Patrick Duffy Returns to ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’: ‘It Was As If I’d Never Left’

Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl in 'The Bold and the Beautiful'
Q&A
Sonja Flemming/CBS

Brooke Logan may have lost her “destiny” a.k.a. Ridge Forrester on The Bold and the Beautiful but at least she won’t be spending the upcoming holiday alone. Dallas star Patrick Duffy is reprising his role as Stephen Logan, Brooke’s dad, on Wednesday, November 23, just in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family. And he’s not coming alone. Duffy’s real-life girlfriend, actress Linda Purl, who recently did a turn as Peyton Honeycutt on General Hospital, has been cast as Stephen’s new lady love, Lucy.

TV Insider sat down with Duffy and Purl to chat about his return to B&B and her debut on the half-hour soap. The couple also talked about their lengthy careers — which includes his historic run as Bobby James Ewing on not only the OG version of Dallas but the show’s TNT revival in 2012, Purl’s role in one of the highest-rated TV movies ever, and more.

Stephen’s coming back to Los Angeles just in time. His daughter, Brooke (Katherine Kelly Lang), is still in shock over the love of her life Ridge (Thorsten Kaye) walking out on her and marrying ex-wife Taylor Hayes (Krista Allen) before the ink on the annulment papers were dry!

Patrick Duffy: Yes. She needs a fatherly figure around a bit more.

It’s hard to believe but you were last on B&B back in 2011! Do you walk right back into the show or do you need to do a lot of preparation?

Duffy: It was as if I’d never left. The beauty is that it starts at the production itself. The Bold and the Beautiful truly has established a family atmosphere at the show. They’re all so invested in their relationships with one another as actors. By the time I left in 2011, I had started to feel that Kelly, Jennifer [Gareis, who plays Donna Logan], and Heather [Tom, who plays Katie Logan] were my daughters. When I did the show back then, they’d say, “Daddy’s here!” Isn’t that charming?

Well, 11 years later, I walked into makeup, and [Katherine’s] in her chair. She saw me in the mirror and said, “Daddy’s here!” Heather and Jennifer said the same. Coming back felt like slipping into the most comfortable wardrobe of an atmosphere. And to experience doing the show again with Linda? I guess the word would be proud. I’m happy that Linda can see this. This is a job that doesn’t feel like a job.

How did it come about where Linda joined as Stephen’s girlfriend?

Linda Purl: A lot of good luck on my part! I’m not sure of all the conversations but Brad [Bell, B&B’s executive producer and head writer] and Patrick are long-term friends. It just worked out and I got to tag along. I’m very grateful. I’m sure Patrick’s support had no small part in my being cast. I’m grateful and it’s fun — and terrifying! I had just done an arc on General Hospital which has helped give me such admiration for what people who work on soap operas do on a daily basis. You get shot out of a cannon.

You have to be on your toes. Patrick and I had just come off doing a tour of a play [Catch Me If You Can] – we did 152 performances in England. That was a challenge and a privilege. Here, we get as much rehearsal as a soap can afford. Everyone has to be on their game.

Katherine Kelly Lang, Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl in 'The Bold and the Beautiful'

Sonja Flemming/CBS

You’re no stranger to soaps; your first credit was in 1974 on The Secret Storm.

Purl: That was my first job in the States. It’s curious because the technology [in soap operas] hasn’t changed all that much, I feel. It’s changed on film sets more. We had TelePrompTers on [The Secret Storm]. [Laughs] I don’t know whose idea it was to get rid of them! I think that working on a soap opera is like a cross between doing theater and film. It all happens in the moment — only with cameras.

Linda, you have so many credits including the 1977 TV-movie Little Ladies of the Night, which shined a light on teen prostitution. The film had a 53 (!) share and was seen in over 25 million households.

Purl: That was an Aaron Spelling production. We had David Soul (Starsky & Hutch), Clifton Davis (That’s My Mama), and Carolyn Jones (The Addams Family) in the cast. I had a very meaty role in it about teenage prostitution. We shot it on Hollywood Blvd., which was a very active place back then. We were all stunned by the ratings. I believe it held some kind of record. I’m not sure we’ll see those kinds of numbers again or the numbers we saw with Dallas.

