September 2, 1955
Greenwich, Connecticut, United States
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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-).