Ken Curtis (July 2, 1916 – April 28, 1991) was an American singer and actor best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the long-running CBS western television series Gunsmoke.
Curtis was born Curtis Wain Gates and reared in Las Animas, the seat of Bent County, west of the larger community of Lamar in southeastern Colorado. His father, Dan Gates, was the sheriff. The family lived above the jail and his mother, Nellie Sneed Gates, cooked for the prisoners. The jail is located for historical preservation purposes on the grounds of the Bent County courthouse in Las Animas.
Curtis played quarterback for his high school football team.