For more than a decade, Patrick Duffy won the audience over in the role of Bobby Ewing on Dallas. His name became synonymous with the long-running soap opera while portraying the youngest son of Jock and Miss Ellie Ewing. Keep scrolling to find out what happened to Patrick after the series wrapped.
What Happened to Patrick Duffy?
Dallas was Patrick’s big acting break. Prior to appearing in more than 300 episodes of the series, he starred in Man From Atlantis. Though the TV icon became a household name during Dallas’ original run starting in 1978, he opted to leave the series in 1985. His character was killed off in a heartbreaking episode that year.
“I left because I had done the show for seven years,” he told HuffPost of his exit from the series during a September 2014 interview. “My contract was for seven years. It was obviously an ensemble show and I thought if it was ever a time at the height of the popularity of that show that I might be able to launch into something that was more of a single, starring venue, that that would be the time to do it. I left the show and that did not happen — typical Patrick Duffy business decision fiasco.”
Much to the delight of longtime fans, Patrick returned to Dallas in a famous shower scene in 1986. The death of his character was revealed to have been just a dream of his onscreen wife, Pamela Ewing, played by Victoria Principal.
“I went back on the show because they asked me to and I realized that was the best place to work and I was back with my best friend,” Patrick said.
Patrick suspected that his character would be brought back in a dream-like scenario even before his return to the program was finalized.
“My wife said instantly, ‘Well, you can't come back on the show unless that whole season was a dream,’” he recalled to People in June 2023. “We've talked about what she said years and years after that, and she based it on just her literary knowledge. Half of Shakespeare's plays have dreams.”
The Welcome to Sweden actor’s second run on Dallas continued from 1986 until the series finale in 1991. During his time on the Emmy-winning series, he struck up a great friendship with his costar Larry Hagman. Patrick was heartbroken to learn of his former castmate's death in November 2012 at age 89 after a long cancer battle.
“Friday, I lost one of the greatest friends ever to grace my life,” Patrick said in a statement at the time. “The loneliness is only what is difficult, as Larry’s peace and comfort is always what is important to me, now as when he was here. He was a fighter in the gentlest way, against his obstacles and for his friends. I wear his friendship with honor.”
Where Is He Now?
After Dallas ended in 1991, Patrick went on to star in the sitcom Step by Step with Suzanne Somers. The longtime friends played parents Frank and Carol who shared a blended family of six children. The series ran for seven seasons from 1991 to 1998. In 2012, TNT announced plans to revive Dallas. Patrick signed on to reprise his role of Bobby. The revival ran for three seasons with Jesse Metcalfe playing Bobby and Pamela's adopted son, Christopher Ewing.
Patrick experienced fatherhood in real life, welcoming sons Conor and Padraic with his late wife, Carlyn Rosser. The Bold and the Beautiful star and the professional ballerina were married for 43 years up until her death in 2017. In the years that followed, Patrick focused on spending time with his family.
“I never looked for another relationship. I was content to be a good father and grandfather,” he told Closer in November 2020. “That’s how I thought I would live out my life, but my heart took a different turn and I had to follow it.”
That month, he opened up about finding love again with Happy Days actress Linda Purl. The couple are still happily in love. They stepped out together in November 2022 to attend the 90th anniversary of the Hollywood Christmas Parade with huge smiles on their faces.
“To look forward to every moment you can be with somebody is a real gift in a relationship,” he told Closer in June 2021. “I am stunned every time that I realize this amazing woman loves me. It’s just like, wow!”