Teen World, April 1972
Pete Duel and Ben Murphy lead action-packed, adventurous lives on Alias Smith and Jones. And their personal lives are also quite busy and exciting. But they have quiet moments, too — moments of deep, serious thought, times when they ponder their pasts, think about what they’re doing right now, and wonder what the future will bring. Want to share them?
THE TRAVEL BUG
Pete gets wanderlust often. Eventually he hopes to get to travel all over the world, but right now he satisfies himself by hopping into his four-wheel-drive camper and driving off into the country, mountains, plains, desert, seaside — wherever he feels like going.
Pete’s enjoyed camping ever since he was a little boy growing up in Penfield, New York. To him, camping was always a way to get close to nature, to be by himself, alone with the wind and the sky and the trees. It was a time when he could really settle down and think, make plans, set goals, and be completely himself.
Most of the time, his camping trips have been relaxing and rewarding. But there were a few experiences that were almost more trouble than they were worth — like his visit to the Rocky Mountains during a cross-country trip to California.
Pete has to laugh at himself when he thinks of it now. “When I reached the mountains it was raining,” he says. “I set up the tent, dug trenches around it in the approved fashion, and decided to wait the rain out. After ten days, everything I owned was so soggy — including myself — I had to give up and start on to California. I didn’t even see the Rockies because it was so overcast!”
Pete spends hours reading. Among the works that fill his bookshelves are those of Shakespeare, Dylan Thomas, and Thoreau. But what Pete seems to think and talk about most are the political journals he reads.
Pete’s been interested in politics for a long time. “My first experience as a real political activist,” he says, “was in the presidential campaign of 1968.” Pete worked for Eugene McCarthy’s campaign, talking to people, giving out leaflets, even attending the convention in Chicago.
Although he hasn’t been terribly active politically in the recent past, the problems of this country and of the world are among the things he ponders most deeply.
One of the most serious problems is the state of the environment. Even before the ecology movement became popular, Pete was aware that the environment was being changed for the worse.
“When I was a kid,” he says, “the area I lived in was like a real country town with woods and fields to play in. It was a great place to grow up. But then somebody started building subdivisions. And everything changed.”
Today Pete thinks frequently about ways in which he can contribute to the preservation of the environment — even if it’s only recycling his own newspapers and bottles.
THE PURSUIT OF HEALTH
Both Pete and Ben are concerned about keeping their health up. One way they try to keep fit is to watch what they eat, which means they try to eat only wholesome natural foods. Ben keeps vegetable juices in the fridge, and Pete mixes up his own health food drinks. When they go out, they stick with restaurants that specialize in natural foods, too. Not that they’re fanatics about it — they just agree that eating natural foods makes them feel a lot better, and gives them lots of energy, too.
THEIR INNER SELVES
What do Pete and Ben think of themselves? That’s not easy to talk about, they’ll both tell you.
Like Ben, Pete’s very honest — both with others and about his own feelings. Intense and emotional, he believes in saying what’s on his mind, but doesn’t expect others to agree with him necessarily.
Although he enjoys having fans who appreciate his work, he realizes that “fame in show business doesn’t have much to do with actual achievement.” He’s an actor first of all — not a public personality.
DATING AND LOVE
Pete’s the kind of guy who tries his best to keep his private life private. Right now he’s dating a special girl, but all he’ll say about their relationship is that he isn’t ready for marriage — yet.