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. The previous memorial page also had hundreds of remembrances. I hope to someday transfer them 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.
Have been admirer of Pete for yrs. Wish I could have known him and been a friend to him. He is always a friend of mine. I watch everything I can get hold of with Pete in it. He had such a beautiful smile when I see him smile it makes me feel good. So I keep him in my heart. He will always be part of my life. I wish he could have known how many people appreciated his talents and how he made so many people happy. I wish we could have made him happy.
aww…. Yes 50 years later and I still wonder what I was doing when the news of his death was broadcasted (thanks for sharing) 😢❤️
I was 9 when Pete Duel killed himself. I used to have his framed picture in the table by my bed. I honestly thought if he had just know how much I loved him, he wouldn’t have killed himself. It’s almost 50 years now, and I still remember how devastated I was. I will never forget him.
I was 10 when I first saw Pete and I instantly fell in love. I was in awe with this beautiful man and everything about him. I still remember the exact moment I heard about his death. I was with my mom heading into town to go grocery shopping. We had just stopped at the stop sign and the radio broadcaster said Pete was dead. I burst into tears and I felt like throwing up. When we got to the store my mom asked if I needed time alone. She knew my heart was broken. He made a huge impact on my life. When I think back to things I read about him as a child I see how many of my adult decisions and actions reflect things I learned from him. 50 years later I see his face and I still feel the pain that 10 year old girl felt. He is still beautiful and I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to see him on TV, to read about him, to fall in love with him. My heart still skips a beat when I see his face.
One great actor. I am in Lexington, Ky. I still have the orignal news paper from when he died.
Randomly thought about Pete today and read the Wikipedia article about Alias Smith and Jones and about Pete and followed the link here. I was in junior high when Pete took his own life. I was devastated. I put together an album of all the stories about him back then, with clippings from teen magazines. My parents had a drugstore and they got to keep all the magazines that didn’t sell (they tore the covers off and sent those in) so I had access to all the teen magazines. I’m not devastated anymore but I still feel pangs about it, remembering that younger me, and I feel that sense of heartache for someone who was in that place in their head where they felt they needed to leave the world and not pursue a future and everything that would have been part of it. I sure would have loved to have seen what he would have done in Alias Smith and Jones and beyond. Best to you you all.
I think about him often. It’s too bad that he didn’t realize how much of an influence he was on so many people. Back then it was so uncommon for people to care about the things that Peter cared about. He really stood out!! And he was talented and easy on the eyes as well!! It was that combination–the caring about animals and politics and the environment–and the talented acting—-that was irresistible. RIP Peter!!
Remembering him with you. ♥️
Remembering Pete today…..just because 🤠
i loved the showand i felt bad about his passing
I remember so clearly hearing of Pete’s passing on 31st December 1971. So long ago now but it stills upsets me thinking about this beautiful man who was taken away far too soon. It was the first time I had ever felt such a deep sense of utter despair and loss and for someone I had never even met. I was 14 years old.
what a great actor and what an even greater human being ,his soul was too sensitive for this world..I loved him from the first moment I set eyes on him and ill never forget him..
RIP Peter…….heavens gain was our loss….
the first time i saw peter i never saw anything more perfect in my life I miss him more than I can say happy birthday sweet peter much love
I am now 59 years old. And still remember Pete Duel. Can’t believe it is almost 50 years ago that he died. Hope he found peace forever.
yes…..he was special! 😊
I first fell in love with Pete Duel when I first saw him on Alias Smith and Jones. I was only 11 years old when I found out that he had died and I was heartbroken. I wouldn’t watch Roger Davis in AS&J when he took Pete’s place, although, of course, it wasn’t Roger’s fault. But in my 11 year old mind, watching Roger in Pete’s role would have been doing a disservice to Pete’s memory. I’m 61 years old now and have gotten to see Pete’s acting talent in many other shows and movies, including “Generation” with Kim Darby. He had a certain spark to him, for certain. And even now, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a more handsome man. Yes, Laura, he was beautiful. My continued condolences to his sister and brother. He was special – and MUCH loved. I miss him still. One more thing: Laura, could you please answer a question for me: what ever happened to Pete’s manager, John Napier? I can’t find anything about him on the internet. I’ve always been curious. Thank you for this site.
