The Pete Duel Memorial Book

Thank you to everyone who leaves such poignant and heartfelt expressions in The Memorial Book — and for all your kind words about this site. Your kinship is extremely appreciated. —Laura

Please post your thoughts below. The previous Memorial Book was receiving too much spam, so I had to close it and start this page instead. You may read the comments in the previous Memorial Book, however, by clicking here.

There may be a delay between when you leave your thoughts below and when your post appears, but rest assured, the post will eventually be published. Please keep in mind that many questions still remain about Peter’s state of mind in those final days of his life. One recent question is how much of a role the anti-seizure drug, Dilantin, played on his thoughts. Perhaps Pete was a victim of a pharmaceutical drug and not so much of self-inflicted depression. Also note that Geoffrey Deuel sometimes visits this page. Thank you.

Comments (178)

  1. Rhonda C. Poynter :

    To quote Willie Nelson…my heroes have always been cowboys and they still are, it seems. First crush, first ‘look this actor up and read about him’ (and this was before the web!)…absolutely adored Pete, and still do. I love that he has such a loyal following – he deserves it. Peace –

  2. Angela :

    My mum and dad always watched Alias Smith and Jones,I was very young about 7 years old I think! I remember how sad they were on hearing about his death,only to lose my brother David the same way 10 years later. Pete and David, I am so sad you both felt so unable to overcome your pain, I hope you found peace somehow and those you left behind have too. X

  3. Joe :

    I was a youngin. 11 when this first aired. And it was probably my favorite show. Wish some network would bring it back. Maybe write metv or others to tell them if its possible it would bring in audience. Happy birthday Pete. And hope the rest of you are ok or in peace. Missed the show as well as other actors after Pete was gone. Love ya all. And all in the world. Keep peace and say. Howdy!! Bye now

  4. L.D.Zafar :

    Thinking of you and always wondering what you would look like on your 77th birthday yesterday…Always in my heart…with love in this life and the next….Peace and Ecology Now and Forever!

  5. Marianne :

    I’ll forget many things in my lifetime, but Peter I’ll never forget you.
    You are lovingly remembered every day but especially on your Birthday.
    A wish upon a star, to carry my love to wherever you are xXx

  6. Sue :

    Happy birthday dear Pete so sad your not hear to celebrate your 77th birthday.Its so hard to believe you would have been that
    Age today still miss you so much but I know you are happy in heaven god bless you you lovely manxxx.

  7. Karen Ravenscroft :

    Pete. Your birthday February 24th is forever remembered by me and now it is even more special as I welcomed my first grandaughter Ainsley Quinn in the early hours of this morning some 77 years to the day after you were born. Love Karen xx

  8. linda b uk :

    Peter i miss you and more each passing day,this day your birthday i miss you even more,your memory will never fade in my heart ,body or soul ,never will you be forgotten by me or the rest of your loyal posee,love you for all eternity peace ,love and ecology now Peter love lin x x xxx💟

  9. Gwen :

    February 24th has, as always, stirred up memories of Pete. I’m so glad we have DVDs available that allow us to bring him into our homes and reminisce about times gone by.

  10. Mary Rose :

    Remembering Pete’s birthday today with gratitude for his life, his work and his talent which brought so much joy to so many. I am convinced that Pete’s spirit lives; he is in a better place than this broken world. My love and thoughts are with Geoffrey, Pamela and all his family. Heartfelt thanks to Laura for this memorial site – beautiful.

  11. Avril, Edinburgh :

    We celebrate your birthday, but feel the loss of you even more on such a day. Your light will never dim, Pete. Much love. xx

  12. Vicki :

    Dear Peter,
    This is your birthday week. You are always loved and missed more than you know. We can never have you back but we will hold you in
    our hearts forever. Rest easy our dear sweet Peter. Thanks for the cherished memories.

