Shirley Jones will without end be remembered as some of the iconic TV mothers in historical past: Shirley Partridge from the musical sitcom collection The Partridge Household. But exterior of that function, Jones has had no scarcity of different achievements all through her 70-year profession in Hollywood. The actress has starred in scores of movies and TV collection, and even gained an Academy Award for Greatest Supporting Actress in 1960. Learn on to see the gifted actress now at 87!
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Jones started appearing in 1950, 20 years earlier than The Partridge Household aired. After showing in a handful of TV exhibits, she obtained her first massive break in 1955 starring within the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical movie, Oklahoma!. She would later seem in a number of different musicals, together with The Music Man and Carousel.
Although her most well-known function was on the small display as Shirley Partridge, Jones has shared that the spotlight of her profession was her Oscar-winning function as Lulu Bains within the 1960 film Elmer Gantry. “It modified the course of my profession—I would not have had the longevity that I’ve had [without it]. My profession was actually over so far as motion pictures [before that role],” the actress mentioned in a 2005 interview with the Tv Academy Basis.
Jones had a number of different high-profile roles all through the course of her profession, together with within the movies Bedtime Story, April Love, and Fluffy, amongst others. Nonetheless, after showing on Partridge, she says her movie alternatives turned extra restricted. “The issue with Partridge—although it was nice for me and gave me a possibility to remain house and lift my youngsters—when my brokers got here to me and introduced it to me, they mentioned should you do a collection and it turns into successful present, you may be that character for the remainder of your life and your movie profession will go into the bathroom, which is what occurred,” she mentioned in a 2009 interview with The Vancouver Solar.
Jones explains that later in her profession, she turned to made-for-TV motion pictures to interrupt out of her extra typecast roles—and that these have been finally a few of her favourite initiatives.
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To many, Shirley Partridge represented a really perfect mom determine, and followers related deeply with the character. Although widowed, the matriarch managed to exude enjoyable and charisma all whereas being the only supplier to her 5 youngsters.
Nonetheless, Jones says that she at all times feels the necessity to remind followers that the present was fiction. In actuality, she says, no mom is ideal. “It is a tv present, this isn’t actual life. There was a whole lot of Shirley Partridge that was me, however there’s additionally loads that wasn’t,” she informed the Tv Academy Basis. “Lots of youngsters mentioned, ‘I grew up with you, and I needed my mother to be similar to you and I needed to return and stay with you and be within the band,” she recalled. “It is good, however I at all times felt sorry for these youngsters as a result of clearly there’s one thing missing of their life,” Jones added.
Nonetheless, the actress says she’s at all times understood the attraction and endurance of the present, which nonetheless holds a spot within the coronary heart of followers. “They do not make tv exhibits like that anymore, and I believe the general public itself is hungry for that type of tv. That is why TV Land does properly after they present the exhibits once more like The Brady Bunch and Partridge and all of the fantastic exhibits of the ’70s. As a result of there’s not very like that to observe for a household on tv at present. The foremost channels simply haven’t got it,” she mentioned.
The Partridge Household ran for 4 seasons, from 1970 till 1974 earlier than the collection wrapped. “It was the start of a brand new type of tv,” recalled Jones of the present’s finish. “We have been going to be reverse All within the Household and as you and I each know, that was a really totally different type of household. I imply, that was the start of actuality tv… they simply felt that we could not compete,” she mentioned.
Jones says the recognition of the main actors additionally contributed to the choice to finish the collection. “I believe David at this cut-off date had had it on the present. I believe David needed to exit and do his personal factor,” she mentioned, referring to her co-star and stepson, David Cassidy. “He was now a giant, massive teen idol and he needed to exit and do extra live shows. He needed to do a distinct type of music than simply The Partridge Household type of music. They made the choice with these two issues in thoughts,” Jones defined.
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In addition to famously co-starring along with her stepson, whose father is her then-husband Tony Award profitable actor Jack Cassidy, Jones went on to have three extra sons—Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan Cassidy—all of whom grew as much as work in leisure.
Shaun Cassidy, a producer and musician, has opened up about the way in which his household’s fame influenced how he felt about his personal. “By the point I turned profitable at 18, three different individuals in my household had already been wildly profitable,” Cassidy informed Web page Six in 2021. “My father was a matinee idol on Broadway, my mom was an Academy Award winner at 24 and David was a really massive pop star. I type of witnessed all of this, so by the point it occurred to me, no a part of my identification was invested in it lasting or ever being profitable,” he mentioned.
Even Jones appears to take her fame with a grain of salt. When requested in regards to the secret to her success, the actress shared that she attributes her accolades to “being on the proper place on the proper time, and having a present.” Now 87, the actress remains to be producing new work, and has proven no indicators of stopping any time quickly.
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