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The sitcom parents, Frank (Duffy) and Carol (Suzanne Somers) really love their kids, although Frank may make disparaging remarks about them at times.
In real life, Duffy, who has two grown children of his own, describes himself as "60% Frank". "Like Frank, I love my kids, and would do anything for them, and I don't get mad or upset often, but unlike Frank, I'm not quite so goofy, dumb or easily fooled," Duffy laughed as he compared himself to a typical sitcom father.
Today, both Duffy's children, Padriac (21), and Conor (16) are actors. "Child actors have a hard time having a normal life. Most kids don't have forty adults bringing them soft drinks and making sure they get places on time, etc... but, I'm not opposed to children having acting careers. I gave my children the option of acting as kids, but then, they didn't want to. Now, as adults, they do, " Duffy related.
Duffy was not a child actor either (he didn't start acting until after college), and he doesn't regret it. "I had a great childhood. I grew up kind of like Huckleberry Finn, " he remembered.
That could be why "the homeless" are Duffy's favorite charity. He feels like they are in a situation where they have no friends to help them. "These homeless people really need a friend," he said.
While we were discussing life - especially his life - Duffy mentioned that being "Bobby Ewing on Dallas " was one of his favorite roles because he worked with close friends for 13 years.
I figured that Duffy, a seasoned actor with an enormous list of movie and television credits, must have a lot of interesting stories about his career, and asked if he intended to write his memoirs. But, the very down-to-earth and honest actor said : "No. I lead a normal life and I don't assume there is anything I can impart to people. The only reason to write a book would be to make money, and I don't want to do that. To write a book would be going against how I've lived, " Duffy explained.
It's no secret that Duffy not only acts in Step by Step, but he directs half of the episodes, too. Duffy feels that when you're an actor, you have a lot of down time and can get bored if you're not in the scene they're shooting, but as a director, you 're completely occupied the entire time. He told me, "Directing makes it worthwhile to go to work."
Another thing Duffy is really proud of is a role in a "made for T.V." movie called Hearts of Fire which aired on Janurary 7th, 1997. Duffy is a fireman who rescues a young girl in a fire, and described it to me as "an out of normal part."
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