Amanda Blake is an American Television Actress who played the role of Miss Kitty Russell on the western television series Gunsmoke. Amanda Blake has also played roles as Faith Radmore Samuels in the 1950 film Stars In My Crown.
Table of Biography
What is Amanda Blake’s Age (Year)? Parents, Siblings, Family, Ethnicity, Nationality
Amanda Blake was born in Buffalo, New York, United States on February 20, 1929, and died at the age of 60 years old on August 16, 1989, from multiple health issues. Her father’s name is Louise (née Puckett) Neill and her mother’s name is Jesse Neill. Her father worked as a Banker. Zodiac sign of Amanda is Pisces and she belongs to English and Scottish ethnicity. Further, her birth name is Beverly Louise Neill.
Talking about her family, she was the only child of Louise and Jesse Neill. Her parents moved to Claremont, California along with her when she was still in high school, and she graduated from Claremont High School. Later, she enrolled at Pomona College but, due to her avid participation in community and theater productions, she was devoting her time to the acting profession than her schoolwork. However, she completed her education from Amherst Central High School.
Professional Life and Career
Amanda was interested in the world of acting since her childhood days. She was a telephone operator before she took up acting. She started on a full time acting schedule, doing summer stock in New England following with theater and radio acting in Buffalo to movies in Hollywood. During her acting in stock companies and a small theater, she painted scenery and backdrops. Her debut in MGM’s Stars in My Crown (1950) and her first television role was in Schlitz Playhouse: Double Exposure (1952).
In 1955, her famous role as Miss Kitty in classic western series Gunsmoke from 1955 to 1974 made her famous. She also has played few Hollywood films, such as the 1952 western Cattle Town and in the role in Miss Robin Crusoe, a 1954 adaptation of the Robinson Crusoe adventure. She made two feature-film appearances: B.O.R.N and The Boost, a drug-addiction drama starring James Woods, both in 1988.
Similarly, In 1957, she guest-starred in Rod Cameron’s crime drama, State Trooper as Betty Lavon-Coate in the episode title “Coate of Many Colors”. In 1968, Amanda also was a part of the Hall of Great Western Performers at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. She was selected as the third performer in 1958 and 1966 after Tom Mix and Gary Cooper.
Likewise, she also appeared on a number of television shows that include a recurring comedy routine on The Red Skeleton Show, comedy appearances on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast, as a panelist on the long-running Tattletales, Hollywood Squares and also the 1970s revival of Match Games.
Awards and Nomination
Reflection on Amanda’s awards and nomination, she has won many awards. She appeared in Fictional Television Drama “Gunsmoke” for which she won “Western Heritage Awards” in the year 1967 and 1972 respectively. Similarly, she also won the “Golden Boot Awards” in 1985.
In 1959, she was awarded the Primetime Emmy Awards for the Best Supporting Actress in Dramatic Series “Gunsmoke”. She was also awarded the Golden Globes Awards for the “Best Supporting Actress – Television” in “Gunsmoke” (1955) in the year 1970, 1971 and 1972 respectively.
After Gunsmoke, Amanda Blake went into semi-retirement at her home in Phoenix, Arizona. She took on few film or television projects and rather devoted more time to her animals. She was known for bringing her pet lion named Kemo onto the set of Gunsmoke. Kemo lived in an animal compound at her home where Amanda and husband Frank Gilbert ran an experimental breeding program for cheetahs. The couple was one of the first to breed cheetahs successfully in captivity. The duo raised seven generations of cheetahs.
Blake formed the Arizona Animal Welfare League together with others in 1971. Today, it is the oldest and largest “no-kill” animal shelter in the state. Similarly, in 1985, she helped finance the start-up of the Performing Animal Welfare Society. She devoted a huge deal of time and money in support of this welfare society’s efforts. She also traveled to Africa for it.
Moreover, Amanda reportedly was a one-time board member of the Humane Society of the United States. The Amanda Blake Memorial Wildlife Refuge opened at Rancho Seco Park in Herald, California in the year 1997. This provides sanctuary for free-ranging African hoofed wildlife. Most of them were originally destined for exotic animal auctions or hunting ranches.
Declining health and death
Amanda was a heavy cigarette smoker and hence she had surgery for oral cancer in 1977. She also became a supporter of the American Cancer Society. She then made fundraising appearances throughout the country. Moreover, in 1984, she received the society’s annual Courage Award that was presented to her by then U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
Amanda Blake died at age 60 on August 16, 1989. She passed away at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, California. Some popular media later reported that Amanda died of AIDS as claimed by Blake’s doctor. Her close friends insisted that she was not a drug user or sexually promiscuous. Thus, there were chances that she acquired the disease from a former husband. Nevertheless, Amanda’s official death certificate stated the cause of death as: “Cardio-pulmonary arrest due to liver failure and CMV Hepatitis”.
Reflecting on Amanda’s relationship status, she was a married woman. She was first married to Don Whitman in the year 1954. They dated for 1 year and 7 months. After marriage, they decide to divorce on 21st August 1956. She then married a guy named Jason Seymour Day Jr. who was an Australian Golfer. They dated for 1 year and got married on 15th August 1964. Later they divorced on 28th June 1967.
Furthermore, Amanda then started dating Frank Gilbert for 2 months. They got married on 30th Jun 1967 and stayed together for 14 years. Later, she divorced in 1982. Her romantic life was continued with Mark Edward Spaeth, a developer and City Councilman in Austin, Texas. She married Mark on 28th April 1984 and parted ways a short time later since Mark died of pneumonia in 1985 at the age of 45.
Speaking up on Amanda Blake’s earnings, she was a famous Television actress who has earned a quite considerable sum of money by her work. However, Amanda has not revealed her exact net worth. But some online resources have estimated her net worth of $500 thousand at the time of her death in 1989.
Amanda had an amazing and charming personality with a white skin tone. She looked very cute with her short ginger hair and blue eyes. Similarly, she had a height of 5 feet and 6 inches and a weight of 61 kg. Her chest-waist-arm measurements are 37-25-37 inches and she had a dress size of 8 US.
During the ’90s there were no social media such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook at the time. Therefore, there are no official links to Amanda Blake’s social media platforms.