‘Gunsmoke’: What Did Roger Ewing Do After the Show Was Canceled?

Some of you may remember when Roger Ewing played Matt Dillon’s right-hand-man on Gunsmoke. And when he exited the show, he seemed to disappear. So what happened to the young classic TV actor? We did some digging and found out.

Ewing’s Deputy Marshal Clayton Thaddeus Greenwood—or Thad for short—joined the cast in 1965. The deputy took over as Dillon’s trusty sidekick after Chester Goode’s Dennis Miller decided to try new opportunities.

Gunsmoke was the 23-year-old’s big break. Before Roger Ewing began defending Dodge City, he had only played a handful of guest roles on the small screen. And once he settled into his new job, he enjoyed 52 episodes alongside one of TV’s biggest Westen stars, James Arness.

In 1967, the show was temporarily canceled. But luckily, CBS chairman of the board William S. Paley lobbied to bring Gunsmoke back to the screen, and he was successful. The series ended up running until 1975. But when the network renewed the show, Thad Greenwood didn’t return with it.

After ‘Gunsmoke,’ Roger Ewing Tried His Luck on ‘The Dating Game’

Once the young actor left Dodge City, he didn’t spend many more years in the industry. In fact, he only appeared in five more productions. In 1967, Ewing starred as a well-to-do suiter named Carter Case during one episode of Mother-in-Law.

Two years later, Ewing worked on a Walt Disney movie called Smith! about a young Native American boy who has to hideout after someone accuses him of murder.

Then in 1970, the actor returned to the Western scene for the long-running show Death Valley Days. In an episode titled Pioneer Pluck, Ewing starred as Annabelle Colvin’s boyfriend, Frank. The story follows Annabelle as she grows impatient waiting for Frank to propose. So to get back at him, she begins flirting with a ranch hand named Winn. But the idea goes array when Winn falls for her and threatens to hurt her or Frank if the two get married.

And finally, Roger Ewing made his last screen side appearance in 1972 during a movie called Play It As It Lays. The film follows the psychotic breakdown of a young Hollywood actress and eventually shows her trying to survive inside a sanitarium.

Aside from the fictionalized characters, Ewing also appeared in one episode of The Dating Game as an eligible bachelor. He competed for actress Lindsay Wagner’s affections against a medical student and teacher. In the end, Wagner chose to give the teacher a shot.

But out of all his career appearances, Gunsmoke turned out to be Rodger Ewing’s biggest and only major role.

Once he retired from the film industry, the former actor moved to Morro Bay, CA. And while there, he started a new career in photography. And eventually, he dabbled in local politics, according to IMDB.

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