    If there ever comes a day when we can’t be together, keep me in your heart, I’ll stay there forever.
    –Winnie the Pooh

  13. Louise :

    I was only 6 or 7 when you died, even at that age you were my first crush. Loved the show but wasn’t the same without you. You will always be remembered with a. Cheeky grin and beautiful dimples. Xx

  14. Susan McSorley :

    Dear Pete and Family…you will always be with us because of your great heart and the love, inspiration and talent you shared with us. I was 11 years old and my sister Holly ( also passed away) was 15 years old. We loved Pete So much – what a fine actor and good human being. God Bless his family…I am sure it is beyond difficult to lose such a one as Pete. What I do know is that after reading about his car accident and resulting head trauma/hip -pelvis trauma and having seizures as a result of his accident…A Huge Number of People with Brain Injuries are suicidal on and off for life ( Myself Included). Many (if not most young men in Petes day) self medicated with a bit of alcohol to soothe the brain/pain which is not something you can understand unless you have had head traumas! I watch his videos on youtube and am so mesmerized. What a tremendous loss. I hope that you know that many people like Pete consider suicide daily because they don’t have the right understanding of what they need to heal their Brains. He did the best he could until he couldn’t any longer. I am So sorry for your loss of such a beautiful brother and friend. Again, God Bless you All.

  15. Sandy :

    Reading so many loving comments about Peter Deuel all these years after his death mean so much to me. Pete and I were related (cousins) but unfortunately we saw their family very infrequently. But he has always held a special place in my heart. He accomplished much more than most actors trying to make it in the business and it’s so sad that he didn’t realize it. But I am well aware of how depression and alcohol can distort your thoughts. His death did impact his family in some ways that were positive, which is a blessing. I saw his sister, Pam, about 1 1/2 years ago as well as some of his other extended family. Unfortunately, it was another death in the family bringing us all together. Let us not ever forget Pete.

  16. Susan :

    My sister and I Adored Pete in Alias Smith & Jones. (Myself 10 and she 15 years old.). I have never forgotten him and now reading this story this evening I understand why he chose to end his life in a moment of despair. Something I could not fathom as a young girl because he appeared to be a God who had it all and more heart than most. He was ahead of his time in so many ways. Very sensitive and Kind hearted. You have done a wonderful tribute to him here ! God Bless…..I have had a brain injury also…strangely enough, and so I understand the extreme difficulties that come with that and know how I have also felt like ending it also due to side effects and depression at times.

  17. linda b uk :

    45 years gone my beautiful man,I would have liked to say time has healed the wounds of you leaving this world but in truth it hasn’t,i miss you even more if that is possible.Peter you are with me every day always will be,you are a joy, through the sadness when you smile on that silver screen my heart sings you truly are very special man,peace ,happiness and ecology now Mr Duel forever loved and never forgotten xxx

  18. Liza S :

    At 15, you were my first great crush…and then my first great loss. I had a teacher that wrote scripts for TV, and had us write one for our favorite show. I still have my script for Alis Smith and Jones…and I got an A on it. My kids later got to see the series on DVD, and my daughter was as smitten as I had been. We miss you dearly and wish there had been help for you when you needed it most.

  19. Anne :

    It was a day I can remember all too well where I stood when I heard the news. I watched him in Alias Smith and Jones every week and just “fell in love” with him. It took me quite sometime to get over the shock (I was 15) and as I look through this tonight 45 plus years later I finally understand what happened and why. So very sad and tragic. Who knows what he could have done in life. But that wasn’t meant to be. Still a sadness in my memories and heart of a wonderful young man that left too soon.

  20. Philip Drew, Surrey, UK :

    December 31st is always such a sad time for me when the legend that is Pete Duel was taken from us tragically too soon to walk through the saloon gates of heaven. Have told my 2 dear children of “Smith and Jones” and they have loved watching when ITV4 repeat the episodes and have said “why don’t they make programmes like that any more?” rather than the garbage of reality TV and the likes of The X Factor, numerous game shows just increasing the ego and wage packets of presenters who are not fit to tie the great man’s bootlaces. And they are so right.

