The transition from professional surfer to professional actor came quickly. Purvey became an international model appearing in magazine advertisements and TV commercials for major brands such as Hallmark, BMW motorcycles, and many more. Albeit, he was challenged by acting in film and TV over the next decade. His first major role was in the title role as “The Rebel” in a 1970 episode of Mission: Impossible. Most notable is Purvey’s performance in the principal role as “Flip,” in the 1977 Emmy nominated CBS pilot, Winners: I Can. He was a series regular as “Rhett Saxton” in the soap opera Lovers and Friends (NBC, 1977), a semi-regular in General Hospital (ABC, 1985-89 and 2008) and had featured roles in A-Team, Rich Man – Poor Man and Young and the Restless, among others. National television commercial appearances (on-camera), include the one-and-only Atari’s Pac Man, Hallmark Card’s “Coming Home” (CLIO award) and the 1st Chevrolet Celebrity commercial, among others.
In 1979, he returned to competing as a surfer and won his first contest. In 1980, Purvey became an entrepreneur, co-operating the Graphlite surf shop at Topanga Beach in Malibu. In 1986, he innovated and produced the Malibu Classic Challenge, which demonstrated all the surfing skills in the sport. In 1992, he became a Malibu environmentalist and award-winning community access producer of television documentaries, educating the community and general public about the polluted waters at world famous Malibu Surfrider Beach, his home surf spot, and what could be done to solve the many problems.
Recently, he performed in small roles on the soap’s General Hospital and The Bold and the Beautiful. He was the narrator in the award winning documentary, In Search of the California Condor, with which he won the 2009 International Wildlife Film Festival Merit Award for his Co-editing skills.
In 2010, he formed the nonprofit EcoMalibu @ecomalibu.org with the mission to educate the general public about restoring the historical wetland environment in the heart of Malibu. In 2012, the Malibu Lagoon restoration was completed and has now matured, with wildlife returning that haven’t been seen in decades. He’s promoting an innovative professional surf contest to be produced by EcoMalibu and plans can be seen at www.MalibuNoseRiding.com. The Ugly surfboards now have his signature name associated with the label and are selling online at www.TheUglySurfboard.com. He’s just introduced an innovative noserider boardshort with stretchzone performance technology and pre-release sales are online at www.TheUglyClothingCompany.com
BTW, he’s seeking representation to help get him into his next film or TV project.