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Linda Purl

Linda Purl

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: September 2, 1955 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Greenwich, Connecticut, USA Profession: actor, singer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Bringing an undeniable worldliness to many of her roles, Linda Purl's unique upbringing offered her an invaluable asset in her career as a performer. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1955, Purl's family moved to Japan when she was only five. Raised there until the age of fifteen, Purl performed in several plays at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo during her youth, including "The King and I," "Oliver!" and "The Miracle Worker." After returning to the U.S. to attend Wykeham Rise School, a private boarding school for the performing arts, she studied at Finch College and later at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Purl had already broken into professional acting by this time, having appeared in a number of projects such as "The Walking Major" (1970), a joint Japanese-American production also released under the title "Aru Heishi no kake." She would land her big break in American movies with a role in Jonathan Demme's "Crazy Mama" (1975), soon going on to appear in the cult hit slasher "Visiting Hours" (1982). Purl took on the role of Charlene, daughter of the title character on the legal drama "Matlock" (NBC, 1986-1995) for the show's first season, and found further success in the legal genre...

Bringing an undeniable worldliness to many of her roles, Linda Purl's unique upbringing offered her an invaluable asset in her career as a performer. Born in Greenwich, Connecticut in 1955, Purl's family moved to Japan when she was only five. Raised there until the age of fifteen, Purl performed in several plays at the Imperial Theatre in Tokyo during her youth, including "The King and I," "Oliver!" and "The Miracle Worker." After returning to the U.S. to attend Wykeham Rise School, a private boarding school for the performing arts, she studied at Finch College and later at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Purl had already broken into professional acting by this time, having appeared in a number of projects such as "The Walking Major" (1970), a joint Japanese-American production also released under the title "Aru Heishi no kake." She would land her big break in American movies with a role in Jonathan Demme's "Crazy Mama" (1975), soon going on to appear in the cult hit slasher "Visiting Hours" (1982). Purl took on the role of Charlene, daughter of the title character on the legal drama "Matlock" (NBC, 1986-1995) for the show's first season, and found further success in the legal genre co-starring on "Robin's Hoods" (USA, 1994-95). Purl turned her attention to the Broadway stage in 1998, starring in the original cast of "Getting and Spending," and later in "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer." She would continue to appear in film and TV projects, notably guest starring on shows like "Cold Case" (CBS, 2003-2010) and "Homeland" (Showtime, 2011-). In 2018, Purl appeared on the medical drama "Code Black" (CBS, 2015-).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
 Stalked at 17 (2012)
2.
 Maid of Honor (2006)
3.
 Criminal Intent (2005)
4.
5.
 Fear of the Dark (2004)
6.
 Frozen Impact (2003) Dr. Christy Blanchard
7.
 Perfect Tenant, The (2000) Jessica Michael
8.
 Holy Joe (1999) Joan Wolrod
9.
 Mighty Joe Young (1998) Doctor Ruth Young
10.
 Absolute Truth, The (1997) Jean Dalton
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Born in Connecticut
:
Had regular role of Gloria on the ABC sitcom "Happy Days"
:
Moved to Japan with her family when her father was transferred there
1986:
Launched cabaret act at Los Angeles clubs
1973:
Appeared on the daytime soap "The Secret Storm"
2001:
Cast as Aunt Polly in the stage musical "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer"; played pre-Broadway tryout in New Haven, Connecticut
1974:
Made TV-movie debut in "Bad Ronald"
1996:
Starred in "Born Free: A New Adventure" (ABC)
1975:
Was regular on the CBS drama series "Beacon Hill"
1972:
Appeared in feature film "Jory"
:
Became member of the Tokyo International Players
2002:
Had recurring role as the wife of a US Supreme Court justice on "First Monday" (CBS)
2000:
Joined cast of the ABC daytime drama "Port Charles" playing a cancer patient who wants to die with dignity
:
Played an entirely different character, Ashley Pfister, girlfriend of Henry Winkler's Fonzie on "Happy Days"
1971:
Returned to USA
:
Guest starred on an episode of "Cold Case."
1998:
Starred in the original Broadway cast of "Getting and Spending."
:
Made feature film debut in "The Travelers" while still in Japan
1991:
Off-Broadway debut in "The Baby Dance"
1990:
Produced and starred in "The Baby Dance" at the Pasadena Playhouse
:
Starred on the legal drama "Robin's Hoods."
1966:
Made professional stage debut playing Helen Keller in a Japanese production of "The Miracle Worker"
:
Played Charlene, the title character's daughter on the first season of "Matlock."
1976:
Starred in TV-movies "The Oregon Trail" and "The Young Pioneers"
1962:
Made TV debut hosting children's show from Tokyo, Japan
1975:
Co-starred in Jonathan Demme's "Crazy Mama."
:
Appeared in the film "The Walking Major," a joint Japanese-American production also released under the title "Aru Heishi no kake."
:
Co-starred in the cult hit slasher film "Visiting Hours."
:
Starred with Ali MacGraw in "Natural Causes."
:
Played Elizabeth Gaines in a three episode arc on "Homeland."
:
Appeared on the medical drama "Code Black."
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Finch College: New York, New York -
The Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute: New York, New York - 1972

Notes

Purl has received six Drama-Logue Awards for her stage work in Los Angeles.

She has an official Web site at www.lindapurl.net

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Desi Arnaz Jr. Actor, musician. Married in 1982; divorced.
husband:
William Broyles Jr. Screenwriter; journalist. Co-created TV series "China Beach"; won Oscar nomination for co-writing "Apollo 13"; divorced.
husband:
Alexander Cary. Writer. Third husband; father of Lucius; divorced.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Raymond Purl. Executive. With Union Carbide in Japan.
mother:
Marcie Purl.
son:
Lucius Cary. Born on February 6, 1995.

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