‘Dallas’ Star Patrick Duffy Became an Orphan When His Parents Were Tragically Killed in 1987

American actor Patrick Duffy is famous for portraying Bobby Ewing on the CBS primetime soap opera “Dallas.” In 1987, he suffered tragedy after losing his parents in a robbery. Find out the details of the tragedy and how he coped with the loss. 

Patrick Duffy is a name that is well-known in Hollywood. This is due to his starring role as Bobby Ewing on the CBS series “Dallas” from 1978 to 1985 and 1986 to 1991. 

Patrick reprised his role as Bobby in a continuation of “Dallas” that aired on TNT from 2012 to 2014. He is also known for playing Frank Lambert on the ABC sitcom “Step by Step” from 1991 to 1998. 

Other famous shows he has starred in include “The Bold and the Beautiful” from 2006 to 2011 and the 2014 NBC sitcom “Welcome to Sweden” in which he played the lead character’s dad. 

While it is undeniable that Patrick has enjoyed a successful career, it should be noted that he has suffered tragedy in his life. In 1987, he became an orphan after losing his parents in a robbery. 

In the years that followed that tragedy, Patrick learned how to deal with his loss and excel in his career. Find out how the tragedy happened, his reaction, and his personal life. 

November 18, 1986, is a date that Patrick might never forget in his lifetime. It was the day the actor lost his parents Terence and Marie Duffy, who were killed by shotgun blasts at their tavern in Boulder, Montana. 

Terence and Marie were killed by two young men arrested after a girlfriend’s tip and a high-speed chase. Later, they were identified as Kenneth Muller and Sean Wentz. 

The killings were motivated by robbery. Police recovered a shotgun used in perpetuating the crime along with money allegedly taken from the bar. 

After hearing about his parents’ deaths, Patrick flew from Los Angeles to Montana. Filming of “Dallas” was shut down in the morning but he urged the crew to resume in the afternoon. The series’ executive producer, Leonard Katzman, expressed concern over him. 

Terence and Marie’s killers, Wentz and Miller, were 19 at that time and were both charged with two counts of deliberate homicide. 

Later, they were convicted of the murders and sentenced to 75 years in prison. In December 2007, Miller was released on parole while Wentz, who pulled the trigger, remained in prison.


In a 2019 chat with Closer Weekly, Patrick opened up about his parents’ deaths. He described them as pleasant and social people. 

Patrick revealed that his dad had kicked Wentz and Miller out of the bar in the evening. Hence, both men went somewhere else to drink. However, they came back to his parents’ bar. 

Immediately they got in, they shot Terence. No one else was in the bar except Terence and Marie, so they shot her too. Patrick said he did not know it then, but his faith helped him through that difficult period. He explained

“When my parents were murdered, I went through all the emotions of the horrific event — shock and anger and everything — but I never felt disconnected from them [my parents].” 

He added, “I never felt that immediate loss. I did not know why then, but in retrospect it was a result of being Buddhist.”

When asked if he was okay with Miller being paroled in 2007, Patrick said he had no issues with that because Miller has already been punished whether he is in prison or not. 

Patrick drove to Purl’s doorstep to see if his feelings were real, and they have been inseparable ever since.


Patrick has been married once in his lifetime. He tied the knot with Carlyn Rosser, a professional ballerina who was ten years his senior in 1974. 

It was through Rosser that Patrick converted to Nichiren Buddhism. The “Dallas” actor revealed he only converted to the religion because he wanted to sleep with Rosser. However, he now practices it because it’s such a part of his life. 

Patrick and Rosser met on a tour bus. Then, he was a young stud hired to play the narrator in a dance troupe’s school performances while she was a ballet dancer.

At that time, Patrick had never seen such beautiful women in his life and was happy that they had a habit of wandering around with few clothes on. He fell in love with the art form and with her. 

However, the problem was that Rosser had been married for 13 years. Hence, she had a difficult job of telling her husband, who she was happily married to. Rosser’s then-husband was betrayed by her but let her go anyway. 

Rosser and Patrick remained married until she died of cancer in 2017. However, he has continued practicing Buddhism since she died. In a chat with People, he said of the religion: 

“That has been essential to my life for the last 48 years. I apply those lessons, hopefully from the time I wake up. Even if I’m by myself, I try.”

Patrick admitted that he does not succeed all the time but tries to take inventory at the end of each day and ask if the total output of his life was more positive than negative. 

Patrick shared two sons with Rosser. In 1974, they welcomed their first son, Padraic, while their youngest son, Conor, was born in 1980. 

Padraic is the managing director for a theatre company in Los Angeles. He is also a writer and wrote the short play “Me, You, a Bag & Bamboo” in 2009. He is also a family man and married to actress Emily Kosloski, with whom he shares two kids. 

Meanwhile, Conor is an actor just like his famous father. He played little JR Ewing in “Dallas” in 1991 and has appeared in several shows, including “Arrested Development,” Good Girls,” “Superstore,” and “The Mick.” 

Conor, a University of Washington graduate, is married to television producer Emily Cutler. They married in 2006 and share two children. 


In November 2020, Patrick told People he is in an incredibly happy relationship with “Happy Days” actress Linda Purl. He admitted he never thought he would fall in love again or feel the way he does again. 

Purl and Patrick were casual friends years ago but lost touch over time. However, they got in touch during the pandemic and got closer. 

Patrick drove to Purl’s doorstep to see if his feelings were real, and they have been inseparable ever since. Patrick said he knows Rosser would want him to find joy. He said

“I feel quite honestly, that it is keeping with the desires of my wife, the fact that we are intended to be happy. 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.”

After losing his parents many years ago and becoming a widower after a 48-year marriage, it is great to see Patrick happy and in love once again. 

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