Following the death of his wife of more than 40 years, Patrick Duffy says he has found love again with another venerable TV star, Linda Purl.
"I'm in an incredibly happy relationship," the 71-year-old former "Dallas," "Step by Step" and "Man from Atlantis" star told People magazine in an interview posted Thursday. "I never thought for a minute this would happen again," he added. "I just never thought I'd feel this way again" after the January 2017 death of former ballerina Carlyn Rosser, whom he married in 1974. They have two adult sons, Padraic and Conor.
Purl, 65 — whose long career includes playing Richie's girlfriend Gloria in season 2 of "Happy Days" and Fonzie's girlfriend Ashley Pfister in season 10, the daughter of Andy Griffith's title character in "Matlock," and Pam Beesly's mother on "The Office" — has not commented publicly.
Duffy said he and Purl were acquaintances several years ago who reconnected on a group text chain with mutual friends while in COVID-19 quarantine. They eventually found themselves conversing as the only two members eventually left on it. Then, said Duffy, "And I loaded my car and drove 20 hours from Oregon to Colorado and ended up on her doorstep just to see if, y'know, it was real. And it was." He add, "We haven't been apart since."
Purl has been married and divorced four times, first to actor-musician Desi Arnaz Jr., son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, from 1979 to 1980. In 1988 she wed screenwriter and TV producer Williams Broyles Jr., for whom she starred in his 1991 TV series "Under Cover," followed by screenwriter-producer and British royal Alexander Cary in 1993, and James Vinson Adams in 2006. Purl and Cary have a son, Lucius, 24.
"I feel quite honestly, that it is keeping with the desires of my wife, myself, the fact that we are intended to be happy," Duffy told People. "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."