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.

Pete Duel

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 (450)

  1. Anne-Marie :

    Ik kon het indertijd niet geloven, zo een tragisch einde. Een groot verlies, van een goed mens

  2. Elizabeth Roush :

    I love Pete Duel and he will live in my Heart forever. I still cry when I think of Pete no one will ever take your place . I love you and I will never forget you

  3. Julia Carodine :

    I loved, loved anything he did. My mom & I watched AS&J every week…..and then the reruns. He had those dimples and his smile melted your heart. I am so sorry for his family’s loss. 😢 I, too had family members die in the same manner. Heartbreaking.

  4. BlackCloud :

    I’m a lot younger than Pete, but he helped us when we were stuck in the “mud” on the way back to the cabin, the property next to his 20 acre property near Relief Reservoir in the sierra’s It must have been just months before he ended his life. I was only a toddler when it happened, my older brother would share bits and pieces. I always wondered that to myself and as a teenager would runaway to the cabin when things weren’t right, thumbing it sometimes and arriving there on foot many times and in the pitch of night, having an uneasy feeling passing the property. I always felt like he did I Think, when Pete reflects back on being 16. I haven’t been to the cabin in years. Put that on the bucket list I suppose. Rest In Peace, Aho

    • BlackCloud :

      He actually piled us into his 4wd about 3-4 miles from the cabin (near the Bennett juniper tree, which is older than Jesus), and as I remember, drove us out to Strawberry and more resources.

    • Noemi :

      Thank you for sharing….it’s so nice to hear first-hand accounts of actual events that happened throughout his life….and “Relief Reservoir” in the Sierra’s- what a beautiful peaceful place!!

  5. Vickie McKnight :

    Pete was one of those special actors.. I remember hearing the news.. My heart sank

  6. Scott C :

    10 years ahead of me at Penfield HS. His dad did school physicals for us… cough cough. We loved seeing Pete on TV but after high school I wasn’t watching much tv and did not hear of his death till later. It was sad – much like a buddy who set himself on fire in the middle of Penfield Rd.

  7. Noemi :

    Had a dream about Pete last night. I was with him and another gentleman but don’t know who. We were walking along a street and going into stores/shops. We took a break and were sitting in a banister and then they got up and continued walking but I was too tired, so I delayed- when I finally got up to catch up to them I saw him come out behind a car to let me know he was waiting for me. He never spoke to me and never looked me in the eye but we just continued walking along. After a while we stopped at my mom’s house (weird) and he was there mingling with everyone. As I looked at him from afar I thought to myself – “this cannot be Pete – he is too young, but he looks exactly like Pete” so I assumed that it had to be some kind of kin/relation to him. I searched all around my room for a picture I had of Pete so that I could show him but I never found it and the dream ended. RIP Pete!!

    • Laura :

      Been there. Done that. Know how you feel. So bittersweet.

  8. Diana :

    I remember Pete as my favourite actor in my youth. A long time ago:-) A handsome man with a lot of difficulties. It’s interesting, that so much people remember him such a long time after his death. My best wishes to his family.

    Greetings from Germany

    • Noemi :

      : -) DE

  9. Sue Hutchinson :

    50 years ago I was 13 and Pete was my first love. I was devastated at his death but promised him that when I had a dog I would name him Pete. At the age of 21 I had my dog – a black lab and yes his name was Pete ( or Peter if he was naughty!) Pete I remember your birthday and the day of your death each year, 50 years on you are still missed but much loved.
    I have DVD’s of Smith and Jones and still watch them and have a laugh.
    When Pete ( dog) died I promised him I would get a rescue dog – she is a lab/staff called Izzy.

  10. Avril :

    Love on your birthday, Pete. Love always. xx

  11. Noemi :

    Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Pete, happy birthday to you!!!!! we will never forget you….

  12. Marianne Carter :

    24 February – a special date I always remember, Happy Birthday Pete, missed and loved as always x

    • Rachel :

      Gone too soon. Such a loss.

