Translated by Google Translate, so please forgive the awkwardness.
TODAY, FIRST CHAPTER OF “TWO MUSKETEERS”
by J.M. Baget; Sunday, December 31 
4.00 “Tarde Para Todos”
In the last day of the year, we offer viewers the first episode of the series “Alias Smith and Jones,” which so successfully reached its still recent pass by Spanish Television. Thus know how Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry went on to become “Smith” and “Jones,” two former bandits in search of a better and more peaceful life.
What this program offers is generally cheerful on this carefree day of December 31 — when everyone has to eat grapes in time with the clock from Puerta del Sol. It is not a coincidence. There is a reason and not exactly cheerful: the first anniversary of the death of Pete Duel, one of the two “Musketeers” is met this December 31.
WHO KILLED PETE DUEL?
Although archived as “accidental death” by police in Los Angeles, it is certain that a rare mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the “accident”. Actually, the most credible and accepted hypothesis is that Pete Duel voluntarily ended his life. This certainly wasn’t the first suicide nor the last that night, and it is known that dates like Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve, and even Saturday afternoon, suicides or suicide attempts are very common. Marilyn Monroe, without going further, was killed Saturday night. It’s on days like these when loneliness becomes clearer and more dramatic. He was only 31. Pete Duel was a “loner,” a solo …
A pistol shot killed Pete Duel, who a few months earlier had moved to a new and relatively luxurious [untrue] apartment in the city of Los Angeles. What killed Pete Duel was perhaps loneliness, doubt, or distress; perhaps the idea that he had achieved success and this, in the end, did not help at all or very little, to have a powerful car and a nice apartment where to place his books, his “posters,” and where prodilectos listen to their albums. Not enough to keep going for another year, despite the success.
FIVE-YEAR PLAN …
To understand something about the death of Pete Duel, we would have to go back to 1965. At that time he spelled his name Peter Deuel and was a young actor of twenty-four who had just arrived in Hollywood with a precise idea. Make five years ‘meritoriaje’ in film and television, and return to Broadway to become a real actor. Deuel came from the University of St. Lawrence, near Rochester (New York), his hometown. After two years of studying medicine just to please his father [untrue], who was a doctor in a small town, Deuel was devoted exclusively to the theater. Already a lonely and indecisive boy at this time, he only gave up medicine when his father told him [paraphrased]: “If you want to stay in college, why don’t you go to drama school instead of spending my money here?”
Two years in the American Theater Wing, New York, only served to him, by his own account, to “fall in love with the city of skyscrapers and desire the triumph in the Broadway stage.” It was there where he conceived his very private “five-year plan,” which would allow him a triumphant return to the city of his dreams.
In fact, Deuel didn’t learn much in the early days of Hollywood, and his solitary and neurotic character was developed with increasing intensity. Deuel acted in a romantic-teen series entitled Gidget and later was co-star with Judy Carne in a series of little consequence, Love on A Rooftop, where he played the role of an inexperienced boy who falls in love with a divorcée.
A MAN AND AN ACTOR
Pete changed the spelling of his name to Pete Duel, more commercial according to his agent, Butch Clavell. Clavell recalls how Deuel jumped into the icy waters of the Hudson River to rescue a rag doll which was missing both legs [actually, it was a real-life puppy]. Roy Thinnes, the popular star of The Invaders, worked with Pete in the series The Psychiatrist, and said that Pete Deuel lovingly nursed an injured bird; on set days later, Duel appeared pale and haggard because the bird had died that morning. Duel said it was “the first time I saw someone die…”
Soon the Pete Duel-actor split from Peter Deuel-man. The actor continued to appear in comedies while waiting for that opportunity that would eventually come to Alias Smith and Jones. Deuel, man, was fascinated by politics and campaigned for McCarthy in the 1968 presidential election; at the same time, he became interested in Zen philosophy and began devouring books on astrology, and practiced transcendental meditation.
A HOUSE OF SIXTY-FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH
Until mid-1971, Deuel lived in an apartment in a room located above a garage. The home of Peter Deuel perhaps helps us to understand more about his personality. His books, for example: the complete works of Shakespeare, full of notes about the interpretative nuances of its main heroes and characters; The Psychology of Self-Esteem, House Made of Dawn, a book by a writer of Native American Indians on the colonization of the “West”; the poetry of Dylan Thomas, the wide range of titles on American intervention in Vietnam. Or his paintings and posters: the inscription “Preserve faith in man’, badges and emblems for the Pro-Civil Rights Movement … almost all of this, however, related to the McCarthy campaign whose defeat of the “bosses” of the Democratic Party definitely disabused Pete of politics. Or the names of his three dogs: “Shoshone,’ an Australian shepherd, named after a famous Indian chief who was killed by the “WASP” (white, American and Protestant), “Champagne,” and finally, “Carroll” in honor of Lewis Carroll, the author of Alice in Wonderland.
AGAINST THE SOLITUDE
In May 1971, Deuel was about to marry Dianne, whom he had met while she worked as a secretary for the series The Psychiatrist. But in reality, the private life of Pete Duel we know very little, since he himself insisted on staying completely away from “social” type frivolous activities. When he returned from the Democratic Convention in Chicago in 1968, he said it was the closest thing to a war, and he retired from the political scene. Unable to justify to himself with a civic activity and living alone or with his dogs, Deuel was delivered apparently too frequently to drink. In the aforementioned episode of the series The Psychiatrist, Duel starred as a young drug addict. He later claimed that the drink, like drugs, are not a way to escape a personal reality, but rather a way to escape the daily routine and contact with a hostile society.
We will never know what happened on the night of December 31, 1971. Possibly that “hostile” society was more than ever, despite the apparent success that began to surround his professional life. Broadway, his goal, his dream was ever further: within five years it had been largely fulfilled. Between Peter Deuel, the loner, introverted, and terribly insecure about his own strength, and Pete Duel, “Alias Smith,” cheerful, brave, and ebullient resource, there was nothing in common. On a night like San Silvestre, when almost everyone makes wonderful plans for the future, Peter Deuel, always doubting himself, was unable to do another five-year plan like the one outlined that day in 1965 when he had come to Los Angeles and his $65 monthly apartment.
Photo caption: Pete Duel, smoking and sporting a beard, in one of his last public appearances shortly before he mysteriously died.