The Partridge Family delivered a prime cut to the decade’s TV menu. The 1970s music sitcom was similar to The Brady Bunch, although some believe it was better. Like many star-studded hit shows, the story behind the scenes is equally, if not more interesting than what fan saw on the TV screens.
ABC TV Show ‘The Partridge Family’ Cast was Underpaid
Columbia Pictures Television distributed the ABC primetime program, but Screen Gems Television, a division of Sony Pictures, produced it. With a kid-heavy cast, the production company saved a lot of money, not paying them. Granted, inflation has increased by 500%, but still. Six hundred bucks per week?
Worse yet, they paid David Cassidy those kid-wages as an adult. Cassidy was the Seventies pop star who brought Keith Partridge to life each week. When his manager brought it up, Sony Pictures acknowledged it with an “oops,” and raised his pay to $6,000 per week.
‘Take Two!’- Two Pilots were Filmed
The first pilot was filmed in December 1969, but it never aired. Both pilots portray Shirley Partridge as a widow with five children. Interestingly, in the first version, Shirley Partridge has a boyfriend who is played by Jack Cassidy, actress Shirley Jones’ real-life husband at the time.
In that first pilot, one of the children divulges their father, who died, had a drinking problem. Another difference is that in the unaired first pilot, the family is from Ohio. But we all know the Partridge’s were from California!
Shirley Jones turned down a role in The Brady Bunch to play the mother of The Partridge Family. She could’ve been Carol Brady, but she said playing a housewife, and nothing more, was not her style. So she played the lead in what can only be described as an American TV rendition of The Sound of Music.
The difference being, she was a hippie-widow, managing all of the children on her own just fine. Since she was married to Jack Cassidy until 1974, she was not only a TV “mom,” but also stepmom to David Cassidy in real life. Shirley Jones is a stage actress with a six-decade career under her belt.
“C’mon Get Happy”
Riding around in a colorful tour bus with four younger siblings, playing guitar and singing, “Hello, world, hear the song that we’re singin’/C’mon get happy!” was slightly less-than-cool for pop music sensation David Cassidy. In real life, he fought off groupies, had a band, and banked $50,000 gigs. He had naked women throwing themselves at him or else hiding out and stalking him from his limo. In 1972 he decided to bare all to Rolling Stone magazine.
Annie Leibovitz photographed a naked spread of the 22-year-old Partridge Family star for the May cover. Inside the covers, he revealed every secret, from drug use and sexual conquests to the pride he feels over his disproportionate endowment, nicknamed “donk” by his three stepbrothers. The piece includes bisexual groupies and a pot-smoking account. The fallout? Coca-Cola pulled their ad and network suits freaked.
The youngest Partridge was Chris, the cute little brother drummer. This character was played by Brian Forster, but not until 1971, a year into the show. The former child actor was Jeremy Gelbwaks. Brian played Chris for the remainder of the series.
He’s the son of British film actor Peter Forster and step-grandson of British acting legend Alan Napier. And, are you ready for this? He’s the great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens.
‘The Partridge Family’ Shared a Studio With ‘The Monkees’
Another Screen Gems production was The Monkees. They played an imaginary band that wanted to be as successful as the Beatles but always failed on a TV show of the same name. The Monkees were a popular primetime show until 1968.
Ironically, the Monkees became one of the grooviest classic rock bands of the Sixties. When The Monkees’ TV show was canceled, The Partridge family moved in.
Jeremy Gelbwaks Left the Cast and No One Noticed
Apparently, little Jeremy Gelbwaks was not working out. He was too young for his job with too many behavior issues, and the cast, crew, and producers had a problem with it. A long-running rumor left everyone assuming that he and his family had moved away.
Long story short, by the second season, he was replaced with Brian Forster. The biggest surprise was, not one fan letter to the studio complained about the switch. It was like no one even noticed!
A Nod to ‘The Wizard of Oz’
Some observant fans probably caught on. A select few Partridge episodes harked back to that wonderful movie in the land of Oz. Guest stars Ray Bolger (Scarecrow) and Margaret Hamilton (The Wicked Witch) from the famous 1939 production joined The Partridge Family as guest stars.
Bolger played Shirley’s father, and Hamilton played Reuben’s mother. Other big-name stars like Johnny Cash and Richard Pryor surprised fans. Johnny Cash played himself opening for The Partridge Family at a Vegas show.
Shirley’s Husband Couldn't Handle Her Fame
In 1974, The Partridge Family went off the air for good while Shirley’s marriage to David Cassidy’s father Jack Cassidy went off the tracks. The years she played TV’s most popular mom on that Seventies show were rough on her husband. He was jealous and angry.