Thank you. I know it was a bittersweet and oft times painful project. So thank you all the more. I’ll pass your sentiments to Geoff. -Laura
Finally made time to sit and watch the half hour tribute to Pete that was completed by Geoffrey and so many gifted people. What a terrific portrait of a complex, thoughtful and giman. Filled with amazing images, crisply edited and narrated with a real warmth, it presented a fresh and collected picture of Pete’s life and struggles, and also really brought him to life in a sensitive and realistic way. God bless everyone involved and than you.
50 years later…………”drifts into consciousness……..entering in pastel waves……to become…..simply……Love.
I was 10 years old when I saw on the news Pete Duel had died. Alias Smith & Jones was my favorite show and even so young, I truly loved Pete. I broke out sobbing. Later I learned it was suicide and I remember sitting on the couch brokenhearted, thinking, “If only he knew how much I loved him, he might not have done this.”
It took me a while to recover over him. Sure I was just a kid but my love was real.
I wanted to see him thrive in life.
I will never forget him.
I’m 58 years old (2021) and I still remember how much I loved him. I’ve since learned he had epilepsy and was taking dilantin. Well, I was diagnosed epileptic when I was 16 and have been on dilantin since. As long as I stay away from alcohol, the dilantin controls my seizures.
I’m very happy about this memorial for Pete. He should be remembered.
God bless all!
It’s strange just how often I think of Pete Duel. I watched Alias Smith and Jones religiously when I was young, and it may be that his death was one of the first to really affect me, even though, of course, I never met him or really knew him. He was young and talented, but, as so many people are, deeply troubled; the world was the less for his passing. I thank him for the good memories. RIP.
Happy Birthday Pete, you SPARKLE like a STAR, you SHINE like a DIAMOND and your SMILE brightens my DAY, much love x
Happy heavenly birthday Pete!
Happy Birthday dear, sweet Pete. Miss you. Love you! XOX
Happy birthday dear petexxx
Happy Birthday in heaven Pete…..we still remember you – forever!
RIP our friend……
-Noemi ** NY
Remembering Pete today, on what would have been his 81st Birthday,I’m so grateful to this website keeping Petes memory alive & allowing us all to share our memories.I’ve lived on a farm all my life & appreciate the outdoors too. In 1975 I persuaded my Dad to buy me a beautiful chestnut horse very similar to the one Pete rode on Alias Smith & Jones, I often thought about Pete when I rode her, thinking about the what if’s or maybe’s, I got a lot of pleasure with that horse until she died in 2004. Recently I’ve read Petes biography & felt a strange connection, when I discovered he’d given 2 girlfriends a singer sewing machine would you believe it, a poster of Pete has been on my wall, for over 40 years now above my singer sewing machine watching over me whenever I use it.
So sad, the loss of such a talented, special person & so young💕
Love & miss you always❤️
Happy thoughts of you today, Pete. Avril x
It’s February 24th, and I’m remembering my all-time favorite. You’ll never be forgotten.
Happy Heavenly Birthday Peter You’re Loved Missed and Never will Be Forgotten For Your Kind Heart Huge Talent Your Magic Lives On Much Love to Geoffrey Jackie and Pamela Pete You Live In Our Hearts
Peter is loved and missed. So tragic when one takes their life.
Oh, how I loved (and still do) the adventures of Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry on “Alias Smith and Jones”. Such a wonderful show, talented, handsome young actors. The series was fun, light-hearted and watching now takes me back to a time when life was good. I remember when I first heard Pete had died. I couldn’t believe it! So young, so handsome and a very talented actor. I believe I cried. Still makes me sad thinking about that time.
