In the episode “Quint Asper Comes Home” from Season 8 of Gunsmoke, Reynolds made his acting debut as Quint Asper. Although he is Comanche and half-white, he first sided with his mother in killing white people. Matt Dillon, who meets Quint, recognizes the good in him. As a result, the marshal chooses to become friends with him and incorporates him into the neighborhood. Quint eventually walked away, though, without saying anything.
Between 1962 and 1965, the actor appeared in just three seasons of the program, for a total of 50 episodes. Reynolds, though, had some valid reasons for quitting Gunsmoke.
Reynolds reportedly discussed what it was like to portray Quint on Gunsmoke in an interview. The interviewer questioned him about his favorite production-related memory. The actor responded with some lighthearted banter before taking the query seriously.
Reynolds chuckled as she recited, “The day I left the show.” “No, really, I had a good time on Gunsmoke. But this conversation might not have happened at all if Milburn Stone, who portrayed Doc Adams on the program, hadn’t been there.
Naturally, the interviewer asked the actor to go into more detail about that. It turned out that Stone was able to provide his co-star with some insightful counsel that would ultimately prove to be a crucial turning point in his career.
Milburn told me to leave the building when I returned from filming [during the summer break] because “your movies are taking off.” Reynolds thought back. I questioned, “Do you like me?” I adore your work, he said, being the great gentleman that he was. But now is the time to consider your acting career. I had the impression that he was the smartest actor on the set. He was just amazing. So I gave up.
Watch the nostalgic video below: