In November 1986, Patrick Duffy’s parents, Marie and Terence Duffy, were murdered at the Montana bar they owned, and now the “Dallas” star is opening up about how his faith propelled him in coping with the tragic loss.
“There was something about the eternity of life that had set deep inside me,” Duffy, 71, told People magazine in an interview published on Friday. “As horrific as that was, I didn’t feel disconnected from them.”
The outlet said Duffy had been entrenched in deep practicing of Buddhism for 15 years at the time of his parents’ slayings at the hands of Sean A. Wentz and Kenneth A. Miller, who were both 19 at the time.
Both Wentz and Miller were found guilty and sentenced to jail. Miller has been released on parole since 2007.
Duffy — who is slated to star in a new holiday film on Lifetime later this month titled, “People Presents: Once Upon a Main Street” — was introduced to Buddhism by his late wife and ballet dancer Carlyn Rosser, who died of cancer in 2017.
The pair welcomed two children during their marriage: Padraic, 46, and Conor, 40.
“That has been essential to my life for the last 48 years,” he said. “I apply those lessons, hopefully from the time I wake up. Even if I’m by myself, I try.”
Although a strict practice, Duffy admitted he certainly doesn’t “succeed all the time, but I try to take inventory at the end of the day and say, ‘Was the total output of my life more positive than negative?'”
Now, after keeping with Buddhism for almost 50 years, the “Step by Step” performer said his approach to coping with the loss of his parents has helped others in their own lives dealing with the death of a loved one.
“Many people have come up to me and said, ‘When I lost my mom or dad, I remember how you said you never really felt like you lost them,'” Duffy explained. “I thought, as long as I can make something out of it, I’ll be okay.”
During his chat with People magazine, Duffy also shared his excitement over his “incredibly happy relationship” with “Happy Days” star Linda Purl, 65, whom he grew close to during the coronavirus quarantine.
“I loaded up my car and drove 20 hours and ended up on her doorstep just to see if it was real,” Duffy said. “We haven’t been apart since.”