    He had such a cheeky and devilish smile that captured the hearts of us all, we so wanted him to get married in the series but then we wouldn’t have seen the lads’s adventures I guess as he would have settled down! One episode I recall especially was his reciting poetry as a ruse to help the Kid out, claiming he was unable to write the words down……….and you thought he had found his belle but you knew it wouldn’t happen! Even made me cry and does to this day. We all miss him as can be seen by the beautiful words and verse put down here and for a man to have such an impact on us all here speaks volumes of what a great actor and talent he was and heaven took him way too soon forever reason on that fateful NYE night back in 1971.

    One thing for sure is that infectious smile is looking down from the stars above and probably winking at us all as a means of just saying “thanks guys, I didn’t do too bad!” – he was just a lovely guy, no airs and graces and a great actor. Pete, you might be gone but you’re never forgotten, we loved you here in the UK and are grateful for the pleasure and laughs you gave us as HH and hope God saw it fitting to give you your amnesty! Miss you mate so much

    My daughter is due to give birth to her first child, my first grandchild, on 24th February 2017 and how fitting that would be to have the same birthday as Pete……………..keep smiling on her or him please as I know you will xx

    Phil Drew, Surrey, UK

    • Margaret :

      Philip, It is lovely to hear your comments about Pete, but if you are thinking he was in the episode showing Joshua Smith learning poetry in order to make someone fall in love with him so that he could use her to save The Kid, then I’m afraid you are mistaken. This story was in Season 3 after Pete’s death. The episode was “The Ten Days That Shook Kid Curry”. It was Roger Davis playing the part of Hannibal Heyes. Nevertheless your admiration and joy of Pete’s acting is clear from your comments, and yes, we all loved this cheeky chap with a smile that could melt your heart!

  21. PattyB :

    I was just telling my parents last nite, how one NYE stood out in my mind from my childhood, when my favorite actor shot himself. I said I think I was 10, and now see that’s correct. I was so devastated! What a talented and beautiful man he was… forever remembered.

  22. Liz - Leeds UK :

    Just to say I remember, though it doesn’t take any one day for me to think of you. You’re always in my thoughts and in my heart. You mean so much to so many of us, Love also to Geoff and to Jackie at this especially sad time of the year. Not forgetting how Pamela and family must be feeling too. Your gentle spirit lives on in all of us, Peter, while-ever we remember and we will never forget.

  23. Karen Ravenscroft :

    It never ceases to amaze me that no other celebrity seems so have such a loyal following of fans around the world that remember both Pete’s birthday and that fateful day we lost him. Forever in our hearts and minds that gentle soul and smile that made me week at the knees…love Karen XX

  24. Maggie :

    Miss you still 45 years on. Never forgotten xxxx

  25. Janice :

    45 years, can’ t believe it, I was 13 when I heard the news,absolutely gutted, I thought the world of you and always will, my love for ever

  26. Gary :

    Well i was 10 when you left us ,then i was broken hearted and at that age and year did not understand why,later in life i understood.i want you to know i wanted to invite you to supper and was going to write asking you if would come to a small town called windham maine.I dont believe it was the show that made you but you made the show.I think about you from the first time i saw that beautiful smile.I guess back then i had a crush on you and just maybe my first and even today looking back at you i believe it was.I loved the way you held your expressions,your eyes and of course the smile…miss you yoday as much i did then…

  27. DebsUK :

    Thinking of you today Pete. Forever in our hearts….never forgotten x

  28. Lucy, Arizona :

    I love when fans write “Rest Softly, Pete”. I believe he does. I miss him still, his smile, acting, love for animals, environment. Way ahead of his time. Gone longer than alive, however, still remembered. Precious gift is he.
    Thank you Laura and Geoffrey for keeping his memory alive. May you be blessed.

