Linda Purl is an American actress and singer best known for her role as Ben Matlock's daughter Charlene Matlock in the first season of the legal drama television series Matlock, from 1986-1987.
She has starred in over 40 television Movies of the Week and plays the recurring role of Helene Beesly (Pam's mother) on The Office, as well as a recurring role on Lie to Me.
She is probably best known as Charlene Matlock from the series Matlock and as Ashley Pfister, Fonzie's fiancée, from Happy Days.
Highlights of her Movies of the Week have been Born Free, The Last Days of Pompeii (with Sir Laurence Olivier), The Manions of America (with Pierce Brosnan) and Like Normal People, the award-winning docu-drama about a mentally retarded couple co-starring Shaun Cassidy.
Linda's feature film credits include Disney's Mighty Joe Young, The Walking Major (with Toshiro Mifune), Crazy Mama (directed by Jonathan Demme) and Leo and Loree (produced by Ron Howard).
Linda began her career in the theatre in Japan, where she was raised and became the only foreigner to have trained at the Toho Geino Academy. Her studies continued with LAMDA and later at both the Neighborhood Playhouse and Lee Strasberg Institute.
Stage credits include Broadway's Tony-nominated The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; Getting and Spending; Off Broadway: The Baby Dance; and Hallelujah, Hallelujah!.
Linda has received six Dramalogue Best Actress Awards and two Dramalogue Awards as Best Producer. She has received two Robby Awards for Best Actress and is a three time nominee of the Los Angeles Drama Critic's Award for Best Actress.
She is the recipient of the Connecticut Critics' Award for Outstanding Performance in a Play for her work in The Baby Dance.
Linda has recorded broadcasts of The Graduate, Arthur Miller's Broken Glass, The Odd Couple with Nathan Lane and Nora with the late David Dukes for National Public Radio, also Milford Haven (created by her sister Mara Purl) for the BBC II.
Linda tours with her solo concert Come Rain or Come Shine nationally and internationally. Additionally she toured in A Night to Remember with Broadway and television veteran Gregory Harrison.
Linda's recordings include solo cuts on George and Ira Gershwin: A Musical Celebration, Cole Porter: A Musical Toast, Adler, Boch, Coleman, A Hollywood Christmas. Her solo albums are Alone Together and Out of this World – Live with Special Guest Artist Desi Arnaz, Jr.
She is Founding Festival Director of the California International Theatre Festival.