Burt Reynolds Quit ‘Gunsmoke’ Because Of Milburn Stone


Actor Burt Reynolds once starred in the Western television show called Gunsmoke. He loved the time that he spent on the show that originally came from the radio iteration. However, Reynolds was eternally grateful to co-star Milburn Stone for talking him into quitting the show altogether. If it weren’t for that advice, he wouldn’t have reached the heights he achieved.

Burt Reynolds starred in ‘Gunsmoke’ for 3 seasons

Reynolds first played Quint Asper in Gunsmoke Season 8 in the episode titled “Quint Asper Comes Home.” He’s half-white and half-Comanche, but he originally joined his mother in killing white people. Quint crosses paths with Matt Dillon, who sees the good in his soul.

Therefore, the marshal decides to strike a friendship with him, who integrates him into the community. However, Quint ultimately left without saying a word. The actor only stayed on the show for three seasons between the years 1962 and 1965, which brought his episode total to 50. However, Reynolds had some good reasons for leaving Gunsmoke.

Milburn Stone convinced Burt Reynolds to quit ‘Gunsmoke’

According to an interview with Cowboys & Indians, Reynolds talked about what it was like playing Quint on Gunsmoke. The interviewer asked him about the fondest memory that he had while making the show. In response, the actor joked around before seriously answering the question.

“The day I left the show,” Reynolds said with a laugh. “No, seriously, I enjoyed being on Gunsmoke. But if it hadn’t been for Milburn Stone [who played Doc Adams on the show], this interview might not even be taking place.”


The interviewer understandably asked the actor to elaborate on that point. It turned out that Stone had some valuable advice to give his co-star that would later prove to be a major turning point in his career.

“Well, when I came back after doing a movie [during the summer hiatus], Milburn said, ‘Your movies are taking off — get out of here,’” Reynolds recalled. “I said, ‘Don’t you like me?’ He said, total gentleman that he was, ‘I love your work. But it’s time to think about your movie career.’ I knew he was the smartest guy on the set — I always thought that. He was so wonderful. So I quit.”

He became a successful movie star

After Gunsmoke, Reynolds had a booming movie career, with Deliverance acting as his breakout role. He found further success with White Lightning, The Longest Yard, and Smokey and the Bandit. This decision to pursue the silver screen even led him to an Oscar nomination for 1997’s Boogie Nights.

Reynolds became one of the biggest box office stars between the years of 1978 and 1982. However, that didn’t mean that he was done with television for good. The actor made a return to the small screen for Evening Shade, which earned him a Golden Globe Award and a Primetime Emmy Award for his outstanding performance in the sitcom.