Got questions for Linda Purl?

We’re happy to be doing a little Q&A with Linda Purl, who played Pam’s mom, Helene, in The Office episodes ‘Niagara’ and ‘Double Date.’

Please post your question for Linda in a comment below.

This post closes at 5pm PT today.



  1. Linda, what was it like being a part of one of the most anticipated episodes of the entire series? (the wedding)

  2. Hi Linda, thanks for being Pam’s mom.
    How do you like being told to be 58 when you are 54?
    (you look closer to 45 BTW)
    Now that you and Michael have broken up, can we expect to see you more? in support of Pam and the new baby?


  3. Hi Linda! How hard was it to keep a straight face while you read the Shel Silverstein poem?

  4. Hi Linda! First of all I want to say thanks for playing Pam’s mom! You were wonderful and I hope we get to see more of you in the future.

    I was just wondering was there any scene that was really hard for you not to break during because it was so funny? And also, did you shoot any scenes in either episode that didn’t make the cut that you wish had?


  5. Linda, I enjoyed your performance in the last episode very much. I wanted to ask, in deciding how to play the role, what did you imagine Helene’s feelings toward Michael to be? How would you describe what she was getting out of the relationship?

  6. Hi Linda! You’ve been great on the show. Hopefully we’ll get to see you a little bit more.

    Were you at all nervous knowing that someone else had played the role of Pam’s mom in a prior ep? Or was it a pretty easy role to fall into because her storyline before was so small?


  7. Hi Linda – I’m old enough to remember you playing Virginia in “Like Normal People” with Shaun Cassidy back in the late 70’s! And also Fonzie’s girlfriend on Happy Days.

    We know The Office cast is known for cracking each other up during filming. Can you tell us about any ad libs Steve Carell might have said that caught you completely off guard?

  8. Hi Linda, loved your character as pam’s mom/michael’s GF in the office.

    Was it hard to work with steve ? I mean, I would be laughing in tears just by watching him act.

  9. Hello Linda, you were another great addition to the Office cast!

    How did you get the part of Pam’s mom? Was it a quick audition or were there other actors being considered?

  10. Hi Linda!
    I am sure that you knew about the mockumentary-style of the series when you were cast. I’d like to ask you if you liked acting “in this style” and if you would like to do more of such acting?
    Another question: whom did you bond with most of all when you were on the set of The Office?

  11. Hi Linda! I was wondering, did you have a favorite part/scene that you filmed for the two episodes you were in? And can we expect to see more of you in the future?

  12. Hi Linda,

    I love your acting as Helene, and I love that she participated — albeit hesitantly — in the unexpected wedding dance. As a more-or-less sane character, what do you think her reaction was to all that craziness at her daughter’s wedding?

    Hope to see you more in future episodes!

  13. Thank you Linda for taking our questions!

    I know you have been a member of many famous television casts before, and so I was wondering what cast would you love to be reunited with and also what sets the Office cast apart from other casts?

    Thanks so much and you have been fantastic and so lovely as Pam’s mother!

  14. Question for Pam’s mom (Linda Purl):

    First off, great job in the episode! You were great! Anyway, my question is how welcoming was the cast to you when you joined them for the filming of this episode and the episodes to come? Did anyone pull any pranks on you? Did anyone go out of his or her way to welcome you?

  15. Loved seeing you on The Office! You did a great job playing Pam’s mom and going through a tough time as well as enjoying her time with a younger (crazy) man.

    Were you already a big Office fan before you were offered the role? The birthday lunch was great fun to watch. How long did it take to film those scenes?

    Hope you’ll be back on the show sometime! And there is no way in the world you can be 58! If it’s true, I need to find out what kind of vitamins you take!

  16. Hi Linda – welcome to our little obsession and thank you so much for answering our questions :) You have been fantastic on the show!! How did you feel about the storyline with your character being both Pam’s mom and Michael’s girlfriend? There’s been much discussion on this site about whether Pam was justified in her anger towards Michael and I was just curious as to how you felt about it and if it made it easier or more difficult to play the role.

  17. Hi, Linda — thank you so much for taking questions! I loved you as Pam’s mom.

    How was the character of Helene described to you? What were you told about her background?

  18. Hi, Linda! You were so amazing as Pam’s mom! I really hope we get to see you more. Will you be making more appearances, and will it be really awkward because Michael and Helene just broke up? Also, how was it working with such funny amazing actors? Thank you so much!!!

  19. How do you feel that your character is now in the very exclusive ex-girlfriends of Michael Scott list?

  20. Welcome to the world of obssessive Office fanz. Did you personally know (or had worked with) any of the Office cast members before taking this role?

    BTW – I loved Matlock.

  21. Did you watch the original actress (Shannon Cochran) in “Sexual Harassment” to get a basis for Pam’s mom or fully approach it as your own?

  22. What was it like to take on a role that had previously been cast by someone else? Did you talk with Shannon Cochran, Pam’s previous mom, about characterization or how to play the part?

    I thought this plotline was just great, and I wish the relationship didn’t end so quickly. Can we expect to see more of you on “The Office”?

  23. How fun was it to do scenes with Steve Carell? Was there a lot of breaking and re-takes?

  24. Hey Linda. First off, you were amazing as Pam’s mom. I hope to see more of you.

    My question is, who were the people or person that you bonded and/or got along with best on set?

    Also, if you could pick any other actress to play your part who would it be and why?

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