by Funky Duke Lewis; Tigerbeat, July 1971
Smith and Jones may be a pair of saddlesore drifters on ABC Channel 7, but fans of Old West action love the bums! It’s a toss-up which of the two pards is the most popular with female addicts of the little flickering box. Both are young, handsome, splendid physical types with arresting personalities. Even more important, both are unmarried. Let’s make a quick word-sketch of each to help you decide which one to concentrate your love powers on.
Pete Duel, alias Joshua Smith, alias Hannibal Heyes, is a lean, brown-eyed six-footer [he was actually five-feet-ten], born in Rochester, upreared in Penfield, N.Y., son of a doctor who wanted Pete to be a doctor, too [his father didn’t actually care]. Two years pre-med at St. Lawrence U was a disaster, Pete boasts, as he cut most medic classes to act in schoolplays. He was happier orating and gesticulating Shakespeare than passing out headache pills, hassling germs and sawing bones.
Pete’s official biography, released by Universal Studio where the series is filmed, admits frankly that “Pete, with his younger brother, Geoffrey, and younger sister, Pamela, grew up in an ambience” — whatever that means. Today he lives with a dog in a rustic habitat in the Hollywood Hills, and pursues his hobbies, fencing and dancing when he isn’t working or driving to the woods in a four-wheel camper. Pete is busy as a squirrel in a nuthouse.
Ben Murphy, alias Jed “Kid” Curry, alias Thaddeus Jones, lives in a small apartment near Universal City with no dog, no wife, no friend, not even a scrawny old alley cat to keep him company. It doesn’t matter, so he thinks, because he doesn’t hang around home much, being a 5’11”, 170-pound, blond, blue-eyed school, ski and tennis freak.
Ben’s success story begins in Jonesboro, Ark., the county seat down a dusty road a piece from Lake City Junction on the St. L. S. Railway, 1500 miles from Hollywood as the crow flies.
After graduating from Precopius Greek High in Hindale, a chi-chi Chi suburb, where his folks still live, Ben dropped in and out of eight colleges and universities in Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, and Mexico City before taking B.A. degrees at Illinois (political science) and Pasadena Playhouse (drama). This is Ben’s first permarole in a tele-series although he’s played bit or better parts in several shows and three movies.
Either Pete and Ben is a most desirable dreamboat for any real red-corpuscled all-American maiden. There’s one hangup. They have no time for love. At least that’s what we were told by zitty Clementine Twiffenfinks who devoted months in a vain effort to worm herself into their hearts.