Milburn Stone, born in Kansas on July 5, 1904, is best remembered for his 20-year performance as Dr. Galen "Doc" Adams on Gunsmoke. Appearing throughout the show's entire run, he filmed approximately 500 episodes in all.
Perhaps encouraged by his uncle, well-known Broadway personality Fred Stone, Milburn left home as a teenager to act for a touring repertory company. He later appeared in vaudeville as a singer and dancer. Following a brief appearance on Broadway in Sinclair Lewis' The Jayhawkers, he moved to Los Angeles. A series of film roles followed, though none amounted to much.
When Gunsmoke came along in 1955, he was grateful for the opportunity. It wasn't until 1968 that he won an Emmy for the role. Milburn retired in 1975 at the end of Gunsmoke's TV run. By that time, his "Doc" title was official, as he had been awarded an honorary doctorate from St. Mary of the Plains College inwhere else?Dodge City, Kansas. He died of natural causes on June 12, 1980.
If it weren't for gunfights, Doc would be out of business. Bullet wounds are his bread and butter. He is the intellectual of Dodge City and one of Matt Dillon's closest friends. He is admired by the people of Dodge for his skill as a physician, but Doc is only as capable as 1870s medical science will allow. When asked for a prognosis, Doc invariably replies, "We'll have to wait and see."
Doc is a bachelor who lives in his office in downtown Dodge. When he's not practicing medicine, he's either visiting Matt at the jailhouse or talking with Kitty at the Long Branch Saloon. He and Festus represent opposite ends of the intellectual spectrum and consequently do not get along. He has a peculiar mannerism whereby he grabs his ear, then quickly grabs his nose. He does this about 12 times per episode.