Shirley said, “His overriding sense of inferiority in the face of my success drove him into the arms of other women even more often than before.” Even David Cassidy admitted that his father had alcohol and anger issues due to the family’s sudden rise to fame.
A Grammy Nomination for the Family
The Partridge Family, as a musical group, topped the Billboard Hot 100 with the hit single “I Think I Love You,” selling over 5 million copies and outselling the Beatles’ “Let it Be.” With lead singer Cassidy a verifiable teen idol, the album hit No. 4 on the Billboard Top 200.
Selling millions of records domestically and internationally, the group produced eight studio albums. In 1971, the TV show was nominated for the Best New Artist Grammy. In total, The Partridge Family group released 11 singles.
The Real Partridge Family
The Partridge Family was loosely based on a real-life musical family called “The Cowsills.” The TV show was inspired by these troubadours whose hit song “The Rain, the Park & Other Things” made waves when it was released in 1967.
At first, the show planned to cast the family as the Partridges, but after ABC decided to go with Shirley Jones, the kids of the Cowsill family backed out.
Why Didn’t Shirley Jones Want to Play Carol Brady?
First of all, Shirley Jones chose Shirley Partridge instead of Carol Brady because she liked the idea of playing a single, working mom during the days when stay-at-home moms ruled. She said, “While the idea of playing the mother in The Brady Bunch was initially attractive to me, I turned it down because I didn’t want to be the mother taking the roast out of the oven and not doing much else.”
She was drawn to the role of the Partridge family’s mom, “First, because she was destined to become the first working mother on TV, and I loved the script. Second, because working on the series would let me be an almost full-time mom and raise my kids.”
And Then There Was Ricky
In season four, Ricky showed up. Ratings were in a slump, and adding an adorable little boy seemed as if it would bring just the bounce the show needed. The little guy, an actor named Ricky Segall, was only four years old.
He played neighbor Ricky Stevens, a boy who liked to sing. With zero results, the boy was dismissed mid-season.
Tragedy Strikes at a David Cassidy Concert
At the peak of his success, teen idol David Cassidy’s concerts were selling out to wildly ecstatic crowds. At a 1974 show at London’s White City Stadium, crowds got out of hand, and a youngster was killed. A wave of enthusiasm caused a mob of teens to rush the stage. Thirty people were crushed in the stampede.
One of the victims was concert goer Bernadette Whelan, a 14-year-old. She was rushed to the hospital and treated for her wounds but died four days later of cardiac arrest. When asked about the melee, Cassidy said that the death will always haunt him.
Danny Bonaduce, the Cast Clown
No one disputes the fact that Danny Bonaduce was a troublemaker. Not only that, but he often forgot his lines—one time, causing a scene to require 36 takes. Shirley Jones is known to have said, “Danny was a wild child who came from an unhappy home. At eleven, he started smoking.” Growing up in the spotlight only compounds the problems caused by conflicts at home.
Playing Danny Partridge, he would frustrate the cast. Completely vexed, Shirley once ordered him to go upstairs to his room! Never mind that the set did not have an upstairs or that she’s not his real mom.
The Partridge Family Home
Shots of the Partridge family’s house from the outside may look familiar. The same house was used in other popular shows of the time like Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and Dennis the Menace. It was also featured in Pleasantville with Resse Witherspoon.
The pretty yellow and white house was particularly noticeable during shots when the iconic Partridge family tour bus drove by.
Olivia Newton-John as Laurie?
Sure. Why not? The truth is, Olivia Newton-John was the producers’ first choice to play Laurie Partridge.
To further complicate things, Susan Dey, the sweet-faced girl who got the role of Laurie on The Partridge Family, was almost cast as Sandy in the 1978 hit musical “Grease!”
In season one, there was a pet dog named Simone. The Benji-look-alike didn’t make the cut. When season two rolled around, the family pet had disappeared without explanation.
As far as we know, this change-up in the cast also brought in no complaint letters from fans.
David Cassidy Would Rather Be Rockin’
After the Rolling Stone exposé went over with little consequence, besides losing Coca-Cola and a getting a few execs uptight, Cassidy realized he was stuck with the TV show commitment. Letting it all hang out, the teen idol could have lost his job at ABC, and it would have been a break for him.
He barely had time to keep up with his schedule between playing sold-out stadiums on worldwide tours and taping episodes at home. And, frankly, he preferred a rock star image to a goody-two-shoes family entertainer. When he didn’t sign for season five, the show was over. There was no way he could keep up his recording and touring schedule, it had already been taking a toll on his health. Something had to give.