  29. Robbin :

    Hard to believe that we lost you 45 years ago, Peter. You were a wonderful talent, and great at whatever role you played. You are always missed. Rest in peace. Wish you were still here.

  30. Marianne, Hayle UK :

    I think of you in the morning Pete, I think of you at night,
    I think of you when it’s raining, or when the stars are bright.
    It doesn’t really matter, any time of day will do
    All I know is I miss you and will always love you too.

    I wish I could turn back the years, to have you live once more,
    To send your message of peace and ecology, just like you did before.
    To see you grow and love your life, is how it should have been,
    Would take away the sadness in my heart, for that I can only dream x

  31. Tom Becker :

    Dear Pete. Today it’s 45 years since you left us. I was only ten when the news broke that the star of my favorite TV-show had died. It was the first time in my life that I felt the loss of a person that I loved, and I still get that horrible feeling when I think of it. Thanks for what you ment to a little lonesome boy who looked forward to each time your show was aired.

    Tom, Raelingen, Norway.

  32. Don Harder :

    In Loving Memory Of Peter Ellstrom Deuel Pete Duel February 24, 1940 – December 31, 1971….. At the 45th Anniversary of Pete’s passing into Eternal Life…..Forever Remembered as Our Dear friend Hannibal Heyes……Don Harder December 30, 2016

  33. pat palmer :

    Beautiful Pete, held close in my heart and loved for always.x

  34. L.D.Zafar :

    With Love to Pete

    I find my self at a loss for words,
    not knowing what to say
    As I am finally standing here
    where you have so long laid;
    To honor promise made so long ago
    that took many a year to do so.
    I have loved you in my silence
    through all these many years
    Since the time that young girl
    for you, shed so many tears
    I have come full circle
    as I now pay tribute to you
    Something I felt deep in my soul
    and knew I had to do
    As long as I live your memory
    I will keep alive
    For love, my Pete, is stronger than death
    and will not ever die.
    The gentle breeze of the cool fall air
    touches my very soul.
    I know this time of year my friend,
    was something you cherished so
    The colors of the autumn leaves,
    the freshness of that cool little breeze,
    The call of the wild geese that fill the air,
    the bounty of nature seen every where….
    Yes, I too, reflect on these things
    as I think of you.
    When this day is done, and the night begins to set in,
    I wistfully think about the day it had been.
    As I wish upon a star, I sense my Pete
    You’re really not far.
    Everywhere in this beautiful place….the mountains,
    the forest, the colors of fall, I see the echoes of your face.
    I hope in the next life to see you again,
    until then, dear Pete, goodbye sweet friend….

  35. L.D.Zafar :

    Remembering you this evening on the anniversary of that dark night so long ago when we lost your physical presence but never your spirit. Love never dies it is carried with us throughout all our life times….

  36. Barbara :

    I still remember and I still love that smile. Peace to you Pete.

  37. Mary Rose :

    The saddest night of the year. Never forgotten

  38. Linda :

    45 years. So hard to believe. You are thought of everyday and missed everyday. Hope you found your peace and happiness in heaven. You deserve it! Peace and ecology now!

  39. Susan :

    After all these years I still get that horrible feeling in my tummy when I think of Pete and know that his been gone so long. Will always love him and will never forget him still so very sad God bless you pete you shine on in my heartxxx thank you Laura and Geoffrey and family for all you do for us true fansxxx.

  40. Avril, Edinburgh :

    You left way too soon, Pete. You are missed by so many, and although we can’t bring you back we can keep you close. Love always. Avril, Edinburgh.

  41. Marianne :

    It really doesn’t seem possible, 45 years since you left us.
    If only you could look back to see how you have been missed and are still loved by so many.
    Just a young man who had achieved so much in your 31 years, but you had so much more to give.
    I wish your dreams had come true to make you happy.
    I miss you as much now as I did then, forever with sadness in my heart but thank you for being a part of my life x

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