- REMEMBER THIS?
- by Nigel Adams
- Daily Mail, January 11, 1997
years ago this week, viewers were enjoying a new kind of smart,
good-loking [sic], tongue-in-cheek western, Alias Smith And Jones--and
wondering how it was going to survive with one of its two stars
dead. Pete Duel (right), who co-starred with Paul Newman lookalike
Ben Murphy, had shot himself dead on New Year's Eve (after watching
the show). The troubled Duel had a drink problem and had apparently
found it impossible to cope with the pressures of stardom. Faced
with an urgent re-casting problem the show's makers opted for
Roger Davis, formerly the series narrator, to replace Duel. British
viewers, however, were having none of it. Duel, who had something
of the raw, vulnerable quality of James Dean (and a nice way
with a gag), had become a cult figure. His fans bombarded the
BBC with7,000 letters a week demanding that all the Pete Duel
episodes be repeated and the new ones starring Davis shelved.
They got their way, and it was nearly two years before we saw
Duel's replacement. The show just wasn't the same without him.
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