Susan Dey Wants Nothing to Do with Cast Reunions
Susan Dey, the actress who brought us, Laurie Partridge, has no interest in participating in cast reunions. When Shirley Jones was asked about it, she explained, “[Susan] and David had grown apart, and nowadays they are completely out of touch, which hurts David tremendously.”
Jones went on to say, “I was also hurt that out of everyone on the show, only Susan consistently refuses to take part in any TV reunions of The Partridge Family.” One can only hope that she’ll have a change of heart and join her former cast once again!
How Many Hollywood Celebrities Guest Starred on ‘The Partridge Family?’
A lot. We already know two Wizard of Oz stars had small roles, and we know the legendary Johnny Cash played a gig with the family. But, did you know that two of the three Charlie’s Angels, one of the decade’s most popular shows celebrating sexy supermodels playing secret agents, made an appearance? Angels Cheryl Ladd and Farrah Fawcett stopped by.
Mark Hamill, the beloved Luke Skywalker, also guest-starred. There’s a long list of famous visitors including Jodie Foster, Howard Cosell, Rob Reiner, Louis Gossett Jr., Maureen Reagan (Ronald Reagan’s daughter), and Dick Clark (king of the charts).
The Mystery of the Partridge Family Tour Bus
Each week, alongside songful, cheerful pleas, entreating us all to “get happy,” was that bus—that wonderful, colorful, iconic Partridge Family bus. It was the happiest thing on TV. At the C’mon Get Happy fansite, extensive research found that the bus was parked behind Lucy’s Tacos near USC for years, that is, until 1987 when the restaurant resurfaced their parking lot. There are several "copy-cats", so don’t be fooled. The original bus was a 1955 Chevrolet 6500 Superior.
The studio bought it from an Orange County, California school district for $500. The only problem is, a credible rumor says the Partridge Family bus was never parked behind Lucy’s Tacos. That one, a Chevy enthusiast claims, was a look-a-like replication. The bus behind Lucy’s was a 1957 Chevrolet tribute bus. This means that the fate of the original bus is an absolute mystery.
The Partridge Family Board Game
The TV show was a post-hippie pop sensation. On Friday nights Americans flocked to ABC. Day in and day out, Partridge Family hit songs played on the radio. People were wild about the happy TV family. Merchandise like lunchboxes, toys, and bubblegum trading cars pictured the cast members’ likeness.
There was a comic book series based on the TV show. There was a futuristic Saturday morning cartoon called Partridge Family 2020 A.D. So, it’s probably no surprise, there was a Partridge Family board game too. The object of the game was to be the first player to get back to the bus. Milton Bradley released the game in 1971. A collector’s item today, no doubt!
Shirley Jones Was Scripted to be the Partridge Family Lead Singer
Shirley Jones was chosen to play the widowed mom of five musical kids as well as the lead singer of the family group. But the way it turned out, David Cassidy did so well at auditions he was set up as a singer in the band. Shirley and David were the only musicians officially in the Partridge Family group.
The other children lip-synched and pretended to play instruments. None of the other players made the cut to play on Partridge Family albums. But Cassidy and his guitar featured prominently on the TV program and on albums.
The Irreplaceable David Cassidy
By the end of season four, Cassidy had had enough and was packing his bags. Network execs scrambled to find a replacement. But even the very pretty face of Rick Springfield, the future superstar rock star with the pop hit “Jessie’s Girl,” could not appease audiences.
Who knows how many more seasons we would’ve had if Cassidy stayed with the cast!
Why Couldn’t Danny Bonaduce Remember His Lines?
Danny Bonaduce remembered every word of his lines. Unfortunately, he could not get them out in the correct order. Struggling with a persistent Dyslexia, Bonaduce was besieged with a tendency to say his lines incorrectly.
On the other hand, he possessed a photographic memory, so he recognized immediately if another cast member misspoke the script. His predilection to point these mistakes out was a constant irritation to the rest of the cast.
Altering David Cassidy’s Voice
While most of the cast lip-synched songs during The Partridge Family broadcasts, Shirley and David’s voices were recorded live. The only caveat is that during the weekly filming of the show, the recording of David’s voice was altered.
Audiences preferred a higher pitch than he could deliver, so they altered the recording to meet listener preferences.
Shirley Jones Deals with Fame
The mega popularity of the Partridge Family meant fame, fandoms, a prying press and a lot of stress for the stars. Shirley was no different, even though she seemed a perfectly poised mom. Fans even confused her for the five young actors’ real mom. On top of the confusion was the fact that she really was a stepmom to the show’s superstar.
