Fans remember Catherine Bach for playing Daisy Duke, the bright and bubbly beauty featured on “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Yet, her life off-camera was marred by tragedy. Long after she ended her days on the classic ’80s sitcom, Bach endured heartbreak when her husband of twenty years, Peter Lopez, died after committing suicide in April of 2010.
During an interview with the Huffington Post in 2013, Bach opened up about the devastation she felt after the tragedy. Before then, she had not spoken of her husband’s suicide in depth. According to Bach, the day Lopez took his own life started as a day just like any other.
Together, the family woke up, had breakfast together, and Lopez and Bach kissed each other goodbye as they headed to work. Then, later that day, the unthinkable happened.
The well-known entertainment attorney was found dead after shooting himself in the head. He was 60. At the time, assistant chief coroner Ed Winters said a neighbor reportedly heard a gunshot, and someone at the family’s home found Lopez’s body.
In the wake of her husband’s death, Bach revealed feeling in utter shock, considering her late husband showed no signs of depression up until that day.
Catherine Bach on Husband’s Suicide: ‘We Were Completely Insulated and Happy’
“We were so devastated. When you are part of a happy family unit, you lose part of that… I mean, we were completely insulated and happy with our family. Peter and I really knew what was important in life and I think we instilled that in our daughters.”
Together, the couple shared two daughters, Sophia and Laura, who were just 14 and 12 at the time of the suicide. Now, 11 years after the tragedy, the family has gotten stronger despite the loss.
“I think the girls are good,” Bach said of her daughters at the time. “We’ve stayed very, very close to our priest. In fact, in the beginning year, he came over to dinner at least once a week to once a month. We stayed really on top of that. Oh my gosh, our friends surrounded us with love and wouldn’t let me fall. It was like being in a pack. They just wouldn’t let me fall. My friend Alma (Ben “Cooter” Jones’ wife) came out here once a month for a year.”
Lopez was a well-known figure in Hollywood. The entertainment lawyer’s former clients included Michael Jackson, The Eagles, and Michael Buble. Now, 67-years-old, Catherine Bach encourages people to look for warning signs if they believe their loved one is dealing with suicidal thoughts.
“I have to say that there’s just certain things that people have to pay attention to and that’s pray a lot, go to church a lot, get therapy, be with your friends, read about it and really, really take care of yourself,” she says. “[For] people who have a friend who this happens to, I would just say, with any loss, it doesn’t have to be suicide, just be there as a shoulder for that person to lean on.”