Amanda Blake Biography
Amanda Blake (February 20, 1929 – August 16, 1989) was an American actress best remembered for playing “Miss Kitty Russell,” a red-haired saloon proprietress on the western television series Gunsmoke. She managed one of the first successful cheetah breeding programs in captivity with her third husband, Frank Gilbert.
Amanda Blake Net Worth at Death
Amanda Blake had a net worth of $1.65 million at the time of her death. She was an American actress.
How much did Amanda Blake make per episode on Gunsmoke
Amanda Blake initially earned a modest $1,000 per episode for her role on Gunsmoke, but her compensation saw a notable climb, reaching an impressive $12,000 by the conclusion of the series.
Her portrayal of Miss Kitty Russell not only made a lasting impact on television history but also underscored the tremendous success of Gunsmoke through her escalating earnings.
Amanda Blake Husband and Children
In 1954, Blake married Don Whitman, whom he divorced in 1956. She would visit the saloon set’ of Gunsmoke after her divorce from Whitman. On days when she wasn’t needed, Blake felt like she was at home there.
In 1964, she married Jason Seymour Day Jr., whom she divorced in 1967. In 1967, Blake married Frank Gilbert, whom he divorced in 1982. In 1984, she married Mark Edward Spaeth. Spaeth passed away in 1985.
Amanda did not have any children.
Amanda Blake Siblings and Parents
Amanda Blake, real name Beverly Louise Neill, the only child of Jesse and Louise (née Puckett) Neill, was born in Buffalo, New York. Her father worked in the banking industry. She does not have any siblings.
Amanda Blake Age at Death
Amanda passed away on August 16, 1989 (aged 60), in Sacramento, California.
Amanda Blake Cause of Death
Blake was a chain smoker who underwent oral cancer surgery in 1977. She became a supporter of the American Cancer Society and made appearances across the country to raise money for the organization. She received the society’s annual Courage Award in 1984, which was given to her by then-US President Ronald Reagan.
Blake’s doctor later claimed that she died of AIDS, which was extensively reported in the popular media. Her close friends maintain that she was not a drug user or sexually promiscuous and that she may have contracted the disease from a previous marriage. Blake died on August 16, 1989, at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, CA, of liver failure caused by viral hepatitis.
Miss Kitty (Gunsmoke)
On the radio, Georgia Ellis played Kitty, while on TV, Amanda Blake played her. Ellis was originally featured as “Francie Richards,” a former girlfriend of Matt Dillon and the widow of a criminal, in the radio episode “Billy the Kid” (April 26, 1952), but the role of “Miss Kitty” did not appear until the May 10, 1952, episode “Jaliscoe.”
Ellis was billed as Georgia Hawkins instead of Georgia Ellis at some point in 1959. Amanda Blake starred in nearly 500 episodes of the television series, the last of which was “The Disciple,” which aired on April 1, 1974.
Kitty’s job was hinted at but never stated in the radio series; in a 1953 interview with Time, Macdonnell stated, “Kitty is just someone Matt has to visit every now and then.” According to the publication, she is “clearly not selling chocolate bars.” This is demonstrated in an outtake from the show.
The television show first featured Kitty as a saloon employee (dance hall girl/prostitute), then as half-owner of the Long Branch Saloon, beginning with season two, episode 36 (“Daddy-O”).
Amanda Blake Husband Mark Spaeth
Mark Spaeth was an American developer and city councilman in Austin, Texas. He was widely sought for being the then-husband of the late Amanda Blake, an American actress best known for the role of the red-haired saloon proprietress “Miss Kitty Russell” on the western television series Gunsmoke.
Mark Spaeth Age at death
Spaeth was 45 years of age when he died in 1985. He was born in 1940 in the United States.