Linda Purl: The Terrifying Genre Credits of a Television Legend!

Published November 12, 2012 by biggayhorrorfan

How many acting schools was Big Gay Horror Fan rejected from due to his insistence on doing that “I never had an Angora sweater” monologue, originally introduced by Jamie Lee Curtis in the heart shaking (housewives as prostitutes) television film Money on the Side? Too many to count! One good thing did come out of that obsession, though. My lifelong love for journey man actress, Linda Purl, who co-starred in that film, was born in those very awkward moments.

Beloved for her work on the stage and such television shows as Happy Days, Matlock and The Office, beautifully eclectic actress Purl has shown her versatility in multiple genre projects, as well. From her compassionate yet tack sharp performance in 1982’s Visiting Hours to her recent appearances on the past season of True Blood (which increased hits on her buoyant website immensely), Purl always gives her all. Below, are some terror filled examples of her work.

Body Language (1992). In this USA television film take-off of Single White Female, Purl excels on multiple levels. Her Norma reels between stationed normalcy, animal sexiness and feral violence. That she and Heather Locklear (playing the good Bridget Fonda incarnation) look so much alike, adds effectiveness to the traditional plot devices, but most importantly, it is Purl’s acting that commands here. She is believable whether charmingly seducing or viciously smashing co-stars over the head in the film’s bloody denouement.

Murder She Wrote. “Dead Eye” (1993). This episode of the popular mystery series is notable due to its focus on the real tragedy of the John F. Kennedy assassination and for being the introductory episode of Wayne Roger’s charming/bumbling Charlie, who became a semi-regular on the show. Purl shows true emotional heart as she describes her character’s difficult childhood and she is able to use her taut technical skills as an actress in the final moments of this product, as well. As usual, motivations turn on a dime when series maven, Jessica (Angela Lansbury), reveals the real culprit and Purl makes her every sudden action believable within the formulaic confines of the show.

The Perfect Tenant. (2000). Here, Purl is the terrorized as Grease 2‘s Maxwell Caulfield tries to settle an old family score. This standard stalk n slash has some enjoyable moments (Caulfield’s calm malevolence as her murders Purl’s slacking, initial tenant and her boyfriend; Tracy Nelson’s frenzied turn as Caulfield’s girlfriend) yet the finest moments here occur between Purl and veteran actor Earl Holliman, whom portrays her father. The two seem to really respect and enjoy each other and their scenes are filled with warmth and life. (This, incidentally, is Holliman’s last listed credit on IMDB.)

(Purl’s firm, layered work on the above mentioned Visiting Hours is explored in this Horror Society article, as well:

Meanwhile, Purl’s love for performing is just as magnificently evident in her singing career. She brings soft, smoky understanding to life’s everyday travails on numbers such as “This Girl’s In Love With You,” “I Can Let Go Now,” and “I’m Afraid the Masquerade is Over” on her debut CD, Alone Together.

Be sure to keep up with all of Linda Purl’s activities (bloody, musical and otherwise) at!

But, before you do, be sure to enjoy this fun The Perfect Tenant trailer:

Meanwhile, Big Gay Horror Fan is always accepting new scare induced boarders at!/BigGayHorrorFan, as well.

Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!

2 comments on “Linda Purl: The Terrifying Genre Credits of a Television Legend!

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