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‘Dallas’ Star Patrick Duffy Became an Orphan When His Parents Were Tragically Killed in 1986

Gracious Egedegbe
Nov 10, 2021
02:00 P.M.
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American Actor Patrick Duffy is famous for portraying Bobby Ewing on the CBS soap opera "Dallas." In 1986, he suffered tragedy after losing his parents in a robbery.

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Patrick Duffy is a name that is well-known in Hollywood. His recognition is due to his starring role on the CBS series "Dallas" from 1978 to 1985 and 1986 to 1991.

Patrick reprised his role as Bobby in a continuation of "Dallas" that aired on TNT from 2012 to 2014. He is also known for playing Frank Lambert on the ABC sitcom "Step by Step" from 1991 to 1998.

American actor Patrick Duffy with a concerned face on the scene of a movie set. [Left] | American actor Patrick Duffy talking on the phone on the scene of a movie set. [Right] | Photo: Getty Images

American actor Patrick Duffy with a concerned face on the scene of a movie set. [Left] | American actor Patrick Duffy talking on the phone on the scene of a movie set. [Right] | Photo: Getty Images

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Other famous shows he has starred in include "The Bold and the Beautiful" from 2006 to 2011 and the 2014 NBC sitcom "Welcome to Sweden" in which he played the lead character's dad.

While it is undeniable that Patrick has enjoyed a successful career, he has suffered tragedy in his life. In 1986, he became an orphan after losing his parents in a robbery.

In the years that followed, Patrick learned how to deal with his loss and excel in his career. Find out how the tragedy happened, his reaction, and his personal life.

Veteran actor Patrick Duffy attends the Series Mania in Lille, France on  May 2, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

Veteran actor Patrick Duffy attends the Series Mania in Lille, France on May 2, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

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NOVEMBER 18, 1986

November 18, 1986, is a date that Patrick might never forget. It was the day the actor lost his parents Terence and Marie Duffy, killed by shotgun blasts at their tavern in Boulder, Montana.

Terence and Marie were killed by two young men arrested after a girlfriend's tip and a high-speed chase. Later, they were identified as Kenneth Muller and Sean Wentz.

The killings were motivated by robbery. Police recovered a shotgun used to perpetuate the crime and money allegedly taken from the bar.

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

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

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After hearing about his parents' deaths, Patrick flew from Los Angeles to Montana. Producers shut down the "Dallas" shoot in the morning, but he urged the crew to resume in the afternoon. The series' Executive Producer, Leonard Katzman, expressed concern over him.

Terence and Marie's killers, Wentz and Miller, were 19 and charged with two counts of deliberate homicide.

Later, they were convicted of the murders and sentenced to 75 years in prison. In December 2007, Miller was released on parole while Wentz, who pulled the trigger, remained in jail.

Actor Patrick Duffy attends Say "Santa!" with It's A Wonderful Lifetime photo experience at Glendale Galleria on November 09, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Actor Patrick Duffy attends Say "Santa!" with It's A Wonderful Lifetime photo experience at Glendale Galleria on November 09, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

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PATRICK ON HIS PARENTS' DEATHS

In a 2019 chat with Closer Weekly, Patrick opened up about his parents' deaths. He described them as pleasant and social people.

Patrick revealed that his dad had kicked Wentz and Miller out of the bar in the evening. Consequently, both men went somewhere else to drink. However, they came back to his parents' bar.

Patrick Duffy at NostalgiaCon at the Anaheim Convention Center at Anaheim, California on September 28, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Duffy at NostalgiaCon at the Anaheim Convention Center at Anaheim, California on September 28, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images

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As they got in, they shot Terence. No one else was in the bar except Terence and Marie, so they shot her too. Patrick said he did not know it then, but his faith helped him through that difficult period. He explained:

"When my parents were murdered, I went through all the emotions of the horrific event — shock and anger and everything — but I never felt disconnected from them [my parents]."

US actor Patrick Duffy during the TV show 'Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel' on March 24, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

US actor Patrick Duffy during the TV show 'Willkommen bei Carmen Nebel' on March 24, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

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He added, "I never felt that immediate loss. I did not know why then, but in retrospect, it was a result of being Buddhist."

