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Patrick Duffy Doubted He'd Find Love after Wife's Death until He Texted 'Happy Days's' Linda Purl

Bettina Dizon
Nov 15, 2020
12:40 A.M.
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When Patrick Duffy lost his wife of 43 years in 2017, he didn't think that he would ever fall in love again. Everything changed when the pandemic brought him close to "Happy Days" actress Linda Purl.

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Patrick Duffy has been in the entertainment industry for decades, and there is no doubt that he loves his job. However, his family was always a priority, especially with his late wife, Carlyn Rosser.

So when she unexpectedly passed away in 2017, after 43 years of being together, his world crumbled down, and he felt lonely for some time. Things changed when the pandemic hit.

Patrick Duffy (as Bobby Ewing) during an episode called 'The Letter,' June 1983. | Source: Getty Images

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DUFFY AND ROSSER'S LOVE STORY

Duffy met the love of his life after college while touring with a dance production as a narrator. He recalled the moment they locked eyes:

"She was a beautiful ballerina ten years older. We met on the tour bus, and that was it – for life."

The "Dallas" star only had beautiful words to say for his wife, whom he saw as a talented woman in many ways. Since then, they have been inseparable and never pictured themselves having a life without each other. Together, they helped each other through struggles and celebrated triumph.

Patrick Duffy during the Series Mania Lille Hauts de France festival day 6 photocall on May 2, 2018 in Lille, France. | Photo: Getty Images

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When Duffy's parents were shot to death by young men, Rosser helped him cope by introducing the "Step by Step" actor to Buddhism. In a previous interview, Duffy said:

"When my parents were murdered [...] I never felt disconnected. I never felt that immediate loss. I did not know why then, but in retrospect, it was a result of being Buddhist."

Together, they also raised their two sons, Padraic and Conor, as well as their grandchildren. According to Duffy, his grandchildren brought the same joy he and his wife had while raising their kids.

Linda Purl attends the Second Annual Douglas Blasdell Outreach Program Celebration at Bardot | Photo: Getty Images

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DUFFY'S KIDS

The couple's son, Padraic, walked down the same path his parents did in the entertainment industry. He is a managing director for a Los Angeles theater company and ventured into writing short plays.

The pair got to quarantine together in Canada, their filming location and did regular couple activities such as exercising and cooking together.

Conor also followed in his father's footsteps and became an actor. He appeared in "Dallas," "Arrested Development," "The Mick," "Superstore," and "Good Girls," among many others.

Patrick Duffy on August 26, 2006 in Newport, Wales | Photo: Getty Images

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ROSSER'S DEMISE

Sadly, in 2017, the family matriarch passed away due to cancer at the age of 77, leaving her husband and two sons. "My wife and I, in 48 years, we were always together," Duffy shared.

Soon after, his life fell apart, and he didn't think he would move on. Admittedly, he still felt close and connected to his wife and considered himself married despite her passing. He said:

"It was a surprise when she passed. There was no indication. So that was the big adjustment. [...] You reach a certain age, and you realize the road ahead is much shorter than the road behind."

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Patrick Duffy and his wife Carlyn Rosser on June 18, 2015, in Monaco | Photo: Getty Images

FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN

Because of the quarantine, Duffy fell in love with Linda Purl, who was a casual friend years ago. However, the pair lost touch over time. In the midst of the current global crisis, Duffy and Purl happened to be on a group text chain alongside other companions.

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The conversation later dwindled down to just the two of them as the weeks passed until things turned into something more than just friendship. They began their conversations through text until it moved to FazeTime, and later, Zoom.

After weeks of consistently talking, Duffy said he loaded up his car and drove 20 hours to the actress' house to see if it was real. When he finally got to her home, he asked if he could kiss her, and the two have been in love since.

Patrick Duffy and son Conor on November 2, 2003 in New York City | Photo: Getty Images

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UNEXPECTED ROMANCE

According to the actor, he never looked for romance, nor did he think he would need it. Still, fate made him cross paths with Purl and fall in love again. The pair also had the opportunity to star in a television movie, "Doomsday Mom," where they played a married couple. Duff shared:

"It's the first time in my entire career that I got up in the morning with my co-star and then walked to the set holding hands. The chemistry works offstage and on."

The pair got to quarantine together in Canada, their filming location and did regular couple activities such as exercising and cooking together.

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REMEMBERING ROSSER

Although he found love again, Rosser will always have a special place in Duffy's heart. Duffy previously shared that he knows his late wife would want him to find joy.

Patrick Duffy told People that he is currently in a very happy relationship. He never expected this to happen again in his life, the award-winning actor shared, adding:

"I feel quite honestly that it is keeping with the desires of my wife, the fact that we are intended to be happy. So when it's offered, think about it, do whatever you do, but don't let it pass up if it's the right thing."

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ABOUT DUFFY

Duffy is a recognized Hollywood star with several films and television credits to his name. However, he is most recognized for his role in the hit series "Dallas" that ran from 1978 to 1991.

In 2012, he reprised his role as Bobby Ewing on the series. He is also known for his role in "Step by Step, "The Bold and the Beautiful," and "Welcome to Sweden.

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