Monday, December 26, 2011

This Week in Television History: December 2011 Part IV

Listen to me on me on TV CONFIDENTIAL:

Realms of Music
Wednesday 9/7
9pm ET, 6pm PT 

Share-a-Vision Radio
Friday 9/9
7pm ET, 4pm PT
10pm ET, 7pm PT

KWDJ 1360-AM
Ridgecrest, Calif.
Saturday 9/10
Following Dodgers baseball
Tuesday 9/13
11:05pm ET, 8:05pm PT

As always, the further we go back in Hollywood history, the more that fact and legend become intertwined. It's hard to say where the truth really lies

December 29, 1936
Mary Tyler Moore is born in Brooklyn.  

Moore's family moved to Los Angeles when she was nine. After graduating from high school, Moore married a CBS sales rep and later became interested in television. She appeared in TV commercials and small TV roles until 1961, when she landed the part of Dick Van Dyke's wife, Laura, on The Dick Van Dyke Show. In 1970, Moore landed her own show, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, which became one of the most popular situation comedies of the 1970s. Running from 1970 to 1977, the show spawned numerous spin-offs, including Rhoda, Phyllis, and Lou Grant, all of which were produced by MTM Productions, Moore's company.
December 30th 1971

Pete Duel was killed by a gunshot which the police determined to be self inflicted, either by accident or suicide.

In the early hours of December 31, 1971, Duel apparently shot himself, after drinking heavily that evening. At the time, his girlfriend, Dianne Ray, was in the house but not in the same room, and did not witness what happened. In October 1970 he had been the driver in a car wreck in which another person was injured, and was facing legal problems; an astrologer had then told him that 1972 was going to be a difficult year for him. After his death, his role in Alias Smith and Jones was taken over by Roger Davis (previously, the series' narrator), but the sudden loss proved too great and fans were slow to accept the dissimilar-looking Davis. The series was cancelled in 1973.

A memorial service was held on January 2nd 1972 at the Self Realization Fellowship Shrine, a place suggested by his friend and manager, John Napier. His family and many of his friends were there, though Ben Murphy was too upsetto attend. Pete Duel was buried, after a private service, in his hometown of Penfield, New York.

Why and exactly how the fatal shooting occurred, no one can say. The press have speculated in dozens of articles. None of that speculation can ease the loss of the talented young man.

To quote the Bicentennial Minute, "And that's the way it was". 

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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