Saturday Night Live spoofed it with Ruth Gordon (Airport) in a sketch called “Little Old Ladies of the Night.”

Purl: I’d never heard that! You’re jogging my memory. I played all kinds of teen [characters] with afflictions but with Little Ladies of the Night, I received — as I’m sure other cast members and producers did — letters from people who wanted to share their stories. They wrote about how the movie helped them get off the streets. Even receiving one letter makes the whole thing worthwhile.

You later did a pilot movie for Aaron Spelling in 1986 titled Dark Mansions; it had all the elements for a great primetime soap – but it didn’t get picked up.

Purl: Patrick and I have compared notes. He’s had this beautiful career that’s included such a long and glorious run on Dallas; I, on the other hand, have lost count of how many failed pilots and short-lived series I was on. Dark Mansions was one of them. That cast had Joan Fontaine (Rebecca; Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea), Michael York (The Three Musketeers; Logan’s Run), and Lois Chiles (The Way We Were; Dallas)…but it just didn’t make the cut.

Katherine Kelly Lang, Patrick Duffy, Linda Purl, Jennifer Gareis and Heather Tom on 'The Bold and the Beautiful'

Sonja Flemming/CBS

TV fans, when not happy with a particular season of a show, might say, “Oh, I wish that would be a dream season,” a nod to Season 9 of Dallas in which Pam Ewing (Victoria Principal) dreamed that Bobby had been killed and the aftermath, paving the way for his return the following season. Thoughts on helping coin that phrase?

Duffy: I heard it referenced recently in terms of politics. A [cable news] anchor said, “I wish Patrick Duffy could come out of the shower and this would all be a dream.” I have to say that I would have loved to have had Linda’s career path. I’ve only had two jobs, which can limit your scope and stretch as an actor. She’s a far more accomplished actor than I am. You’ll see it. She was on General Hospital. That performance on that show was trophy-worthy. There should be something on the mantel for that. Everything she does is different and unique. She can pull from a full reservoir of experience … She’s phenomenally better at her craft that I am. I get cast-offs of [what I’ve done]. They’ll want a “Bobby Ewing-type” person for a role. That’s my lot in life. I appreciate that. I’m filled with gratitude every single day of my life, but I see the difference, the richness, the variety.

Purl: This is one of the many reasons I love this man. He makes my head swell up.

Stephen left the canvas fairly suddenly all those years ago and went to … where else? Dallas!

Duffy: I had gotten the offer for the Dallas revival. I told Brad and he said, “Absolutely. Go for it!” Later, Alley [Mills, whose character Pamela Douglas was Stephen’s love interest], who has been a friend of mine for 35 years, told me she had a line in a script that said, “Stephen left a message … he’s going to Dallas.” That was the cutest homage to Dallas. It was perfect.

Is there another homage going on with Linda’s B&B character being named “Lucy”? A nod to Lucy Ewing, played by Charlene Tilton?

Purl: Ah, that could be.

Duffy: Until you just said that … I don’t know. It could be distasteful as Lucy was Bobby’s niece! I don’t think there’s a connection. If not conscious, it was subconscious.

Well, we looked past those romps that Lucy and Ray (Steve Kanaly) had in the hayloft after it was revealed that Ray was also Lucy’s uncle.

Duffy: They never referred to that again.

The real Southfork ranch was recently sold and The Dallas Morning News reports that the new owners plan on preserving the ranch that was used for exteriors on Dallas.

Duffy: Originally, you could film 360 degrees at that ranch because it was in the middle of nowhere. Over the course of 13 years, it got built up and so you could only shoot certain angles [unobstructed]. It was sold to an entrepreneur who made a public destination out of it. There was a party barn and a rodeo area. We couldn’t film in those directions. I’m glad they are preserving the house. It’s the second most visited home in the United States after Graceland. I think preserving the house and the swimming pool will help continue to make it a destination for fans. It’d be almost impossible to film there.

The Bold and the Beautiful, Weekdays, CBS