Patrick Duffy on Life Pre-‘Dallas’ and Playing the ‘Man from Atlantis’: ‘I Owe That Show Everything’

Do you remember that moment on Dallas when Pam Ewing (Victoria Principal) walked into the bathroom to find her husband, Bobby (Patrick Duffy), in the shower, very much alive after he had supposedly been killed? It was a bit of retconning on the producers’ part, making his death nothing but a dream, due to the realization that Dallas absolutely needed Bobby as a counterbalance to his brother, J.R. (Larry Hagman). It’s the same way that Patrick himself never forgets that his career’s success isn’t because of the primetime soap, but, instead, the sci-fi drama he starred in several years earlier, Man From Atlantis.

“If there wasn’t a Man From Atlantis, I wouldn’t have been on Dallas,” Patrick exclusively told Closer Weekly at Nostalgiacon. “For starters, the producer of Dallas, when he was creating the original show, was filming a different one, right next door to me on Man From Atlantis. He requested me to play the part of Bobby; I never auditioned for it. Had he not been there, next door to where I was doing Atlantis, that opportunity may never have presented itself to me. So Atlantis is very important in my career.”

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Airing first as four TV movies and then 13 one-hour episodes between 1977 and 1978, Patrick plays an amnesiac given the name Mark Harris who everyone comes to believe is the only survivor of the lost city of Atlantis. Endowed with extraordinary abilities — including the ability to breathe underwater, able to withstand extreme depth pressure and super strength — he eventually comes to work along with the Foundation for Oceanic Research, a government agency doing deep sea studies and dealing with issues that arise that could threaten the world. Also starring is Belinda J. Montgomery as Dr. Elizabeth Merrill, who is also the one that found Mark and nursed him back to health.

Please scroll down for more of our interview with Patrick on Man From Atlantis

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