During their two-week quarantine together in Canada, Patrick Duffy and Linda Purl exercised, cooked dinner together and even “adopted” a seagull who used to visit their balcony hoping for a snack. “We named him Elmer,” Linda exclusively tells Closer. “We created little videos [on Instagram]. It was hysterical.”

It’s been less than a year since Patrick, 72, the former Dallas star, and Linda, 65, a long-time actress, fell for each other, but they are still going strong — and even working together! “To look forward to every moment you can be with somebody is a real gift in a relationship,” Patrick exclusively tells Closer. “I am stunned every time that I realize this amazing woman loves me. It’s just like, wow!”

Quarantining together so that they could film their roles in Doomsday Mom: The Lori Vallow Story in Vancouver (premiering June 26 on Lifetime) was the ultimate test for these long-distance lovers, as Patrick lives in California while Linda calls Colorado home. “It was a time to really get to know one another with no outside influences to encumber you,” notes Patrick. “We found out that we’re aiming in the same direction.”

The actor never expected to find love again after the death of his wife of 43 years, ballet dancer Carlyn Rosser. But he and Linda, who is divorced, hit it off late last year during a group text chat. Linda called this slow courtship “a very Victorian process” because they spent weeks talking before they ever shared a kiss. Explains Patrick: “We Zoomed every single night for at least two to three hours. So we explored all our history, our past, our loves. We listened to music together and covered all that ground you normally cover over months of dating.”



Playing a married couple in their new television movie felt very natural. “It’s the first time in my entire career that I got up in the morning with my costar and then walked to the set holding hands,” gushes Patrick. “The chemistry works, offstage and on. And always being together and not being afraid to show affection was so enjoyable.” Pat- rick and Linda say they are looking for other projects they can do together.

Unlike the romances of his youth, Patrick finds that love later in life is much more selfless. “You get to a point where you think, ‘It’s all about her. How do I get her to smile?’ ” he says. “We’ve eliminated all the trial and errors that happen in [younger] relationships. It’s all positive and lovely.”

Linda adds that if love can happen for them, it can happen for anyone. “Life is full of surprises, both good and bad,” says the actress. “Patrick and I weren’t looking for this. We didn’t expect it or see it coming when our paths crossed. Don’t ever give up.”

— Reporting by Susan L. Hornick