Shirley Jones Patridge Family
Shirley Mae Jones was born 31 March, 1934 in Smithton, Pennsylvania. She was named after Shirley Temple. Her father owned the local brewery. When she was 20, she went to New York with her parents and, within a week, became the first and only actor signed to a personal contract by Rogers and Hammerstein. She was in the Broadway chorus of “South Pacific” and then was offered the part of “Laurey” in “Oklahoma!”. After that, she continued with the European traveling stage production with Jack Cassidy and they fell in love. She came back to make Carousel (1956), originally cast with Frank Sinatra in the male lead but later recast with Gordon McRae, her costar in Oklahoma! (1955).
In 1956, Shirley married Jack Cassidy and became step-mother to 6-year-old David Cassidy. In 1958, she gave birth to son Shaun Cassidy, followed in 1960 by Patrick Cassidy and Ryan Cassidy in 1966. In 1960, she won an Oscar for her role in Elmer Gantry (1960). In 1970, she won the part of “Shirley Partridge” in the TV series “The Partridge Family” (1970). Little did she know that her 20-year-old step-son was going to be the oldest Partridge child, “Keith”. From then on, she would always be considered David Cassidy’s mother. In 1974, “The Partridge Family” (1970) went off the air.
Jack’s mental illness worsened and manic depression deepened. In 1974, after years of abuse, Shirley divorced Jack. Jack died in an apartment fire in December of 1976. In 1977, Shirley married comedian Marty Ingels. In 1990, Marty and Shirley wrote a book about their life and their romance and marriage. The book is called “Shirley and Marty: An Unlikely Romance”. Shirley continued to act and was recently on “The Drew Carey Show” (1995). In 1999, after almost 25 years of marriage, Shirley and Marty separated for six months due to tensions with her sons. Fortunately, Marty and Shirley reconciled and are still one of Hollywood’s happiest married, if not odd couple, around.