‘Dallas’ Star Patrick Duffy Opens Up About A Family Tragedy And Credits Buddhism For Helping Him Cope


You may remember Patrick Duffy from his staring role on the TV show “Dallas” where he played Bobby Ewing from 1978-1991; however, before he became famous, he met his wife, Carlyn, and the influence she had on him ended up impacting the rest of his life.

Carlyn was ten years older than Patrick. She was also married when they met and was a practicing Buddhist. None of that stopped their romance. Patrick converted to Buddhism, and the couple ended up getting married in 1974 in a Buddhist temple.

While Patrick’s parents were probably surprised when he told them he had converted to Buddhism, it was his Buddhist faith that he believes later helped him cope with his grief when his parents were murdered.

Patrick’s parents were Terrence and Marie Duffy. They owned several bars. Patrick describes them as “pretty ordinary.” It was a shock to him and the community where his parents lived when they were killed.

One night, two 19-year-old teenagers were drinking in one of his parents’ bars in Montana. Patrick told Closer Weekly, “My father kicked these two young men out of the bar at some point in the evening. So they went and drank elsewhere.” Later that evening, the two young men came back. This time, they had a gun, and they shot and killed Patrick’s parents.

This tragedy happened in 1986. He was doing well in his career, but he credits not career success but his faith to helping him deal with his parents’ death. He had been Buddhist for 15 years at this point. He told PEOPLE, “There was something about the eternity of life that had set deep inside me.” He added, “As horrific as that was, I didn’t feel disconnected from them.”

After Patrick and Carlyn had been married for 43 years, Patrick suffered another tragedy. Carlyn died of cancer in 2017. Even without her by his side, he is still practicing Buddhism and believes it is helping him cope with loss. He explained that Buddhism “has been essential to my life for the last 48 years.” He continued, “I apply those lessons, hopefully from the time I wake up. Even if I’m by myself, I try. I certainly don’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?'”

Watch the video below for more about Patrick’s career, marriage, and how Buddhism has helped him cope with tragedy.