‘Dallas’ Star Patrick Duffy and ‘Happy Days’ Actress Linda Purl Talked for Weeks Before First Kiss

by Suzanne Halliburton
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The sweet love story between Dallas star Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl continues to hit us all square in the feels.

After all, Duffy, aka Bobby Ewing from Dallas, never thought he’d find real, lasting love again. And by dating Purl, the Dallas star needed to successfully dodge the potential travail of a long-distance relationship in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

That’s why theirs is such a feel-good story.

The couple talked more about their developing relationship while promoting their new Lifetime movie, Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story. In it, Patrick Duffy and Purl are a married couple. Perhaps, one day life will imitate art.

“You get to a point where you think, ‘It’s all about her. How do I get her to smile?’” Patrick Duffy told Closer Weekly. “We’ve eliminated all the trials and errors that happen in (younger) relationships. It’s all positive and lovely.”

They describe their relationship as “Victorian.” But it’s also all kinds of modern, so very 2020 and 2021. The two met via a group chat at the end of 2020. Patrick Duffy lived in California; Purl was in Colorado. The two got to know each other through long Zoom online chats.

Then, the Dallas star drove 20 hours to see Purl in person. That’s when they shared their first, tender kiss. They truly got to know each other before that happened.

Patrick Duffy said: “We Zoomed every single night for at least two to three hours. So we explored all our history, our past, our loves. We listened to music together and covered all that ground you normally cover over months of dating.”

Patrick Duffy, a Widow, Was Married for 43 Years

Duffy now is 72. He lost his wife, Carlyn, in 2017. Their marriage belied normal Hollywood relationships. The dancer and the Dallas star were together for 43 years. Carlyn suffered from cancer.

Purl, 65, also was looking for the right someone. She was a TV star in the 1970s and 80s, at about the time Patrick Duffy hit it big with the fictitious Ewing clan in Dallas. Happy Days fans know Purl. She actually played two different characters. She once was Richie Cunningham’s girlfriend. Then later in the show, she dated Fonzie. Off-screen, Duffy kept trying marriage. Her first was to Desi Arnaz, Jr. They divorced after a year. She tried marriage three more times. All ended in divorce.

Ron Howard and Linda Purl (Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Purl told Closer Weekly: “Life is full of surprises, both good and bad. Patrick and I weren’t looking for this. We didn’t expect it or see it coming when our paths crossed. Don’t ever give up.”

The two needed to quarantine in Vancouver while filming their Lifetime movie. It was all part of a modern version of an old-fashioned kind of romance.

“The chemistry works, offstage and on,” Duffy said. “And always being together and not being afraid to show affection was so enjoyable.”

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