  13. Vicki :

    Today is Pete’s birthday. His presence is felt every day by those who knew and loved him. He is loved and sorely missed.

  14. Susan Kempster :

    Happy birthday dear Pete in heaven will love you always you will never be forgotten everxxx

    • Anne Woodend uk :

      Thinking of Pete today on what would have been his 82nd Birthday ,never far away in my thoughts, love & miss you 💕💕

  15. Linda Zinn :

    I first met Pete when my best friend babysat for his sister who was attending a university in Ohio. When my friend and I moved to Hollywood, my path crossed with his occasionally. He was a kind, caring and passionate man.

    I moved back to Ohio in 1970 and was stunned to hear of Pete’s death on the radio. The world lost a special man. 💕

    • Agneta :

      Today you would turn 82 years! You are nerver forgotten and I Wish you were here, happy birthday. Love you!!

  16. Noemi :

    I wasn’t able to post anything until now but just want to remember Pete on his 50th anniversary. RIP beautiful Pete…..we will ALL remember you forever ❤️🤠❤️

  17. Marianne Carter :

    50 Years of Love for You, Forever Missed, Always Remembered, Never Forgotten, the Hero in My Heart, My Love Always Beautiful Man x

    • Noemi :

      ❤️ 🥰

  18. Michelle Plummer :

    It’s Been awhile Since I’ve Written Comments here But I’m Never that Far Away I Can Appreciate what My Fellow Admirers Of Pete Duel Say here I have those Same Feelings still Remember and Love him Thanks Laura Jacqueline and Geoff For Being the Keepers Of this Beautiful Flame Peter I Enjoy all the Articles You Post the Memorial Book Everything I Just Received the Latest Simple Gifts It’s So Beautiful For Pete

  19. Don Harder :

    In Loving Memory of Peter Ellstrom Deuel aka Hannibal Heyes’ Joshua Smith. On the 50th Anniversary of his entry into Eternal Life on December 31, 1971, I STILL mourn his tragic death every December 31 at 1:00 AM PST. His memory will ALWAYS live on in our hearts and souls. Loveya ALWAYS dear friend, and looking forward to meeting you in Heaven. THANK YOU Laura for keeping Pete’s candle burning “For Pete’s Sake”. Hebrews 4:1 Amplified

    • Julia Carodine :

      What a lovely tribute. Thank you for reminding me that we will see him again. Take care.

  20. Avril :

    You touched our souls, Pete. That’s why we remember ……..xx

    • Denise Franklin :

      50 years ago tonight…I was 16 years old & life was never going to be the same again.
      My schoolfriends formed a club & we remember Pete to this day.
      Missed beyond words, lived beyond measure. Xx

    • Harry Felker :

      When he passed away I was saddened beyond words. I enjoyed him so much on Love On A Rooftop & Alias Smith & Jones.

  21. Dionne :

    Remembering you on this day. I was 7 years old when I heard of your passing. It took a while for the news to sink in and to understand that you were no longer here. You were a big part of my childhood, Alias Smith and Jones in the 70s, I never missed an episode. So handsome with a gorgeous smile. I still miss you to this day at 57. You left this world to early.

  22. Barbara Fairlamb :

    Remember hearing of Pete’s passing.always remember him. Can’t believe 50years have passed

  23. Leanne Roe :

    I join you all tonight. In less than 4 hours, it will be exactly 50 years since Pete died. As I have gotten older, I see more and more the talent he had. Everyone who acted with him was greatly impressed. Ben Murphy said in his whole career, never did he ever experience the close partnership he had with Pete Duel. How I would have liked his death never to have happened.

    “Alias Smith and Jones” meant a lot to me. Out of my whole week, that one hour long show was the only thing I enjoyed. It was the only thing I looked forward to. I remember writing to the local newspaper in protest when they changed the show’s start time from 7:30PM to the new schedule of 8PM to 9PM. You see, my mother would not let us stay up passed 8:30PM on a school night.

