by Sue Cameron; TV Radio Mirror, April 1972
Word along the party circuit keeps cropping up about the late Pete Duel, who was a favorite among the Hollywood young set. Although no one will confirm anything, the story going around that won’t die is that Pete was living with a well-known actress while her equally well-known husband was working in a movie in Europe. Supposedly, two weeks before Pete shot himself, the husband returned and Pete moved home.
When word of Pete’s alleged suicide reached the airwaves, there were a few people who thought that the husband might have found out and paid him a little visit, but nobody dared voice this theory. Behind the scenes, a big fight developed between Pete’s supporters and the executives at Universal Studios, who make Alias Smith & Jones.
Within 15 hours of Duel’s death, another actor’s name was on the call sheet at Universal. Naturally, all sorts of freaky stories keep circulating, but this one — from Pete’s drinking buddy and fellow actor on Alias Smith & Jones — is amazing for reasons all its own.
Says Dennis Fimple: “About two weeks before he died, Pete gave me a blender because I drink a health-food breakfast beverage each morning. It worked beautifully every day. The night he died, we had dinner and were supposed to go somewhere afterwards. He changed his mind right after dinner and said he wanted to go home to watch his show. I just went home and went to bed early. The next morning I got up to go to the studio and went to turn on my blender. It had stopped working. I was standing there, looking at it, when the phone rang — and it was a friend telling me about Pete. That blender just died and I won’t turn it on again.”