Fans believed she was his real mom and this, in turn, saddened David Cassidy’s real mom, Evelyn Ward. There was a schism. A fictional TV family was producing music as an actual band, so the line was blurred. In reality, Shirley suffered a lot of emotional ups and downs because of the harsh spotlight.
Fame Hit David Cassidy Hard
When Cassidy did the Rolling Stone photoshoot and interview, he was at the peak of his fame, and it was clear that he was partying it up and living a wild, wildlife. Like many of his famous brethren, he suffered a lot of painful consequences.
Cassidy went bankrupt, battled out-of-control substance abuse issues, was convicted of three DUIs, and was in debt over $400,000 (don’t forget inflation). On top of that, he went through three divorces and checked into rehab in 2014. As his life went on, things never got better.
The Partridge Family Outsold the Beatles
Maybe it’s because they had a weekly TV show to stage their music, but one song really flew up the charts. In 1971, the song “I Think I Love You,” written by Tony Romeo, peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard charts in December of that year.
It won a gold disc award after it sold over 5 million copies. Not even the Beatles hit song “Let it Be” sold that many records!
What Shirley Jones Said about the Partridge Family Singers
Apparently, Shirley Jones was rather vocal about the other cast members’ lack of singing ability. Obviously, she thought David Cassidy, her stepson, was a proficient singer, but about the others, she said they were not good enough to be in the recording studio.
She was known to say that Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough, Jeremy Gelbwaks, and Brian Forster came up far short on talent to have their voices featured on the program.
Everyone Believed the Kids were Great Musicians
It was confusing for fans. The line between fiction and reality was blurred. When fans bought a Partridge Family album, with the family pictured on the cover, it seemed fairly obvious that all five kids and mom were belting out Partridge Family tunes. But the fact was the kids were not singing.
They did not even know how to play the instruments they held. It was all a show that David and Shirley led. David was the only cast member who played an instrument. The rest lip-synched and played their roles as musicians quite well.
Susan Dey got her start in Hollywood with The Partridge Family. At 17, it was her first gig. She had no acting experience, but she landed the role of Laurie Partridge because her beautiful face was spotted in her budding modeling career. Screen Gems execs discovered her lovely visage on the cover of an ad booklet for a tampon brand, actually. Her career shot to fame with the TV series.
She’s known as the Partridge star who refuses to reunite. But, if you heard her side of the story, you might feel the same. Intimidate details of her relationship with Cassidy were exploited in his 1994 tell-all memoir, and since then, she’s refused to join reunion shows. And anyway, she’s retired from acting.
David Cassidy was cast as Keith Partridge for his “androgynous good looks,” this, according to the producers. He was born in NYC to actor parents Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. Growing up, he spent a lot of time at his grandparents’ house in Jersey while his parents toured. His acting premiere was in the Broadway musical “The Fig Leaves Are Falling.” It was to be his path to the Partridges. On the way, he appeared in TV shows like Ironside, Marcus Welby, Adam-12, and Bonanza. As we know, he didn’t handle fame well.
After he quit the Partridge Family, he focused on recording and songwriting. International success followed him, but he was flat broke by the ’80s. And, sadly, in his older days, he revealed that he suffers from dementia.
Susan Dey Dealt with Body Image Issues
Like many models in the celebrity world, body image is a pesky problem. She was very young when her career exploded overnight with the weekly primetime TV show. To manage overweight worries, she began dieting to an extreme.
When she wasted away down to 92 pounds, she still didn’t realize she had a problem until Danny Bonaduce spotted her in a swimsuit and blurted out that she looked like a skeleton. Luckily, it caught her attention before weight loss issues developed into a devastating disease.
Life After ‘The Partridge Family’ for Susan Dey
Susan Dey went on to have a successful career in television. Most notably, she had a starring role in the popular 1980s drama series L.A. Law. She also appeared in films Echo Park and Bed of Lies. Nominated for three Emmy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards, she won the 1988 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress.
This went to her portrayal of D.A. Grace Van Owen in L.A. Law. Other TV shows she appeared in were Hawaii Five-O and Third Watch.
A Sad Ending
David Cassidy’s time as an actor and entertainer was over. On November 22, 2017, he passed away. He was 67. Admitted to the ICU at a Florida hospital just days before, sadly, he succumbed to organ failure. Liver damage. With the diagnosis, David opened up by saying he lied about having dementia to hide his drinking. It “was complete alcohol poisoning—and the fact is, I lied about my drinking,” David admitted.