    On the night they made the time change to 8PM, I watched half the show. Then my mom came down and said I had to turn off the TV. I was so upset, I shook uncontrollably, yelled, cried and had a major anxiety attack. I could hardly catch my breath. I told my mom just how much that show meant to me. I was so distressed, my mother withdrew her bedtime rule for that one night of the week. On that first night, however, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted, I couldn’t finish watching the show.

    I share this with you, because Pete meant a lot to all of us. This is a group that understands that.

    God Bless you Pete Duel. Thank you for the joy you gave so many. May you find the peace that passes all understanding.

  24. Kat U :

    Tomorrow, it will be 50 years since you left us, yet it seems like it was yesterday. I was just a teenager, baking cookies for my parents who were having friends over to celebrate New Years 1972 when I heard the news. I remember being completely devastated and confused as to what happened to a man that was so incredibly talented, full of life, an environmental warrior dedicated to making the world a better place, a gentle kind soul. Your smile made us all smile and lifted our spirits. In your 31 years, you touched many lives and and you left a void in our hearts. I know we all hope you have found the peace and love you were so desperately searching for during your time here. Bless you always. Thank you Geoffrey and Jacqueline Deuel for sharing those beautiful photographs of the family.

  25. Vicki :

    It’s been 50 years since Pete left us. Not a day goes by when he doesn’t cross my mind…even after all this time this man moves me in ways I still can not define.
    His light will shine forever for he lives in the hearts of everyone who knew him and loved him.
    He is forever loved and sorely missed.

  26. Lisa Zafar :

    I can not help but thank of you on this dark anniversary of you leaving this world and everybody who loved you who are left to wonder why. You would never truly know how many people loved you or whose life you would touch and continue to touch 50 years later. The world became truly a little darker when we lost you that fateful night. I wonder if you had only had someone to talk to would things have changed. Your smile never ceases to warm my heart. There was only 1 Pete Duel this world was blessed with! Pete Duel forever! Peace and Ecology Now!

  27. Maggie :

    Dear Pete, remembering you always with love. Fifty years since my heart broke.

  28. Sue :

    Words cannot say how I feel today it’s hard to believe 50 years have gone by since you so tragically left us. Dear Pete you must have been such a wonderfull man to have left such a big impression on so many of us. The pain I feel is like I feel when I have lost a family member you mean that much to myself and so many of us dear Pete now and alwaysxxx

  29. Anne, UK :

    Remembering Pete,especially today,can’t believe it’s 50 yrs ago tonight since he left us,think about him often & got the full box set of Alias Smith & Jones for Christmas this year,I’ve always loved the show & still do.Affected me deeply when he died,just couldn’t believe it,such a sad end to a gifted,lovely man,forever loved,& forever missed,I’m just grateful for what he has left us all to watch & enjoy,our lives are better with a part of him in it.❤️❤️❤️RIP

  30. Sharon Howe :

    I find it hard to believe that we are within a day of the 50th anniversary of Peter’s passing. Seriously not a year has gone by that I don’t remember him at this time of the year. I use to say “his eyes smiled”. I know this may sound crazy but I honestly thought his eyes dimmed and not as vibrant as they were in months prior but maybe just the way my mind worked at the time. I never knew this site existed and glad I found it today of all days. Love you and miss you Peter… and always will.

