Pete Duel
Pete Duel
Peter Ellstrom "Pete" Deuel, also known as Pete Duel, was an American stage, television and film actor. He is best known for his role as outlaw Hannibal Heyes (alias Joshua Smith) in the television series Alias Smith and Jones. Duel died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the early morning hours on New Year's Eve, 1971. His death was ruled a suicide.
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  • 1971
    Age 31
    In the early hours of December 31, 1971, Duel died at his Hollywood Hills home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
    More Details Hide Details Duel's girlfriend, Dianne Ray, was at his home at the time of his death and discovered his body. Ray later told police the two had watched Duel's series Alias Smith and Jones the previous evening. She later went to sleep in another room while Duel stayed up. Sometime after midnight, Duel entered the bedroom, retrieved his revolver and told Ray "I'll see you later." Ray then said she heard a gunshot from another room and discovered Duel's body. According to police, Duel's friends and family said he was depressed about his drinking problem. He had been arrested and pleaded guilty to a DUI accident that injured two people the previous June. Duel's death was later ruled a suicide. Duel's funeral was held at the Self-Realization Fellowship Temple on January 2, 1972, in Pacific Palisades. At the service, Duel's girlfriend read a poem he wrote, titled "Love". An estimated 1,000 friends and fans attended. His body was flown to Penfield, New York, where he was buried in Oakwood Cemetery.
  • 1968
    Age 28
    He attended the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, and witnessed the violence that erupted.
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    Duel became involved in politics during the primaries for the 1968 presidential election, campaigning for Eugene McCarthy, in opposition to the Vietnam War.
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    He appeared in The Psychiatrist, The Bold Ones, Ironside, and Marcus Welby, M.D.. He also made feature films during this time, beginning with the important role of Rod Taylor’s best friend and copilot, Mike Brewer, in The Hell with Heroes in 1968 and the next year in Generation.
    More Details Hide Details Following that film, he went to Spain to film Cannon for Cordoba (1970), a western in which he played the mischievous soldier, Andy Rice. In 1970, Duel was cast as the outlaw Hannibal Heyes, alias Joshua Smith, opposite Ben Murphy, in Alias Smith and Jones, a light-hearted western about the exploits of two outlaws trying to earn an amnesty. During the hiatus between the first and second seasons, he starred in the television production of Percy MacKaye’s 1908 play, The Scarecrow. Geoffrey Deuel, Peter's brother, played William Bonnie on a movie called Chisum opposite John Wayne.
  • 1965
    Age 25
    In 1965, he was cast in the comedy series Gidget. Duel played Gidget's brother-in-law, John Cooper, on the series, and appeared in twenty-two of the thirty-two episodes. Gidget was cancelled after only one season in 1966, but Deuel was immediately offered the starring role of Dave Willis, a newlywed apprentice architect, in a romantic comedy called Love on a Rooftop.
    More Details Hide Details Although the show earned good ratings, ABC decided not to bring it back after its first season. Duel wished to move from sitcoms to more serious roles. Around 1970, he also changed his name, dropping the "r" from Peter and the 1st "e" from "Deuel". In the credits on the series Gidget, episode 25, his last name appears as "Devel".
  • 1963
    Age 23
    Moving to New York, Duel landed a role in a touring production of the comedy Take Her, She's Mine. To find work in the movies, Duel and his mother drove across the country to Hollywood, California in 1963, with only a tent to house them each night.
    More Details Hide Details In Hollywood, he found work in television, making small guest appearances in comedies like Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. and dramas, such as ABC's Channing with Jason Evers and Combat! with Rick Jason and Vic Morrow.
  • 1957
    Age 17
    He attended Penfield High School, where he worked on the yearbook staff, campaigned for student government, and was a member of the National Thespians Society. He graduated in 1957 and attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, where he majored in English.
    More Details Hide Details Still, he preferred performing in the drama department’s productions to studying for his classes during his two years there. When his father came to see him in The Rose Tattoo, he realized that his son was only wasting time and money at the university, and told him to follow a career in acting.
  • 1940
    Age 0
    Born on February 24, 1940.
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