Milburn Stone got his start in vaudeville as one-half of the song 'n' snappy patter team of Stone and Strain. He worked with several touring theatrical troupes before settling down in Hollywood in 1935, where he played everything from bits to full leads in the B-picture product ground out by such studios as Mascot and Monogram. One of his few appearances in an A-picture was his uncredited but memorable turn as Stephen A. Douglas in John Ford's Young Mr. Lincoln. During this period, he was also a regular in the low-budget but popular Tailspin Tommy series. He spent the 1940s at Universal in a vast array of character parts, at one point being cast in a leading role only because he physically matched the actor in the film's stock-footage scenes! Full stardom would elude Stone until 1955, when he was cast as the irascible Doc Adams in Gunsmoke. Milburn Stone went on to win an Emmy for this colorful characterization, retiring from the series in 1972 due to ill health.