Thank you for your beautiful insights, Leanne. I’m sorry I didn’t realize the Marcus Welby episode wasn’t working; it turned out to be just a typo in the URL. Please do find it in place now. And thank you again! -Laura
Looking at this website, I realized the varied and amazing amount of quality work Pete did in such a short period of time. That is significant for a person in this business. His talent was overflowing (i.e. horsemanship, handling a deck of cards, acting, etc.). He did not just repeat a certain mannerism over and over again. He kept coming up with new ways to express himself. The way he moved. The way he responded. No matter how he chose to portray a character, it was all very believable and engaging. To have that much insight is rare. Even when he did not have time for anything else, he kept striving to do more.
My family is greatly enjoying the weekly episodes we are able to record and then watch of Pete and Ben Murphy on “Alias Smith and Jones”. This is the only show we watch together. It is very special to us and we look forward to it every week.
Thank you for making so many of Pete’s work available on this website. I hope you will be able to get the pilot episode of Marcus Welby M.D. to work. We would love to see that, because we are familiar with the difficulties caused by aphasia, which Pete portrays in that episode.
All the best to you and yours! Thank you again!
I agree with you……49 years and it still brings pain and sadness….We still love and miss you Pete! RIP our beautiful friend!
I was thinking about you Pete over these holidays,it’s 49yrs since you left us, you were a big part of my childhood,Alias Smith &Jones was the highlight of my week,back then I was 13,& still miss you after all these years.You certainly were ahead of your time being concerned about the planet & big on recycling.Watching Smith &Jones during this difficult year has kept me going.❤️
Its hard to believe that this coming year will make 50 years since you left us. All these years later it still seems like only yesterday, even thought it’s almost a lifetime ago. When I think of all the time in between, of everything that has happened in the world in those intervening years, and in my own life also, it just seems all the more sad that you missed out on so much of life. Our time here is already short, to make it shorter is a tragedy, but I guess that realization only comes with age. You had so much to live for, and to give, if only you had realized it. You were disillusioned with the state of the world back in 1971, I can’t imagine what you would think of it today, with climate change, environmental destruction, conflict, war and disease. But, despite it all, life is still precious and worth fighting for. I with you could have realized that.
R I P Pete.
49 Years Later Peter Deuel Is So Special I’m Just Proud to Be A Part Of this Group that Continues to Honor Him and this Doesn’t happen For Everyone Reserved For a Unique Few You have Elvis Frank Sinatra Pete ….Thank You Laura Moretti For all You Do to Celebrate Peter’s Life and Talent
Pete would probably never had imagined what 2020 would have been like-I am sure none of us did. But, thanks to having to work from home, I came across Alias Smith and Jones on the tv one afternoon and the years literally melted away-I was barely 12 when he passed and Hannibal Heyes meant the world to me back then. It was good to have Hannibal as a pandemic buddy this year and I have really come to appreciate what a fine actor Pete was as well as being so progressive in his outlook about so many things. Rest well Pete and thank you for what you brought to the world.
Another year has gone by but still dear Pete you still remain deep in my heart. With our daily stresses in life and this year being extremely hard with this terrible virus effecting so many all over our world I wonder what you would think if you were here with us today. There are so many problems in our world today which seem to me to be so much worse than when you were here Pete but maybe as I was young I just did not see the things you were so passionate about wanting to change back then. You are my forever first love.
I was just 10 years old and a big fan of Alias Smith and Jones when i heard of his passing . I was very sad about that and I can still remember that and my suroundings and what I was doing when the news reported it on the radio.
At 60 I still watch this via DVD.
Rest In Peace.
Blessed with talent, intellect and charm…you seemed to have it all, handsome Pete. I wonder where your path would have led, had you felt able to keep going. The paths of those loving you altered too, that day of your passing – those of your family, and those of many who loved you from afar from within their young hearts. My emotional palette’s colours changed for ever. I can’t erase you from my heart….and never want to. Avril x
This coming year will make 50 years since you left us. Where did the time go?
Such a tragic waste of life, and talent.
