Linda Purl (Actress) - Happy Days/The Office/Matlock
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Updated: 6/15/22

Name: Linda Purl

Birth Name: Linda M. Purl

Born: September 2, 1955 in Greenwich, Connecticut, USA

Claim To Fame: Linda Purl is an American actress and singer, known for her roles as Fonz's girlfriend Ashley Pfister on Happy Days, Pam Beesly's mother Helene in The Office, and Ben Matlock's daughter Charlene on the television series Matlock.

Family Life: Purl has been married four times. Her first marriage was to Desi Arnaz Jr., which lasted from 1979 to 1981. In 1988, she married screenwriter William Broyles Jr., whom she later divorced. In 1993, Purl married British screenwriter and producer Alexander Cary, Master of Falkland, with whom she has a son, Lucius. They later divorced. In 2006, she married James Vinson Adams. They divorced in 2011.

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Info: Born to chemical-industry executive Raymond Charles Arthur Purl and Broadway actress Marshelline "Marshie" Purl.

She has a sister, Mara.

Her grandmother, Beatrice Saville, was a founder of the Actors' Equity Association.

At age five, Purl moved with her family to Japan, where her father worked for Nippon Unicar.

While at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo, Purl performed in several plays including The King and I, Oliver!, and The Miracle Worker.

Furthermore, she was discovered by Toho and appeared in several films.

Trained in acting at the Toho Geino Academy.

Returned to the United States at age 15.

Attended high school at Wykeham Rise School, during which she had a role on the soap opera The Secret Storm.

Attended Finch College and then went to England to study under Marguerite Beale. Later she returned to the United States to study at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.

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Trivia: Purl's first major movie role was in Jonathan Demme's 1975 comedy, Crazy Mama.

On Happy Days she played two different roles: Richie's occasional girlfriend Gloria in season two of the show (1974) and Fonzie's steady girlfriend Ashley eight seasons later (1982-1983).

During the first season of Matlock (1986-1987), Purl played Charlene, Ben Matlock's (Andy Griffith) lawyer daughter. When she realized that the on-screen father/daughter relationship didn't click, she left the series at the end of the first season.

Purl launched a jazz music career after leaving Matlock and has released several albums of music, including Alone Together, Out of This World, Up Jumped Spring, Taking a Chance on Love, and Midnight Caravan.

Appeared in the role of Pam Beesly's mother on NBC's The Office TV series, starting with the season six episode "Niagara" in 2009-2010. She also appeared in several more episodes throughout the series and was a romantic interest for Steve Carell's character.

Purl has been a regular performer (and was in the original cast) of international touring play Seven Deadly Sins Four Deadly Sinners.

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Where Are They Now: Purl is not only in a relationship with Dallas star Patrick Duffy, but the pair is currently taking the stage together in classic Broadway thriller Catch Me If You Can, which actually ends tomorrow, June 18th.


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