Patrick G. Duffy (born March 17, 1949) is an American character actor of stage and film. He is best known for his role on the CBS television drama Dallas, where he played Bobby Ewing from 1978 to 1985 and from 1986 to 1991. He is also well known for his role on the ABC television sitcom Step by Step as Frank Lambert, the husband of Carol Lambert, played by Suzanne Somers, from 1991 to 1998.
In 1976, Duffy landed the role of Mark Harris in the short-lived television series Man from Atlantis. Following the series' cancellation in early 1978, he got his big break in the role of Bobby Ewing on the TV series Dallas. The show became a worldwide phenomenon, ranking in the top 3 for the first half of the 1980s. Despite its success, Duffy opted to leave the series in 1985 with his character being killed off onscreen. However, with both the show and his career on the decline, he returned in 1986 in the infamous shower scene that rendered the entire 1985–1986 season "just a dream". Duffy then remained with the series until its cancellation in 1991. He also appeared in several episodes of the spin-off series Knots Landing between 1979-82. Throughout the 13-year run of Dallas, Duffy directed several episodes of the series.
At the end of Dallas's run in 1991, Duffy began another popular television role, as Frank Lambert a.k.a. Mr. Lambert, sir on the family sitcom, Step by Step in which he co-starred with Suzanne Somers. The series ran until 1998, and Duffy also directed 49 episodes. Also in the 1990s, he appeared in two Dallas reunion TV movies; J.R. Returns (1996) and War of the Ewings (1998), both of which he also co-produced. In an interview on the UK's Mrs. Merton chat show in the late 1990s, Duffy stated that he and Dallas co-star Larry Hagman were planning a third Dallas TV movie, but this project failed to materialize. He has reunited on several occasions with many of his Dallas co-stars both onscreen and off, most notably for the non-fiction television special Dallas Reunion: Return to Southfork in 2004.
Duffy continued to act in the occasional guest or voice acting appearance, including the shows Family Guy (in which he appeared in a live action scene with Victoria Principal as they spoofed the infamous Dallas shower scene), as well as Justice League and Touched by an Angel.
More recently, Duffy starred in television movies Falling in Love With the Girl Next Door and Desolation Canyon. In 2006, he began a limited run on the daytime soap The Bold and the Beautiful as Stephen Logan, returning to the role every now and then. From April - July 2008, he also hosted Bingo America, a partially interactive game show on GSN.
Duffy has also tried his hand at singing and in 1983 he had a hit in Europe with Together We're Strong, a duet with French female singer Mireille Mathieu. The single reached number 5 in The Netherlands in April 1983.
Duffy was born in Townsend, Montana, the son of tavern owners Marie and Terence Duffy. During high school, Duffy was living in Everett, Washington and attended school there. Academically, Duffy earned credentials in theater arts that entitled him to teach, graduating from the University of Washington in 1971 with a degree in drama. He ruptured both his vocal cords during his senior year of college, so he created the position of actor-in-residence, where he worked as an interpreter for ballet, opera, and orchestra companies in Washington. He also taught mime and movement classes during this period, during which he met his wife.
He is of Irish descent. Duffy married Carlyn Rosser, ten years his senior, in a Nichiren Buddhist ceremony conducted on February 15, 1974. The couple had two sons, Padraic Terrence Duffy (b. 1974) and Conor Frederick Duffy (b. 1979) and currently live near Eagle Point, Oregon. Duffy was an avid collector of antique dolls and children's books. Though a former Catholic and named after St. Patrick because he was born on March 17, he converted to Nichiren Buddhism and began chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo at the approximate time of his earliest encounters with his wife, who was then a ballet dancer with the First Chamber Dance Company of New York. He and his family are long-time active members of the American Buddhist group SGI-USA (Sōka Gakkai International - USA).
On November 18, 1986, Duffy's parents were murdered by two young men, Kenneth Miller and Sean Wentz, during an armed robbery of the Montana bar his parents owned. Wentz and Miller, who were teenagers at the time, were convicted of the murders and sentenced to 75 years in prison. In 2001, Miller appeared before the Montana Parole board after Sean Wentz recanted his original story, admitting that he was the sole gunman. Miller was denied clemency in 2001 but was released on parole in December 2007.
Investigators in Massachusetts are currently investigating whether the murder of Duffy's parents inspired then-teenaged Amy Bishop on December 6, 1986, to kill her brother with a shotgun and try to escape by hijacking a car from a dealership. At the time of the killing, Bishop was not charged due to the belief by authorities that it had been an accident.
Awards and nominations
- 1987: Won
- 1985: Won, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Prime Time Serial" - Dallas
- 1988: Nominated, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Prime Time Serial" - Dallas
- 1988: Nominated, "Favorite Super Couple in a Prime Time Serial - Dallas (shared w/Victoria Principal)
- 1990: Nominated, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Prime Time Serial" - Dallas
- 1992: Nominated, "Outstanding Lead Actor in a Prime Time Serial" - Dallas
- 2006: Won, "Pop Culture Award" - Dallas (shared w/cast members)
- Barry Zito (nephew)
- Maves, Norm Jr. (1990-05-07). "QUIET ON THE SET". The Oregonian. pp. C01.
- Patrick Duffy (I) - Biography
- The Biography Channel - Patrick Duffy Biography
- "Ten burning questions for baseball's offseason". USA Today. November 1, 2006. Retrieved May 21, 2010.
- Slack, Donovan; Murphy, Shelley (February 26, 2010). "Suggestion of intent in ’86 shooting". The Boston Globe. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
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- Patrick Duffy Bio at CBS - A Hero's Welcome
- YouBentMyWookie Interview: Patrick Duffy. A Man With A Crab
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