But, still remembered,
I am so glad to have found this site. Over the years I have checked around for information on Pete and the program. Back in the day I was a teenager and Alias Smith and Jones was my favorite show. I tried to never miss an episode. I remember when the sad event happened very well. Strange thing was that I never forgot the day before Pete passed oh, I had a dream if something had happened to one of them and they were gone. So the next day when I heard what happened to Pete it shocked me and left an impression that has lasted almost 50 years. I often Ponder and wonder what it could have been for him if he could have somehow got the help he needed.
Thank you Billie. She did disappear from the face of the earth; it is rare not to find anyone with Google now. I will keep looking. I also saw a clip of Peter on the Dating Game. I would love to watch the full segment.
Yes definitely thank you for your comments and welcome to Pete’s memorial website we all love him and love Laura for keeping his memory alive it’s an honor thank you so much
Thank you, Claudia. And thank you for remembering Peter. I share this page with his brother—our blood tie to a man we love and miss so much. ❤️
I am simply amazed at the professionalism and personal touches that your site has. I have always followed ASJ in my life to some point…and have a private collection of ASJ videos featuring both the guys…but 2/3 are probably more Pete focused because of his tragic death. I am so glad that I found your Memorial to him, I have spent the entire morning reading every word from every interview you conducted…I was always a Kid Curry fan, when the show was aired and I was in my teens…and Ben’s interview was honest…I learned much from his perspective. I thank you for your wonderful contribution to Pete’s memory, and this site will be a regular watch for me for a long time. Pete, we all miss you…I hope that you have found the peace that you so desperately needed.
Thank you very much, Susan. Your kind words and your fondness and memory of Pete is what keeps him alive for us all. -Laura
I agree. What a handsome man and so ahead of his time with his concern for the environment. I was almost sixteen when Pete Dual died and being from the UK, we were always a season behind the US. I remember my Dad telling me that my favourite actor had died when I came home from school, and I didn’t really know how to process it. I watched the BBC news at 6 o’clock that evening – I recall that it was a very respectful homage to Pete, but I was a very sad teenager. Watching ‘Alias Smith and Jones’ after that seemed surreal. I’m afraid I couldn’t watch it when the UK aired the first series with Pete Duel’s replacement.
This is a lovely and very respectful site to a wonderful and sensitive man whose career was cut tragically short.
Well done to you and thank you.
She suposedly went to Mexico who knows if it’s the truth or not. Maybe she fell of the face of the earth
Thank you. It’s been a labor of love for 15 years now. ❤️
I recently found Love on a Rooftop on YouTube and was taken by such a talented and handsome man that he was. Also he was so concerned about the environment. Such a shame that it still is under threat today. I have been reading your site and other information on him. I feel very sorry for Roger Davis, but would love to know what happened to his girlfriend Dianne. She seems to have fallen off the face of the earth. Lovely memorial site.
This Is the holiday Weekend we Remember Those we’ve Lost Yes I Think Of My Family I Miss Rick My Brother My Mom and Dad all My Family and I Remember Pete too Because he was a Great Man and still Entertains Me and Gives Me a Great Lift when I’m Sad Thinking Of the Family I’ve Lost Thank You Pete
Thank you for sharing your great story! Hope you get to visit his gravesite again soon.
I’ll never forget the day he died. I was 16 years old and my family lived near Syracuse, NY. Since it was Christmas vacation, my friend Carol and I went ice skating on the frozen swamp near my house. We went back to my house when it became dark, around 4:30. On our porch was the evening newspaper. There was the headline about Pete. Since he was from Rochester, it was “local” news on the front page. Because I knew that my friend could often be fairly cruel and heartless about a lot of things, I scooped up the paper, folded it before she could see the headline and placed it on my dad’s easy chair. I was devastated, but secretly so, for fear of being made fun of by others.
In the summer of 1977, I met an acquaintance who told me that she wanted to find his grave. I volunteered to go; off to Rochester we went. Upon asking around, we finally found the cemetery and the gravesite in Penfield.
