Best Known For
Patrick Duffy is best known for playing Bobby Ewing on the long-running television series Dallas. He also starred on the TV shows Man from Atlantis and Step by Step, among other roles.
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Born in Montana in 1949, actor Patrick Duffy is best known for playing Bobby Ewing on the hit drama Dallas (1978-85). He landed the role after starring on the 1976 sci-fi television series Man From Atlantis. In 1986, Duffy returned to Dallas for another six years,
pausing briefly to take a personal leave after his parents were tragically murdered during a robbery. He later starred on the 1990s sitcom Step by Step and reprised the role of Ewing for a 2012 Dallas reboot.
Patrick Duffy was born on March 17, 1949, in Townsend, Montana. Although he has played many other roles, Duffy will always be remembered for his portrayal of Bobby Ewing on the hit primetime drama Dallas.
Duffy grew up in a small town in Montana, where his parents ran a tavern and struggled to make ends meet. After high school, Duffy enrolled at the University of Washington, where he studied drama and graduated in 1971.
Duffy eventually moved to Los Angeles, California, where he subsequently spent several years trying to make it as an actor. His big break came in 1976, when he landed the lead part on the science-fiction series Man From Atlantis. At the time, Duffy was cash-strapped. "I didn't have enough money to buy a swimming suit, so I had to do it in my underwear," he later told People magazine of his audition for the series.
On the show, Duffy played Mark Harris, a being from the lost continent of Atlantis who was discovered unconscious on a beach by a research scientist. While he looked human, Harris had webbed hands and feet. He could only spend a certain amount of time out of the water before returning to breathe. The show only lasted a season, airing from the fall of 1977 to the following spring.
Following Man From Atlantis, Duffy quickly assumed his most famous role of good guy Bobby Ewing on Dallas, a drama centered around a wealthy Texas family. Jim Davis and Barbara Bel Geddes played the Ewing family patriarch and matriarch, Jock and Miss Ellie. Larry Hagman played his ruthless older brother, J.R., and Linda Gray played J.R.'s long-suffering wife, Sue Ellen. In addition to sibling rivalry, the show featured the ups and downs of Ewing's relationship with his wife, Pamela (played by Victoria Principal).
While not an immediate hit, Dallas eventually became one of primetime's top shows and a pop-culture sensation. At the end of the 1979-80 season, audiences nationwide wondered, "Who Shot J.R.?" after the show's villain was attacked by an unknown assailant. By 1985, despite the show's popularity, Duffy had become tired of always playing the nice guy, even publicly describing his character as "boring." He left the series in search of more adventurous lead parts, and at the end of that season, Ewing was killed off the show—or so viewers thought.
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