The Penfield-born Hollywood star sat in tho sun-filled, living room of his parents' home yesterday and dwelled unsmilingly on some of the reasons why "there isn't much to smile about anymore." Air and water pollution, oil-smeared beaches, DDT, over-population, racism, the deliberate killing-off of species are some of the deep concerns stirring this troubled young man's soul. An interviewer had difficulty turning him into the lighter side of the news--that about Pete Deuel and his brightly-blooming career in television and the movies.
"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," was Pete's way of dismissing the career bit.
We stumbled into the more serious matters
via a chat about the television film he's just completed. It's
a "pilot" for a new series titled "The Psychiatrist."
In it, for the record, he plays a junkie. Oldtimer Luther Adler
is the head shrinker. And there's a young actress in the cast
named Joy Bang. The girl's moniker is for real. Her husband's
name is Paul Bang and Pete thinks the jokes about her name will
fade after they see her talented performance.
THE PSYCHIATRY in the series is not the tell-all-on-the-couch thing but more the group therapy demonstrated so vividly in the opening scenes of the "Bob & Carol" film currently at Loew's. It's big in California, Pete says, and seems to be a more effective way for man to rid himself of his hangups. The actor plans on finding out for himself when he returns to his West Hollywood home grounds.
Some of his new concerns stem from discovering new truths for himself. "There was a lot left out of the history books we used in school," he says. One of his revealing and more disturbing experiences came in working in the McCarthy campaign. "It took me four months to get over that one," he says of his reaction to "the whole Chicago thing."
PETE'S GOING to do some speaking on his favorite subjects when he gets back home. He's signed with Ben Cooper's Celebrity Speakers' Bureau on the coast to spread the word, pleading for action on the pollution crisis. "I want to stir up discussions so we can get people involved."
He'll probably throw in a jab or two at the over-population problem, arguing that in order for the human race to survive people must not reproduce their number but be limited to one child per couple, either through moral suasion or by law if moral suasion fails. He says it must be world-wide.
He may, he admits, be too late for he
quotes some scientists who "already feel that the human race
is doomed" by the combination of uncontrollable ailments.
Logically, for a smog-smitten Los Angeleno, Pete is mostly concerned about air pollution. "You can grab it by the handful" he said of the dirty air as he chain-smoked imported French cigarets.
DOOM AND GLOOM ASIDE, when the reporter steered the chat into more pleasant areas and while the brilliant winter sun spotlighted the cushy comforts of the lovely home surrounding us, Pete 'fessed that he is in love--with actress Kim Darby who costars with him in his latest film, "Generation," and that he plans on marrying her. When, he would not say but "it won't be one of those . . ." and his hand waved into the air to finish the unspoken words which I suspect mean the traditional big ceremony.
Pete does have a smile or two left, one breaking out on his whiskered face when he talked about plans for buying a home in the Monterey area. "I can drive it in seven hours and fly in if time is too short."
Another light moment found him good humored when, on seeing the reporter to the door, he called his dog Shoshone from a romp in the snow. The California-bred pet ("a mut but mostly Australian blue cattle dog") nuzzled his whitened nose into Pete's beckoning hand. The two of them, man and beast, friends, framed in the doorway, of the Deuels century-old home in Penfield Road, made a picture not at all suggesting impending doom.
Maybe it was the crisp, clean air. Or
the 3,000 miles separating us from Lotus Land "where everybody,
and I mean everybody in showbusiness, is on pot."
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