‘Dallas’ Star Patrick Duffy Opens Up About Dating ‘Happy Days’ Actor Linda Purl: ‘It’s All About Her’

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Dallas star Patrick Duffy truly found passionate, lasting love in the time of Covid.

His story almost sounds like a pitch for a sweet Hallmark movie. Heartbroken widower meets pretty divorcee. They meet during a group chat. A pandemic kept them apart, so they fall in love over Zoom, then quarantine together in another country.

Duffy, who played Bobby Ewing on Dallas, lost Carlyn, his wife of 43 years, in 2017.

Then Duffy met Linda Purl, a popular actress from the 1970s and 80s, in such a meet-cute, pandemic kind of way. Fans from Happy Days should recognize Purl. She played two different roles on the show. In the first season, Purl was Gloria, who was going steady with Richie Cunningham. Then she returned in season 10 to portray Ashley Pfister, the divorced single mom dating Fonzie.

“I am stunned every time that I realize this amazing woman loves me.” said Duffy, the Dallas star. “It’s just like, wow!”

(Photo by Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Duffy, the Dallas Star, Met Purl in Online Chat

Duffy and Purl met in late 2020 while participating in a group chat. He eventually drove 20 hours from his home in California to Purl’s place in Colorado to meet in person.

And then they courted via Zoom.

“We Zoomed every single night for at least two to three hours,” Duffy told Closer Weekly. “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.”

Then the Dallas star and Purl booked the same movie and played a married couple in Lifetime’s Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story. The movie was shot in Vancouver. So the two quarantined together.

“It’s the first time in my entire career that I got up in the morning with my costar and then walked to the set holding hands,” the Dallas star said. “The chemistry works, offstage and on. And always being together and not being afraid to show affection was so enjoyable.”

Until he leaves this earth, Duffy forever will be Bobby Ewing, the younger brother of nasty, ethics-challenged J.R. Dallas gave Bobby Ewing some romantic storylines. He fell in love with Pam Barnes. Her dad, Digger Barnes, was a sworn enemy of the Ewings.

And Duffy carved another spot in our pop culture in season nine. He died in the season eight finale, killed by his sister-in-law. But by the end of season nine, Pam wakes up and sees Bobby in the shower. She realizes she dreamed Bobby’s death. So everything that happened in season nine wasn’t real. That’s some brazen TV writing.

Duffy never did find the same kind of acting success as he did in Dallas. He’s 72 now and does guest-starring roles on TV (he was in NCIS last year) and in made-for-TV movies. Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story premiered on Lifetime, June 26th.

But he’s blissfully in love with an actress from Happy Days, as their relationship thrived in the most trying of times.

“To look forward to every moment you can be with somebody is a real gift in a relationship,” the Dallas star told Closer Weekly.

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