DEAD: ON THIS DATE
Pete Duel (aged 31)
-American actor (Bonanza, Gidget)
Peter Ellstrom Deuel (February 24, 1940 – December 31, 1971), known professionally as Pete Duel, was an American stage, television, and film actor, best known for his starring role as outlaw Hannibal Heyes (alias Joshua Smith) in the television series Alias Smith and Jones. He was the older brother of actor Geoffrey Deuel, who is best known for his role in Chisum (1970) and numerous episodic television appearances of the 1960s and 70s.
DEATH: In the early hours of December 31, 1971, Duel died at his Hollywood Hills home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Duel’s girlfriend, Dianne Ray, was at his home at the time of his death and discovered his body. Ray later told police the two had watched Duel’s series Alias Smith and Jones the previous evening. She later went to sleep in another room while Duel stayed up. Sometime after midnight, Duel entered the bedroom, retrieved his revolver and told Ray “I’ll see you later.” Ray then said she heard a gunshot from another room and discovered Duel’s body.