‘Step by Step’: Does Suzanne Somers Still Keep Up with Patrick Duffy?

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Step by Step helped keep the careers of Suzanne Somers and Patrick Duffy going. The 1990s-era sitcom featured two single parents who get married and blended their families.

Duffy, who is known most for his role as Bobby Ewing in Dallas, starred as Frank. While Somers, who dazzled as Chrissy on Three’s Company, portrayed Carol.

Step by Step ran from 1991-98, mostly as part of ABC’s TGIF Friday comedy lineup. And it’s about to celebrate it’s 30th anniversary. Since nostalgia still is a big draw, fans wanted to know where Frank and Carol are these days. Like, are they still in Wisconsin?

Fans also probably want to know if the show’s two stars still keep in touch.

“We will always be dear friends,” Somers said of Duffy in an interview with Yahoo. “I usually get in touch with him on his birthday — he was born on St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s really easy to remember! We always have a virtual drink together.” 

Somers still is married to Alan Hammel. They were wed in 1977.

Duffy, After Dallas, Other Shows, Found Love Again with Happy Days Star

Meanwhile, Duffy has found love again. His wife, Carlyn, died in 2017. She was with him through the Hollywood good times, back when he was co-starring on Dallas, network television’s first prime-time soap opera. Duffy even revived Bobby Ewing for a TNT reboot of Dallas, which ran from 2011-14.

In 2020, Duffy met actress Linda Purl, who starred in series like Happy Days. The two fell head over heels in love with each other, although they needed to romance via long distance. He lived in California, she was in Colorado.

“For me, it’s not a do-over,” Duffy told Page Six. “It’s a do-again because the first one was perfect and this one is also perfect. We get a do-again, but we’re not teenagers so we kind of enter it knowing what’s expected and what to give and to respect each other’s history and individualism. It’s worked out, I can’t tell you how happy I am.”

1990s Show Represented a Do-Again for Many Couples

In a way, Step by Step also represented a do-again moment, at least on TV. The show, on paper, looked like a 1990s version of the 1970s-era Brady Bunch. It’s difficult not to compare since Somers and Duffy were single parents who each had three kids. However, although the show was a comedy, it did show more a more realistic depiction of two middle-aged parents still wanting a little love in their lives.

“Frank and Carol … were a very sexy couple,” Somers said of Step by Step. “The whole show was about trying to get laid, but a kid always walked in the room.”

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