Before I say anything else, I'd like to say that Ben Murphy is Ben Murphy! He is not Paul Newman's duplicate! It seems that every story I've read about Ben always points out how much he looks like Paul Newman! After all those stories, the readers probably thought they had read a story about Paul Newman instead of Ben! Ben is Ben... and that means he's more than just someone's look alike!
I know I probably sound pretty strong about the way Ben is constantly compared to Paul Newman, but I have a very good reason! Ben is my friend, and I don't want to see any friend of mine get hurt! And constantly getting compared to someone else in show business soon whittles away at your own identity!
It's like getting type-cast. You know, you portray a "bad guy" in your first professional role and from then on the only type of roles you are cast in are "bad guy" assignments! If Ben is always thought of, or described as, the second Paul Newman, what will happen to the first Ben Murphy who is a very talented actor on his own? So, let me say for my friend, Ben... let's stop those comparisons right now!
The first time I met Ben was when we started filming the TV-movie "Alias Smith and Jones." Our first few meetings couldn't be described as really friendly because of the heavy business tones. I mean, everyone involved wanted the show to be a success so that practically everything everyone said to one another involved improving the show!
After the technical details of the movie-length Smith and Jones were ironed out, Ben and I relaxed enough to get acquainted. We hit it off pretty well from the very beginning because we were both working for the show's success. Plus we both wanted the pilot to sell.
I think the biggest plus for our getting along well is Ben is a lot like the character he plays, "Kid" Curry! "Kid" is a fun-loving and happy guy and so is Ben!
Ben has a very distinctive aspect about his life that sets apart from a lot of other people.. he's attended five different universities and has not one, but two, bachelor of arts degrees! One is for international relations from the university of Illinois, and the second B.A., is for theater from the Pasadena Playhouse in California!
I think there are two very good reasons for Ben's seemingly endless search for education: one, there is practically nothing equal to the exciting life of a college student, and two, Ben is a frustrated world traveler!
No, I think there is a third reason that is just as good as the two I've given. Ben also has this thirst for knowledge that is amazing. He wants to learn. He's probably an excellent student because he keeps his mind open to everything!
I hope Ben does, someday, write about his travels throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He's got this huge notebook of notes about his travels, and if a fraction of those notes are as interesting as the funny, fascinating things he's told me--it's sure to be a best-seller!
We've sat during breaks on the set and talked about some of the things he's seen and experienced on his travels. No kidding, I could listen for hours to Ben talking about the isolated roadside diners, and the curious characters who work, and live in the middle of nowhere!
I guess, an element of excitement has got to be a part of Ben's life at all times. When he was a student, he gathered excitement by being a part of a student body who learned through discussions and conversations with each other and with interested professors. On his travels, he found excitement in each person he met. And now, he's right in the middle of probably the most exciting point of his career!
Knowing Ben, and knowing that he's happiest
when there's a million things to do and a split second to do all
of it in--he's got to be the happiest guy I know! Because between
his acting lessons, workshops, singing lessons, and karate lessons,
he's also "Kid" Curry! And to top all of that, in real
life, he's a nice guy named Ben Murphy!
BEN MURPHY TALKS ABOUT: THE REAL PETE DUEL
I'm always kidding Pete about being the busiest actor in town! At a time when most actors are having a pretty hard time getting jobs, Pete seems to be appearing on every major TV show on the air! Now, he's starring on a series of his own--and I'm glad to be acting with the busiest actor in the West... and in the East... and include the South... and don't forget the North!
If you missed Pete on the "Gidget" series or his first TV series called "Love On The Rooftop" a few years back then you must have seen him on any of the other TV series including "Ironsides," "The Virginian," "The Name of the Game," "Marcus Welby, M.D.," "The Young Lawyers," or "The Bold Ones." Pete's also made three "World Premieres" and two ABC "Movie of the Week" shows--"The Young Country" and--you guessed it--"Alias Smith and Jones!"
Impressive, huh? Well, the list could go on to include a lot more, but I want to leave myself enough room to describe Pete, the person, instead of just Pete, the actor!
Versatility of moods plays a big part in Pete's life. I've seen him when he's all business and any kind of horseplay really bugs him! I've also been around him when he the biggest clown on the set!
He's a dedicated actor, and he likes to view his work as something he'll be proud of not just today, but also years from now! So, when that camera rolls, Pete is serious and expects all those involved to be serious also!
I agree with Pete on his theory that an actor should be prepared when he steps into his role. Nothing wastes more time, money and wears another actor's patience out more than an ill-prepared performer!
It's amazing how different Pete's personality can be. I've seen him goofing around and laughing it up and then he gets before the camera for a tense, difficult scene and the difference and change is unbelievable! Then the director yells "cut!" and Pete turns around with a big grin on his face! That's got to be a sign of a good actor!
Like I said before, Pete can be a very big cut-up when the mood hits him. Just like anyone else, he likes to laugh. However, unlike everyone else, he's got a distinctive laughter. It doesn't sound very differently from other people's, but it has got to be one of the loudest type of laughter I've ever heard! It sort of starts out as a low rumble and ends up a big, loud roar!
So, if any of you have heard a good joke lately, be sure your ears are prepared for a loud outburst after you've said the punch line! That MGM lion has nothing over on Pete!
I think it's great that Pete has such an infectious-type of laughter. Not enough people around today take the time to enjoy a good, healthy few minutes a day exercising their laughing muscles!
Pete's idea of relaxation is one of my favorite pasttimes too, driving cross-country! The only difference is that Pete likes to drive cross-country in his four-wheel-drive camper which gets him way out to the wilderness!
He's a very unaffected guy. He laughingly claims that he'll never make the "jet set crowd" simply because he likes the rugged and simple life too much. In fact, Pete likes the type of girls who aren't afraid to get their hands a bit dirty on a hiking trip or the type who don't fuss with their hair or clothes so much.
Of course, Pete likes his girls to be feminine (what guy doesn't?), but he feels a girl can be feminine without all the frill and bother some girls think is necessary.
Trying to describe a friend is really difficult. And in Pete's case, it would take all of the doctors in his family background to diagnose an accurate enough description about him! Let me end by saying that for anyone who has the privilege of being able to say "Pete Duel is a friend of mine"--they've got a good friend!
You can write to Pete and Ben c/o Universal
Television Studio, 100 Universal Plaza, Universal City, California
91608. For special, super-fast attention, mark the outside of
your envelope "I read about you in FaVE!"
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