- Article on Pete's death
- Daily Express, early January 1972
The television cowboy Pete Duel was
dead under a Christmas tree when police found him. He had a single
bullet wound in his head. The co-star of the light-hearted Western
TV series Alias Smith and Jones was 31. Now police are
trying to piece together the hours that led up to the actor's
death early on New Year's Eve. They were called by Duel's girlfriend,
29 year old Diana Ray, who said she went to his Hollywood home
to see the latest episode of Alias Smith and Jones. She
told them that after Duel had watched a televised basketball
game, he took a gun out of a drawer, said 'See you later,' and
walked out of the room.
She heard gunshots and found him on the floor. Pinned to the
wall was a telegram informing him that he would not get the part
he was after in a new television film. In the telegram was a
bullet hole, apparently fired by Duel.
- A policeman said, 'It looked as if Duel
had been drinking rather heavily and was remorseful.' Although
Alias Smith and Jones was a success, Duel had told friends
his wish for the New Year was that it would be cancelled because
he had to work too hard on it.
Before landing the co-starring role with Ben Murphy, Duel appeared
in other series including Combat, The Fugitive,
The Bold Ones, The Name of the Game and Gidget.
Police disclosed that Duel had been arrested three times in the
last four years for drunken driving, the last time in October
1970 when he knocked down two people. In court in June 71, he
told how he had fled the scene of the accident 'with shame and
terror filling my mind.'
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