When asked if he was okay with Miller being paroled in 2007, Patrick said he had no issues with that. He revealed that he believed Miller had already been punished whether he was in prison or not.

Patrick drove to Purl's doorstep to see if his feelings were real, and they have been inseparable ever since.

US actor Patrick Duffy attends the Q&A of Series Mania Lille Hauts de France festival day 6 photocall in Lille, France on May 2, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

US actor Patrick Duffy attends the Q&A of Series Mania Lille Hauts de France festival day 6 photocall in Lille, France on May 2, 2018. | Photo: Getty Images

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PATRICK'S JOURNEY TO BUDDHISM

Patrick has been married once in his lifetime. He tied the knot with Carlyn Rosser, a professional ballerina who was ten years his senior in 1974.

It was through Rosser that Patrick converted to Nichiren Buddhism. The "Dallas" actor revealed he only converted to Buddhism because he wanted to sleep with Rosser. However, he now practices it because it's part of his life.

Patrick and Rosser met on a tour bus. Then, he was a young stud hired to play the narrator in a dance troupe's school performances while she was a ballet dancer.

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Patrick Duffy and his wife Carlyn Rosser attend the Golden Nymph Awards on June 18, 2015 in Monaco. | Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Duffy and his wife Carlyn Rosser attend the Golden Nymph Awards on June 18, 2015 in Monaco. | Photo: Getty Images

At that time, Patrick had never seen such beautiful women in his life and was happy that they had a habit of wandering around with few clothes on. He fell in love with the art form and with her.

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However, the problem was that Rosser had been married for 13 years. She betrayed her then-husband by telling him of her decision to be with Patrick, but he let her go anyway.

Patrick Duffy and wife Carlyn Rosser attend the Fifth Annual Golden Boot Awards on August 15, 1987 in Burbank, California. | Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Duffy and wife Carlyn Rosser attend the Fifth Annual Golden Boot Awards on August 15, 1987 in Burbank, California. | Photo: Getty Images

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Rosser and Patrick remained married until she died of cancer in 2017. However, he has continued practicing Buddhism since she died. In a chat with People, he said of the religion:

"That has been essential to my life for the last 48 years. I apply those lessons, hopefully from the time I wake up. Even if I'm by myself, I try."

Patrick Duffy and wife Carlyn Rosser attend a basketball game at California State University on May 22, 1977 in Northridge. | Photo: Getty Images

Patrick Duffy and wife Carlyn Rosser attend a basketball game at California State University on May 22, 1977 in Northridge. | Photo: Getty Images

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PATRICK'S SONS

Patrick shared two sons with Rosser. In 1974, they welcomed their first son, Padraic, while their youngest son, Conor, was born in 1980.

Padraic is the managing director for a theatre company in Los Angeles. He also wrote the short play "Me, You, a Bag & Bamboo" in 2009. He is also a family man and married to Actress Emily Kosloski, with whom he shares two kids.

Actor Patrick Duffy and son, Conor Duffy attending a party on November 2, 2003 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

Actor Patrick Duffy and son, Conor Duffy attending a party on November 2, 2003 in New York City. | Photo: Getty Images

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Meanwhile, Conor is an actor just like his famous father. He played little JR Ewing in "Dallas" and has appeared in several shows, including "Arrested Development," Good Girls," "Superstore," and "The Mick."

Conor, a University of Washington graduate, is married to Television Producer Emily Cutler. They married in 2006 and have two children.

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PATRICK'S RELATIONSHIP WITH LINDA PURL

In November 2020, Patrick told People he is in an incredibly happy relationship with "Happy Days" actress Linda Purl. Patrick admitted he never thought he would fall in love or feel the way he does again.

Purl and Patrick were casual friends years ago but lost touch over time. However, they got in touch during the pandemic and got closer.

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Patrick drove to Purl's doorstep to see if his feelings were real, and they have been inseparable ever since. The actor said he knew Rosser would want him to find joy. He said:

"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 you up if it's the right thing."

After losing his parents many years ago and becoming a widower after a 48-year marriage, it is great to see Patrick happy and in love once again.

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