'Step By Step' Actor Patrick Duffy Is Dating Another Throwback Sitcom Star

Seasoned actor Patrick Duffy is perhaps best know for his starring role on Dallas and his tenure on the sitcom Step by Step. On Dallas, Duffy played Bobby Ewing, the son of an oil tycoon, who despite his privileged upbringing, has a complicated and tragic life. Sadly, that could describe Duffy's personal life as well.

At the height of his fame, Duffy married a ballerina named Carlyn Rosser in 1974. The two were seemingly incredibly happy and in love throughout their more than four decades of marriage. That all came to a tragic and untimely end in 2017, when Rosser lost her battle with cancer, according to The Sun. Heartbroken at the loss of his wife of 43 years, Duffy settled into the life of a famous widower. However, nearly three years after her death, he told Closer Weekly that he "still consider[ed] himself a married man." According to People, Duffy has found joy in spending time with his sons and his four grandchildren, and now there's yet another bright spot in his circle.

They say happiness finds you when you least expect it, and Duffy eventually found love again. This time with another throwback sitcom star, Linda Purl.

Patrick Duffy didn't think he'd fall in love again

Patrick Duffy found love with Linda Purl by turning lemons into lemonade — actually, isolation into a relationship might be a better turn of phrase. Either way, Duffy and Purl, who had known each other for years, reconnected in 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic when they randomly found themselves in the same group chat. Apparently, Duffy and Purl were so enamored with each other that they barely noticed when the group chat that started out with lots of old friends eventually became a conversation between just the two of them.

By then, Duffy was already head over heels for the Happy Days actress. "I loaded up my car and drove 20 hours and ended up on her doorstep just to see if it was real," Duffy told People in November 2020. "We haven't been apart since."

Purl's Instagram feed is covered in pictures of her and Duffy cooking and hiking their way through quarantine. Duffy feels like the relationship was meant to be, and believes that his late wife would definitely approve. "I feel quite honestly, that it is keeping with the desires of my wife, the fact that we are intended to be happy," he 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." Words to live by.

Duffy and Linda Purl are quarantine couple goals

Where else have you seen Patrick Duffy's new quarantine-era love, Linda Purl? Aside from Happy Days, where she played Fonzie's girlfriend, Ashley Pfister, in Season 10 (via Country Music Nation), the actress also starred in the 1980s mystery series Matlock, as well as multiple other TV classics. Her and Duffy are a match made in nostalgic TV heaven! Purl has been married four times, most notably to Desi Arnaz Jr., the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz (via TV Over Mind). She's been unmarried since 2011. Sometimes, good things come at the most surprising of times, even if both have been around the block before.

"We're not covering any ground that has not been trodden in both our lives for years and years," Duffy told Page Six. "For me, it's not a do-over, 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." 

In November 2020, the actress took to Instagram with an outdoorsy photo of the pair, summarizing their love with her caption: "Grateful for this beautiful soul." What a sweet companionship they've found in each other.

Linda Purl arrived at the perfect time for Patrick Duffy

Things have never been easy for Patrick Duffy. His parents, Terence and Marie, owned a bar in Montana when, in 1986, two 19-year-old gunmen walked in and shot and killed them. Duffy turned to the Buddhist faith, which his late wife introduced him to, to help him cope. "As horrific as that was, I didn't feel disconnected from them," Duffy told People, explaining that he had been practicing Buddhism for about 15 years at the time. According to Page Six, Buddhism helped him deal with his wife's passing as well. 

Luckily, some good has now come his way, and now Duffy is looking forward to sharing some special holiday moments with new love Linda Purl. "I have always been a Christmas fanatic, I was from year one," Duffy told Page Six. "When my wife and I were first married, living in New York in the '70s, we were so poor we would wrap our Christmas presents in the Sunday funnies because at least it was colored paper. We never gave up on the holiday."

Duffy's affection for Christmas is why he starred in the 2020 Lifetime Christmas movie Once Upon a Main Street. In fact, he said he never turns down a Christmas movie role. "When the phone rings I say, 'Absolutely,'" he told Page Six. Clearly, Duffy has a lot of wonderful traditions to share with Purl and lots of love to give.