Ben Murphy - What's In A Name? by moonshadow
When Pete Duel was mentioned Ben told us he felt he was here He appreciated the connection with his fans and it was nice to 'see you when you were young. "The only previous connection Roger Davis ever had with Universal was when .. Ben Murphy, Pete Duel's co-star, went ahead and worked. It was a pretty easy relationship. Laura: Did you think of him more as a friend or a colleague? Ben: A colleague. Laura: You've said you didn't socialize with him.
Pete was dressed as Heyes.
But did Pete ever strike you as being a nervous person? I just said he was excited-like. Excited about the adventure of life, you know?
Who knows what was going on off-camera? Was that something that ever bothered you? I never thought of it one way or the other. It almost had that quality behind it, you know. But Geoff in my memory was a pretty angry young man. I knew his sister a little better and she was pretty fun-loving … What was her name again? Yeah, I knew Pam more and she was a pretty likable and easy-going gal. She struck me as pretty down to earth.
Geoff always struck me as a very troubled person and Peter was troubled in his own way, but Peter was very, very charming, the kind of charm that comes instinctively.
Did you ever see any kind of tension between the two of them? What did you owe that to, that chemistry with him? He seemed to really like you. Well, I think that was the idea: I watched you watch a memorial video of him when we were in North Carolina. And when you said it, you said it as if you were amazed all over again by what you were looking at. I was describing his performance. In that particular clip? Or would you describe his acting overall as effortless?
That was the exact word I used. See, but I have these questions all set up in order. Just cross them off then. What did you think of Hannibal Heyes? I never thought about it. I never separated actors from characters.
Ben Murphy - What's In A Name? by moonshadow
You just get in there and make them come to life? I create a character in relationship with the other character, the other actor.Pete Duel Suicide/Homicide
How does it feel to be asked about Pete Duel four decades later? It would be different if he were still here. Do you understand why some of us still think about him as much as we do? I can only compare it to my own life with Jimmy Dean, someone I saw and admired from afar and never really knew. Well, I guess we have different views. I see an actor. You mean, the person, the actor himself.
Because, around that time, for me, my father was an alcoholic. I had this terrible fear of men having lived in third world countries and been exposed to cruelty and poverty like most people in this country never see.
And then, as a person, as you get older, you wonder, well, how much did that actor give that character? Or how much are you reading into it? So how much of yourself, may I ask, do you give to a character? I mean, that goes without saying.
The character is only an imaginary thing. What part of Pete Duel do you think he gave to Hannibal Heyes? And the ease in which Peter lived in his own skin, at least on the outside. Yes, I can say, unequivocally, I liked Peter. And I tried not to let any of that transcend, you know, the fun of doing a television series together. I enjoyed doing the work apparently much more than Peter did. And apparently you still are.
If he were here, he might still be doing it, too, you know. I left it when he died. You know, I had a life to live. I had a career to live. Why then talk to me tonight about this? I share their joy. I share their love for it.
For whatever reasons they have.
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I share that with them. I saw some old friends back in England. I still hear from them. So … but I give thanks for having been able to go back and share that with people. I mean, we — Ben: For me, he was a light in the dark, though I had no idea his own life was so dark — Ben: The writer was the entertainment reporter for the Syracuse Herald Journal.
Ben Murphy"Screen Stars, May This is the earliest long interview that I have on Ben.
Gary Dobbs at the tainted archive: ALIAS SMITH AND JONES: WITNESS TO A LYNCHING
He doesn't say much about fan letters, but he does tell a great deal about his background--perhaps more than in any other interview. For comparison, here's a photo of Paul Newman from the same magazine.
Outlaws On the Lookout for In-Laws! Two of the Heyes photos were reverse images which I flipped. Includes quotes from Ben. Thanks to Ana for this.
The copy's photo was too dark so I replaced it with the same photo that I cropped from a glossy print. Here's a scan of the complete glossy photo. Just the Pete and Ben sections here. The same write-ups appeared in the October issue of this magazine. The author later became a celebrity photographer, had an affair with Cary Grant, and wrote a tell-all biography about Grant after his death.
An interview with Ben. Since the girl in the photos, Sallie Shockley, isn't mentioned in the interview, I don't think she was a special girlfriend.