Sometime in the mid 1980s, after I moved away from NY, I happened to be driving past Rochester and I stopped in Penfield. I was amazed at the amount of flowers and cards I found at the gravesite, although many years had passed.
I’m forever grateful to the person or people who invented home video. Upon watching episodes of Alias Smith and Jones on DVD, I’m suddenly 16 and in love all over again with Pete Duel and Ben Murphy. However, I have often wondered why the producers chose to replace him with Roger Davis, someone who didn’t remotely resemble him. Did they approach his brother Geoff? If so, did Geoff the idea incredibly disturbing and distasteful? Probably so.
Thank you for such a nice web site.
I was only 10 when Alias Smith and Jones was on TV. I admired Pete Duel and Ben Murphy. I could not understand why Pete hated that show so much. After reading this website I now understand. I did not know he was an epileptic and was on meds that worsen his depression. I loved Peter when i was a child and was heartbroken like all others. God Bless you Peter may Jesus heal your condition. See you in heaven. Until then I will still miss you.
Thanks Keith those are lovely words and I second that emotion
I was a teenager when Alias Smith & Jones was a weekly series, I loved it! Never missed it. As an adult I watch the reruns. I remember feeling so sad when I’d heard about Pete Duel. For him mostly. I wondered back then why someone couldn’t have helped him. I didn’t know anything of antidepressants back then but wonder if they would have helped him. We lost a great actor that day, I think his future in acting was very bright. I loved his smile! R.I.P. Pete, I hope you found the peace that you couldn’t find on earth..
Been watching Alias Smith and Jones on INSP. Remember watching it when I was a kid. It was my second favorite next to the Virginian. So much so I just bought the DVD set. That when tv was TV and not this reality tv. Loved watching him as an actor. He went way to young. To much talent. Was was and still missed.
I was 6 years old when Pete passed away. My brother and I would often watch A S&J. Pete was a wonderful actor, and could take your imagination to a different time and place.
Wishing Pete a peaceful and joyous Birthday in Heaven. I hope he knows how much he is still loved and missed after all these years. I remember Pete from Love on a Rooftop. I think I had a crush on him even the, even though I was only about 6. When Smith and Jones came out, he was the reason I started watching it. I was heartbroken when he died and devastated when I learned how. At 11 , it hard to comprehend. I couldn’t watch anything with him in it for a long time. I always figured I was the only one who still remembered him. I am so glad I was wrong about that. As an adult I have gone back (with a lot of help from this site) and watched much of his work. I was greatly impressed at what a truly talented actor he really was.
I lost both of my brothers much too soon, and I know that days like birthdays can be tough. I hope Geoff and Pam find comfort in knowing what Pete meant to all of us. Thank you Geoff, for sharing so much with us through this site.
Thinking of you today. Words are so insignificant when the heart can say it all….
Happy 80th Birthday Pete! You impacted my life at a young age with your role of Hannibal Heyes. I only wish you could have grown old with us for you were a true talent. Rest well as you are never forgotten. Your legacy will continue for several more generations thanks to Laura ,Geoff and your many fans. Thanks for all you gave to us!
What a beautiful tribute to Pete with the recent baby album..His untimely passing has always stayed with me throughout the years and reminds me how life is so precious. Watching his shows, you could see the definite talent,and acting skills he possessed and displayed with such great ease. Through these pictures, I realize the love his family had for him and the love he returned as the son and big brother. My many thanks to Geoff, his wife Jacqueline and Pam for sharing such tender and loving family pictures with his fans. Pete’s memory and life are not forgotten..
Loved and remembered by so many. Your star shines on, Pete. xx
Still remember Peter Duel, I was only 2 when he passed but watched all the re-runs as a kid. First crush, happy memories x
Still remember fondly Peter Duel. I was only 2 when he passed but I remember the re-runs when I was a kid. First crush, happy memories x
I don’t know why I should be surprised that there are others who still remember Pete and mourn his passing. I was greatly affected by his acting and was heartbroken when he died. It was my first exposure to such a death/loss. I now live in Upstate NY, less than 2hrs. from Rochester and that area, and still remember his birthday (after all these decades!) It’s nice to see others do, too. This site is a wonderful tribute to the man and his talents. Thanks.
