Following her training in regional theatre and radio, red-headed actress Amanda Blake was signed by MGM in 1949, where she was briefly groomed for stardom. Among her MGM assignments was 1950's Stars in My Crown, in which she was cast for the first time opposite James Arness. Film fame eluded Amanda, especially after her sizeable role in the 1954 version of A Star is Born was almost completely excised from the release print. By 1955, she had to make do with appearances in such epics as the Bowery Boys' High Society. Amanda's fortunes took a turn for the better later in 1955, when she won the role of Miss Kitty, the euphemistically yclept "hostess" of the Long Branch Saloon on the TV western Gunsmoke, which starred James Arness as Marshal Matt Dillon. She remained with Gunsmoke until its next-to-last season in 1974. After Gunsmoke, Amanda went into semi-retirement save for a handful of film projects like the made-for-TV Betrayal (1974), the theatrical releases The Boost (1988) and B.O.R.N (1989), and the 1987 reunion project Gunsmoke: Return to Dodge. Amanda Blake died in 1989 at the age of sixty.