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Pete Duel Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (4) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (4)

Born in Rochester, New York, USA
Died in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA  (suicide by gunshot)
Birth NamePeter Ellstrom Deuel
Height 5' 10½" (1.79 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Born on 24 February 1940 in Rochester, New York, Pete Duel moved to West Hollywood in 1963 following a tour with the National Road Company's "Take Her, She's Mine". After landing small guest spots on various TV series, Pete was cast in a recurring role alongside Sally Field on Gidget (1965) in 1965. The series only lasted one season but Pete was immediately cast in another Columbia Screen Gems comedy series Love on a Rooftop (1966) with Judy Carne. The series gained good reviews but was once again canceled after one season. Pete then signed a seven-year contract with Universal Studios in July 1967. Guest spots and movie roles followed and, in 1970, he was offered the part of Hannibal Heyes on a comedy Western pilot Alias Smith and Jones: Alias Smith and Jones (1971), loosely based on the 1969 hit movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969). The pilot was sold to the ABC network and a series was commissioned. The series was a big hit with the youth audience and Duel became subject matter for teen magazines, gaining a loyal following. When news of his sudden death by an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound was reported on TV and radio on December 31st 1971, it came as a shock to his family and friends. Early suspicion of foul play soon gave way to evidence pointing to death by suicide with depression and serious alcohol problems seen as contributing factors. Following a memorial service at the Self-Realization Temple in California on January 2nd 1972, Pete's body was flown to Penfield, New York. He was buried in Oakwood Cemetery following a memorial service at Penfield Baptist Church.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Paul Green< pgreen21@verizon.net>

Trivia (4)

Brother of actor Geoffrey Deuel and singer Pamela Deuel.
Father was physician in small town of Penfield, outside Rochester, New York. Pete attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC from 1957-1961. Played three one-year TV stints: Gidget (1965), Love on a Rooftop (1966) (co-star) and Alias Smith and Jones (1971) (co-star).
At the time of his suicide, police reported that the gun Duel used had also been used to shoot a framed telegram telling him that he hadn't been elected to the board of directors of the Screen Actors Guild.
Was named the "Most Promising Male Star" of 1966 in Quigley Publications' "Television Almanac".

Personal Quotes (4)

After two or three interviews, talking about pictures and how they're made and what I do in them and what I'm going to do next, there's nothing more to say.
[on doing a weekly TV series] It's a big fat drag to any actor with interest in his work. It's the ultimate trap.
[in 1971, on changing the spelling of his name] It all came to a head about a year and a half ago. A lot of things entered into it. I'm not conventional in my habits. I had personal problems that made me feel it was time to try something new. Then there was the matter of simplicity. People were always saying, "Peter who?" or "Peter O'Toole?' There were too many questions. I first took the "e" out of Deuel, and then said to myself, "Why not take the 'r' out of Peter and make that a four-letter word, too, to balance the other?}.
[in 1967, on his love for cars and motorcycles] Cars and motorcycles are a weakness I watch. I'm mechanical and revel in the quality of a fine car and cycle. When I was on tour with the play I fell for a British sports car. The payments on it were too high during my first year here so I learned not to do that again. I drive a Jeep. It's rugged but not cheap, either. If a date thinks we should go somewhere in a nicer car, we transfer to hers. If it's a premiere, I rent one for the evening. I sold my last motorcycle five months ago, when I was persuaded it was dangerous. I'm apt to buy a new one, though. I admit I once split my right leg open from my knee to my ankle when a nut turned in front of me abruptly and sent me careening down a canyon.

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