Patrick Duffy sees Linda Purl as the ‘gift that COVID gave him.’
The 71-year-old actor – who played Bobby Ewing in Dallas – started dating Linda, 65, during the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, and he admits that their romance evolved amid a unique set of circumstances.
‘That’s the gift that COVID gave me – Linda Purl is the lady in my life,’ the actor told Extra this week.
Happy man: Patrick Duffy sees Linda Purl as the ‘gift that COVID gave him’; pictured in July 2019
He loves her: The 71-year-old actor started dating Linda, 65, during the coronavirus lockdown earlier this year, and he admits that their romance evolved amid a unique set of circumstances; Purl shown in 2004
His wife Carlyn Rosser died almost four years ago from a heart attack, and he wasn’t actively looking for a relationship when he was reintroduced to Linda.
However, he is now convinced that their burgeoning romance is the result of ‘fate.’
Patrick – who was married to Carlyn from 1974 until her death in 2017 – told Extra: ‘I wasn’t looking for it. I didn’t feel I needed it … and then fate just went swoosh! and changed the perspective.
‘We started texting and then FaceTiming and then Zooming … We did a two-to-three-hour Zoom every single night … You get to know somebody really well when you do that.’
Cowboy heart: ‘That’s the gift that COVID gave me – Linda Purl is the lady in my life,’ the actor told Extra this week; seen here as Bobby Ewing on Dallas
The Dallas days: From left, Steve Kanaly (as Ray Krebbs), Patrick (as Bobby Ewing), Victoria Principal (as Pamels Barnes Ewing), (sitting), Barbara Bel Geddes (as Eleanor Southworth ‘Miss Ellie’ Ewing), Jim Davis (1909 – 1981) (as John Ross ‘Jock’ Ewing), Larry Hagman (as John Ross ‘J.R.’ Ewing, Jr.), Charlene Tilton (as Lucy Ewing) (in red), and Linda Gray (as Sue Ellen Ewing)
The actor loved chatting to Linda during the lockdown, and once restrictions were eased, he wasted no time in rushing to see her.
He shared: ‘At the end of those two and half months, we were feeling a little different than just casual friendship, so I packed up my car, I drove 20 hours, and I was on her doorstep.
‘I asked permission if I could kiss her, and we’ve been together ever since.’
Classic series: Purl’s best known role was as Ashley Pfister in season 10 of Happy Days in the early 1980s; still from Happy Days featuring Henry Winkler
Patrick previously admitted that his romance with Linda came as a complete surprise.
The actor explained that after his wife’s death in 2017, he never imagined he’d fall in love again.
He confessed: ‘I never thought for a minute this would happen again. I never thought I’d feel this way again.’
He People earlier this month he was dating the Happy Days actress.
New love: Duffy, 71, revealed he and his old friend, Happy Days’ Linda Purl, 65, had begun dating after falling out of touch years earlier, according to People
‘I’m in an incredibly happy relationship,’ Duffy said of his new love.
The road trip to see her was long.
‘I loaded up my car and drove 20 hours and ended up on her doorstep just to see if it was real,’ he said.
Duffy sounded overjoyed with the state of his new romance: ‘I never thought I’d feel this way again.’
The death of his wife is not he only tragedy he has face.
On November 18, 1986, during the height of his success on Dallas, Duffy’s parents were slain by two teenagers, Kenneth Miller and Sean Wentz, during an armed robbery of their tavern in Boulder, Montana.
The two were convicted and sentenced to 75 years in prison, though Miller was paroled in 2007 and Wentz was released in 2015.
Top of the world: ‘I never thought I’d feel this way again,’ said Duffy. He experienced tragedy during the height of his fame in the 1980s after his parents were murdered during an armed robbery; shown on the new Dallas with Barbara Strong
Duffy is best known for starring on Dallas from 1978 to 1985 and 1986 to 1991, where he played Bobby Ewing, the brother of Larry Hagman’s J. R. Ewing.
His other major TV roles were in ABC’s Step By Step (1991–1998) and the soap opera The Bold And The Beautiful from 2006 to 2011.
More recently, he reprised his character in a continuation of Dallas focusing on a younger generation, which ran from 2012–2014.
Purl’s best known role was as Ashley Pfister in season 10 of Happy Days in the early 1980s.
They way they were: Duffy and wife Carlyn Rosser attend the Fifth Annual Golden Boot Awards in 1987
She also portrayed the daughter of Andy Griffith’s title character in the first season of Matlock, and occasionally featured as Pam Beesley’s mother on The Office.
Purl has been married four times, first to Desi Arnaz Jr. from 1980–1981. She married the screenwriter William Broyles Jr. in 1988, but their divorce was finalized in 1992.
Purl was married to another screenwriter, Alexander Cary, from 1993 to 1999, and her most recent marriage was to James Vinson Adams from 2006 to 2011.
Meanwhile, Patrick’s Dallas co-star Linda Gray had some sad news to share on Monday.
The 80-year-old actress revealed on Instagram that her 56-year-old son Jeff Thrasher has passed away.
‘A celebration of my son Jeff’s life. He was the kindest, funniest, sweetest human being….. he brought the world such love and was loved by everyone!’ said the TV veteran. ‘May his journey be a magical one. ❤️.’
A TV queen: Linda Gray of the Eighties hit nighttime soap opera Dallas had some sad news to share on Monday. Seen with Larry Hagman on Dallas in 1981
Her followers expressed shock at the tragic news as they said, ‘I am sorry for your loss’ and ‘Don’t know what to say! Sending you love and a big hug from Scotland.’
‘Linda I am so sorry. I am sending you all of my love and strength,’ wrote her Dallas co-star Jordana Brewster.
Linda shared an image of the back of Jeff riding his bicycle on a street filled with autumn leaves.
The next photo was of his name drawn in the sand with a heart around it as the waves crashed in the background.
According to Soap Hub, Jeff had been battling leukemia.
Jeff’s father is Ed Thrasher whom Linda was married to from 1962 until 1983.
Sad loss: The 80-year-old star revealed on Instagram that her 56-year-old son Jeff Thrasher has passed away
A mother’s pain: The star shared an image of the back of Jeff riding his bicycle on a street filled with autumn leaves. The next photo was of his name drawn in the sand with a heart around it as the waves crashed in the background
Linda also has 54-year-old daughter Kehly Sloane who is married to Lance Sloane; together they have two children.
Jeff worked as a TV director and producer and his most recent project was Junior Chef Showdown.
In Junior Chef Showdown, the ‘best and brightest young cooks go head-to-head in challenges that test their skills and ingenuity in the kitchen, but only one pint-sized chef will be named the country’s best.’
Back in the good ole days: Gray, husband Ed Thrasher, son Jeff Thrasher and daughter Kehly in 1982
He also produced The Amazing Race Canada and Canada’s Smartest Person.
In 2017 he directed Furze World Wonders and in 2015 Jeff worked on Vegas Rat Rods.
Linda got her start in modeling then came to fame when she played Sue Ellen Ewing opposite Larry Hagman on Dallas from 1978 until 1989.
The brunette beauty also worked with Sylvester Stallone on Oscar in 1991 and on Models Inc from 1994 until 1995.
She went back to Dallas in 1996 and 1998 for spinoffs and also appeared on the reboot from 2012 until 2014.