by Elizabeth Laurence; Photoplay (UK), 1972
Pete Duel, popular for his work in the hit television series Alias Smith and Jones, died on New Year’s Eve. [Editor’s Note: Peter died the morning of New Year’s Eve Day, not New Year’s Eve night.] The young American actor found that life at the top wasn’t worth the effort. [That isn’t necessarily Peter’s reasons for ending his life; new evidence suggests that his anti-convulsion medication for his epilepsy may have played a role, as did a number of other demoralizing issues during his life at that time.] He shot himself. It was a bitter …
I’ve added Peter’s performance in The Hell With Heroes to the MOVIES page (which now has one movie on it!). Enjoy. More to come…
Life’s Work, Living Free
by Janey Milstead, from Hollywood; FAB 208, May 6, 1972
We can’t forget, and we don’t want to. Now the awful shock has worn off, we understand that Pete has really gone from this world. But he hasn’t left our thoughts, and never will. As a last, simple tribute to him, FAB remembers the things that were important while he was here — his life, his career, and the beliefs that made him a warm, committed human being. As long as these things live on in people’s minds, they will be important always.
FEBRUARY 24, 1940
Born Peter Ellstrom …
flip, August 1972
Dear FLIP, Just a note of thanks for the lovely section (May) “Your Pete Duel Memory Scrapbook.” It was a great way to help his many fans to remember him as the very handsome, warm, loving, talented person he was. I had the pleasure and privilege of seeing him onstage at the Municipal Auditorium here in Birmingham, Alabama, when he and Ben were guests at the 1971 Annual Cerebral Palsy Telethon. It was so beautiful seeing him holding the little handicapped children, the love showing radiant from his eyes. I can’t explain the shock and sorrow I felt …
TEEN Photo Album, May 1972
On New Year’s Eve, while most of us were looking forward to a cheerful evening with friends and family, maybe at a party or just celebrating at home, the shocking news came over the TV, and made headlines in the late afternoon papers.
Pete Duel was dead. The young actor who had found so much success in his series, Alias Smith and Jones, would not be with us in the new year to come.
[Pete didn’t die on New Year’s Eve; he died very early in the morning on that day.]
His many fans took the news in shock …
by Lois Kane; Silver Screen, July 1975
Why would a man like Pete Duel — rich, handsome, successful — want to die? Pete Duel left more than his shattered body behind when he made his violent exit from the stage of life. He also left us with the mystery of why he chose to kill himself.
The handsome 31-year-old star of Alias Smith and Jones was in a position that any other young man would envy. He was an actor on the way up, with money in the bank and his clean-cut cowboy image in just about every young girl’s heart.
Lucky, successful …
A fan’s tribute to Peter Deuel
by Sherilyn Smith; October 2000
In my mind’s eye, in a flash
Broken dreams, meant to last
Seventy-one, his will to lose,
Imposed haunting mid-war blues.
On his steed, his head held high
Shining armor, sword and style
Dark eyes glittering all that is
Passion, rage and love and death.
And all the love, the love had I,
Young one to hear his battle cry.
Then gone was he, the one I loved
In an instant, in a flash,
Is my sorrow meant to last?
Please go then, Pete, and be at peace
Rest, my love, your dreams be sweet
When you wake, our spirits wait
For your return, in faith and …