William Dennis Weaver (4 June 1924 – 24 February 2006) was an American actor most famous for his work in television. Weaver's two most notable roles were as Marshal Matt Dillon's trusty helper Chester Goode on the CBS western Gunsmoke and as Deputy Marshal Sam McCloud on the NBC police drama McCloud. He appeared in the 1971 television film Duel, the first film of director Steven Spielberg. He is also remembered for his role as the twitchy motel attendant in Orson Welles's film Touch of Evil.
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- Man is innately a creature of love. That love is the most powerful force in the universe, and eventually — it's a very slow process — it will conquer. I think there will come a time, and this is down the road a great many years, when civilized people will look back in horror on our generation and the ones that have preceded it: the idea that we should eat other living things running around on four legs, that we should raise them just for the purpose of killing them! The people of the future will say “meat-eaters!” in disgust and regard us in the same way that we regard cannibals and cannibalism.
- The basic message of Gunsmoke was that there's going to be the bad and there's going to be the good. And most of the time, the good will win out. That's an old theme. There are no new themes, it's just the way you do them. It's the way you bring fresh characters to that theme.
- Dennis Weaver on IMDb
- Animal Planet Genesis Awards, commentary on going Vegetarian in 1958
- Archive of American Television 2½ hour career-wide interview with Dennis Weaver (24 September 2002)
- "Dennis Weaver, 81, Sidekick on 'Gunsmoke,' Dies" by by Felicia R. Lee The New York Times (28 February 2006)
- "Dennis Weaver, 81; Star of ' Gunsmoke,' 'McCloud' Also Was Environmental Activist" The Los Angeles Times (28 February 2006)