sword of Hope award.
6Her death certificate listed the immediate cause of death as cardiopulmonary arrest due to liver failure and cytomegalo virus (CMV) hepatitis. CMV hepatitis is AIDS-related, according to Sacramento (CA) internist Dr. Lou Nishimura. She was believed to have contracted the AIDS virus from her last husband, Mark Spaeth, a member of the city council of Austin, Texas. The openly bisexual Spaeth (1939-1985) also died of complications of the disease.
7Inducted into the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1968.
8Before making it in show business, she worked as a telephone operator.
9In 1971 she joined with others in Phoenix, Arizona, to form the Arizona Animal Welfare League. The AAWL is now the oldest and largest "no-kill" animal shelter in Arizona. In 1976 she hosted the 1st Annual "Sato" Mutt Show in response to all the purebred dog shows.




Dragnet1989TV SeriesMrs. Sylvia Wilson
The Boost1988Barbara
Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge1987TV MovieKitty
Brothers1986TV SeriesCarlotta
The Wildest West Show of the Stars1986TV MovieAward Presenter
Hart to Hart1983TV SeriesBig Sam
The Love Boat1979TV SeriesNora Knox
The Quest1976TV SeriesMiss Sally
Betrayal1974TV MovieHelen Mercer
Gunsmoke1955-1974TV SeriesKitty Kitty Russell
The Edge of Night1956-1971TV SeriesDr. Julianna Stanhower
Clown Alley1966TV MoviePickpocket Clown
The Red Skelton Hour1955-1963TV SeriesRuby / the Widder Jenkins / Nurse / ...
General Electric Theater1953-1959TV SeriesRita
Steve Canyon1959TV SeriesMolly McIntyre
Studio One in Hollywood1958TV SeriesJoan Roberts
State Trooper1957TV SeriesBetty Lavon
Alfred Hitchcock Presents1956TV SeriesCarol Arlington
High Society1955Clarissa Jones
The Glass Slipper1955Birdena
Miss Robin Crusoe1954Miss Robin Crusoe
Four Star Playhouse1954TV SeriesSusan
The Adventures of Hajji Baba1954Banah
A Star Is Born1954Susan Ettinger
About Mrs. Leslie1954Gilly
Fireside Theatre1953-1954TV SeriesLouise Connor / Kathy
Cavalcade of America1953TV SeriesNancy Hart
Sabre Jet1953Helen Daniel
Lux Video Theatre1953TV Series
Lili1953Peach Lips
Cattle Town1952Marian Hastings
Schlitz Playhouse1952TV Series
Scarlet Angel1952Susan Bradley
The Family Secret1951Telephone Girl (uncredited)
Sunny Side of the Street1951Susie Manning
Criminal Lawyer1951Receptionist (uncredited)
Never Trust a Gambler1951The Redhead at Police Station (uncredited)
China Corsair1951Jane Richards (uncredited)
Smuggler's Gold1951Susan Hodges
Counterspy Meets Scotland Yard1950Karen Michelle
Duchess of Idaho1950Linda Kinston
Stars in My Crown1950Faith Radmore Samuels


Gunsmoke: The Last Apache1990TV Movie dedicatee - as Miss Amanda Blake


Television: The First Fifty Years1999Video documentaryHerself - Interviewee / Kitty Russel
The New Hollywood Squares1987TV SeriesHerself
Star's Table1986TV SeriesHerself
Hour Magazine1986TV SeriesHerself
Family Feud1984TV SeriesHerself
Breakaway1983TV SeriesHerself
The Best Little Special in Texas1982TV Movie documentaryHerself
The John Davidson Show1981TV SeriesHerself
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: George Burns1978TV SpecialHerself
The Alan Hamel Show1977TV SeriesHerself
Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Dennis Weaver1976TV SpecialHerself
The Dean Martin Celebrity Roast: Michael Landon1975TV SpecialHerself
Tattletales1974-1975TV SeriesHerself
Celebrity Sweepstakes1974-1975TV SeriesHerself
Dinah!1974TV SeriesHerself
Match Game 731974TV SeriesHerself - Panelist
The Mike Douglas Show1972-1974TV SeriesHerself - Co-Host / Herself - Guest
The Merv Griffin Show1974TV SeriesHerself
The Hollywood Squares1969-1974TV SeriesHerself - Panelist
The David Frost Show1972TV SeriesHerself - Guest
This Is Your Life1972TV SeriesHerself
Jerry Visits1972TV SeriesHerself
Hee Haw1971TV SeriesHerself - Guest / Herself - Miss Kitty
Password All-Stars1971TV SeriesHerself - Celebrity Contestant
The Pet Set1971TV Series documentaryHerself
The Donald O'Connor Show1969TV SeriesHerself
Hollywood Talent Scouts1966TV SeriesHerself
Clown Alley1966TV SeriesHerself
The Linkletter Show1964TV SeriesHerself
Stump the Stars1963TV SeriesHerself - Guest Panelist
Here's Hollywood1960TV SeriesHerself
A Star Is Born World Premiere1954TV ShortHerself - Host Assistant

Archive Footage

Pioneers of Television2011TV Mini-Series documentaryKitty Russell from Gunsmoke
Red Skelton: Bloopers, Blunders and Ad-Libs1994VideoRuby
Red Skelton: A Comedy Scrapbook1981Video documentaryRuby
The Dick Cavett Show1971TV SeriesHerself


Won Awards

1985Golden BootGolden Boot Awards
1972Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsFictional Television DramaGunsmoke (1955)
1967Bronze WranglerWestern Heritage AwardsFictional Television DramaGunsmoke (1955)

Nominated Awards

1972Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest Supporting Actress - TelevisionGunsmoke (1955)
1971Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest TV Actress - DramaGunsmoke (1955)
1970Golden GlobeGolden Globes, USABest TV Actress - DramaGunsmoke (1955)
1959Primetime EmmyPrimetime Emmy AwardsBest Supporting Actress (Continuing Character) in a Dramatic SeriesGunsmoke (1955)

Source: IMDb, Wikipedia

Write A Comment

Pin It