Thank you so much Geoffrey for sharing “Pete’s Baby Book” with us. It is so beautiful I love love it. It’s amazing how his prominent features as a baby were still there through his adult life. ❤️
Happy birthday in heaven Pete we still love you and miss you……..and yes- you still steal our hearts with every picture!! ❤️🌹🤠
Wishing you dear pete a happy 80th birthday you are gone but will never be forgotten. Sending all my love to you xxx.
Always in our thoughts and hearts. Happy birthday.
I Want to Wish Happy Birthday In Heaven To Pete Nobody Does It Better I Think the Saddest Thing I Feel Is Pete’s Not here to Be with his Family Friends also that Pete’s Not here to Enjoy his Continued Success and Popularity and I Believe he would’ve had the Career he Wanted and then Some One thing though Pete still Feels the Love From Family and all Of Us My Love Goes Out to Jacqueline Geoff Pam all his Family and Fans Love Is all Around Pete Forever It will Always Be
I was very young we you died, you made such a impact on my life watching asj. I could not understand how you could leave us. I joined the Army and went into aviation, now I understand you suffered from PTSD back then it was not a condition. I will always remember you.🐅🐅🐅🐅💜💜💜
Hey Mark welcome to the pete duel memorial site we all are pretty much around that age and can relate/feel the same you do thank you for your comments. ❤️
I stumbled across this site as I realized another favorite western actor Robert Conrad has been called home. Born in 62 in central NC we barely had three local channels. Wild Wild West and Alias Smith and Jones where two of my favorite shows. As a kid of around 10 I was devastated when I read of Mr. Duels passing and I think it was my first realization of the reality/finality of suicide. Prayers to Family, Friends and Fans.
In my early 70’s and am watching Pete Duel in SMith and JOnes LOVE THIS, was raising kids in the 70’s and never saw these shows. Pete could have gone on a had a great career the way Ben Murphy did. So sorry to have you gone Pete. Loved those dimples.
Thankyou noemi happy new year to you toxx
Thank you Melissa for your beautiful words yes it is wonderful to know how loved he still is by so many after all these years
ahh Helen I think a lot of us feel the same way you do thank you so much for sharing because we all love him too
Yes thanks to all for keeping his memory alive 🌹
You spoke for so many of us, verbatim. Thank you so much for helping to keep his memory alive. 🌹
I was 15 when I first saw Pete as Hannibal Heyes and was instantly smitten. I was just 16 when he died and totally heartbroken. Now I’m 64 and I’m still totally smitten and totally heartbroken for Pete – having learnt more about him as a person and watched everything else he did thanks to modern technology. Such a beautiful, talented man I love him more than ever. x
I only just discovered you, Pete, and now I’m mourning your passing. I love you so very much, and I pray with all my heart that you have found the peace and happiness that eluded you in this life.
Thank you, Laura, for this wonderful site. It’s a great comfort to be with other Pete Duel fans, and know how loved he still is by so many.
Thank you Susan we all still love and miss Pete thank you for sharing those beautiful comments with us happy new year
❤️ 🕯 🤠
Thank you for that ❤️
Thank you Pat I feel the same way we will all always love Pete and always keep his memory
Thank you Valerie I agree with you will always remember him always miss him
Thank you Karen for that same here
I was 13 and so loved Peter. I was devastated when I learned of his passing that New Year’s day. I have thought of Pete every year, especially on New Year’s eve, since. Not only was he so handsome and engaging, you could tell how sensitive and thoughtful he was. I remember recording Simple Gifts on my cassette player. Always remembered, always missed.
Be at peace. You will always be sorely missed by so many whose lives you touched.
My young heart broke for you. You are loved still. xxx
A candle for Pete tonight, thinking of him and his family, always love in my heart for you Pete x