Flip, April 1972
Actor Peter Duel is dead at the age of 31, an apparent suicide. On the morning of December 31, Peter’s girlfriend Dianne Ray found him shot in the head with his own .38 caliber pistol, in the living room of his Hollywood Hills home. She called the police.
Dianne told the police that Pete had been depressed lately. She said she had watched Alias Smith & Jones and a basketball game on TV with him the night before and that he was supposed to be on the set working the next day.
There was suspicion of homicide at first, as there were two bullets missing from the gun, but investigation proved he had fired the other bullet into a wall a few days earlier. The coroner listed Pete’s death as a probable suicide, although Pete’s brother Geoffrey and his Alias Smith & Jones co-star, Ben Murphy, are convinced it was an accident.
Services for Pete were held on January 1 at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine in Pacific Palisades, California. Among the many celebrities who attended were Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones. There was no eulogy at the non-denominational service but Dianne read a five-line poem about love which Pete had written. Then Pete’s body was returned to his home town, Penfield, New York, for burial.
Executives at ABC-TV said that actor Roger Davis, lately of ABC-TV’s Dark Shadows will take over for the remainder of the season.