  31. Misty Martin :

    Yes, it will have been 50 years this coming December 31. I believe that Dec. 31 in 1971 was on a Friday, just as it is this year. I’ve watched the biography about Pete made in 2015 several times now. Thanks to Geoffrey and Jacqueline Deuel and Laura Moretti. Thank you, Laura, also for this website. “Remembering Pete Duel (A Biography)” is simply a beautiful and loving tribute to such an amazing man – the background music, the narrator’s voice, the listing of Peter’s entire body of work: perfection. Geoffrey: I’m sorry for your loss, and indeed the world’s loss of Pete. I pray you and your sister, Pamela, and indeed all who knew and loved Pete, will be comforted at this difficult anniversary of that loss. Life can be unpredictable and hard, and sometimes short. May all of us give back to the world in some way, much as Pete gave of himself with his enormous talent and his caring for the earth and his belief in ecology. Good-bye, Pete. We miss you. Thanks for the memories and your film legacy. You are not, nor will you ever be, forgotten.

  32. Joaquin Santos :

    Dear Pete. This year marks the 50th anniversary of your passing away. I still recall that dreadful day when I heard the news .I will never understand what was going on in your life that you decide to end it that way. And I guess I’ll never will. But, I do know whatever you may have been dealing with, you were not alone. Although at times it may feel like were alone in this world. We are not. You had the love of your family and friends. Who would have been there for you if you only had found the strength inside yourself and reached out to them. Maybe you just couldn’t find a way to reach out? It’s hard to ask for help. It makes one feel vulnerable. The outcome of your action. Has effected many lives and will continue to do so.. Pete,I don’t know if you were aware that you were, and still are, loved and remembered fondly. Not a year has gone by were I haven’t lit a candle and say a small prayer for you on this sad day of remembrance. I pray you are at peace and found the joy you so much deserved. Ecology Now…and Forever. A friend. Jack.

  33. Terry :

    I don’t know why but I remember the television show he was on and I knew his name from that. I was only ten yrs old and vacationing with my family in Florida when they announced that he’d committed suicide. Maybe I had a bit of a crush on him at the time, but I remember being so moved, and so sad, like he had been a brother or close cousin. I also don’t know what made me think of him spontaneously today; no one mentioned his name; it just popped into my head and I did a quick search, finding this site. I didn’t know he was taking the epilepsy drug and that that could have led to his suicide. It’s now more understandable but still so very sad.

    • Noemi Chapa :

      Wow interesting that you thought of him so randomly. His 50th death anniversary is next week – so we are with you in remembering him…..let’s celebrate his life- and the beautiful gift he left us!

  34. Susan :

    He was so beautiful inside and out, unique ,irreplaceable will always live on in my heart…

  35. Roger :

    I was just 10 when he passed 50 yrs of memories one of my best was of pete duel and Ben Murphy. Loved their shows

  36. Fiona Sheach :

    Cop 26 has recently been held in my country, in Glasgow. Many of the environmental issues debated were causes Pete campaigned for. He was ahead of his time.
    I was too young to watch the original Alias Smith and Jones but enjoyed the reruns in the 70s in Britain. I grew up watching Westerns as my late father loved them. I cannot believe it’s fifty years since Alias Smith and Jones was broadcast.
    R.I.P. Pete. I would like to think you would approve of the direction the world is trying to take.

  37. Alex Devereux :

    I am watching the DVD set of Smith and Jones, just purchased and am enjoying it immeasurably. After 50 years Pete Duel’s smile still lights up my day and makes me smile. Bless him.

  38. Nancy :

    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.

  39. Cynthia :

    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.

  40. Carla Ann Burwitz :

    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.

    • Noemi :

      aww…. Yes 50 years later and I still wonder what I was doing when the news of his death was broadcasted (thanks for sharing) 😢❤️

  41. Mike Haley :

    One great actor. I am in Lexington, Ky. I still have the orignal news paper from when he died.

  42. Laurie Swenson :

    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.

  43. Noemi :

    Remembering Pete today…..just because 🤠

    • Laura :

      Remembering him with you. ♥️

    • Carol :

      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!!

    • Pam :

      Yes it was a day that my heart was broken 💔 . I too was in love. Such a great actor.

  44. Joanna Drayton :

    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.

  45. jenny m :

    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….

  46. colleen callea :

    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

Share Your Thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!