Days away from death he said, “You know, I did it to myself, man. I did it to myself to cover up the sadness and the emptiness.” “David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years,” tweeted Cassidy’s nephew, Jack Cassidy. He added, “I can’t help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people.”
Katie Cassidy’s Tribute to Her Father
Katie Cassidy loved her dad, but their relationship was less than perfect. When he died, the Arrow actress was devastated. She had this to tweet: “Words can't express the solace our family’s received from all the love & support during this trying time.”
The heart-wrenching missive went on, “My father’s last words were ‘So much wasted time.’ This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute . . . Thank you.”
A Falling Out
Seven years before David Cassidy died, Katie and he experienced a falling out. No word if it was because he left her out of his will. But before that, they were very close. After, he told People, “She has a completely different life.” Katie was raised by her mother, former model Sherry Williams, and stepfather Richard Benedon. In 2009, David told People, “Because I didn’t raise her, I didn’t have to parent her. I’m always here and totally nonjudgmental.”
At the time, Katie appreciated the relationship saying, “To be able to go to someone I’m genetically linked to, tell them anything and know that they’re not going to judge me—it’s unbelievable. It’s nice when your dad can be your friend.” They were estranged until right before he died.
For years David Cassidy had no contact with his only daughter. In 2017, he lamented the fact pointing out, “I wasn’t her father. I was her biological father but I didn’t raise her.” He said he was very proud of her. “She’s very talented. It’s hard for me to even accept how old she is now, like 30.”
In 2009, when People talked to them about their unusual father-daughter relationship, Katie said he was a great mentor who gave her the best advice. “Do not work for money,” he told her. “Do not work for fame. Work for the work. And if you get a great role and they offer you nothing, take it.”
David Cassidy’s death hit the family hard. His younger brother Shaun tweeted, “When I was a little boy and my big brother would come to visit, the first call of business would be a punishing pillow fight.
During the battle, he would regale me with hysterical stories of our father, often culminating in his taking a giant leap off my top bunk. I tried to catch him of course. I always tried to catch him. But I never could. Now, I will carry him, along with all of the funny/sad/extraordinary days we shared, none more filled with love than these last few at his side.”
Condolences from the Partridge Family
David Cassidy’s fictional little brother Danny Bonaduce was also devastated by the untimely death.
He said, “I have known, loved, and admired David Cassidy for 48 out of my 58 years. He has been as kind to me as any real brother could ever be. We’ve been through a lot together and he was always there for me. This loss is huge. RIP my dear friend.”
In an interview not too many years before his death, David Cassidy was asked by CNN about career highlights. One of his fondest memories arose at a 1972 Madison Square Garden show. He described the moment. His family was there, and there was a roar from the crowd he could never forget.
In 2014 he said, “It was so emotional for me. I was so blessed to have that moment with them. It’s the highlight of my life.”
Alexa PenaVega Remembers David
David Cassidy was “an amazing TV daddy,” Alexa PenaVega said, memorializing the time she worked with Cassidy on Ruby & the Rockits, a 2009 TV show created by Shaun Cassidy, David’s half-brother.
She must have been shocked when she heard the news.
Marie Osmond Honored David
Marie Osmond, from another famous family of singers, memorialized David Cassidy on social media too. Posting a typical flash-back collage of a classic 1970s teen magazine cover, she had this to say: “Heartbroken over the passing of David Cassidy.
He graced the covers of teen magazines w/ my Brothers in the ’70s. My condolences to his family.”
The Beach Boys Chime In
Brian Wilson, lead singer of the Beach Boys, was also saddened to learn about Cassidy’s death.
He tweeted, “There were times in the mid-1970s when he would come over to my house and we even started writing a song together. He was a very talented and nice person.”
David’s Dementia Story
In 2017, David Cassidy privately revealed to Dr. Phil, “I am in the very early stages of dementia.” This came out after he tripped and fell off the stage during a performance. He was also having trouble recalling lyrics from songs he has sung for 50 years. He told Dr. Phil that friends and family members were telling him he had forgotten what they said to him and that it caused him to become very concerned about having dementia, especially since it ran in the family with his mother suffering from the disease.
In front of Dr. Phil’s audience, Cassidy said, “Certainly my dementia has contributed to the reason why I don’t want to go out [on stage] and I don’t want to hear, ‘Well, he looked like he was drunk.’ I wasn’t.”
A Deadly Disease
David Cassidy died of acute liver and kidney failure. Doctors hoped a liver transplant would become available, but he died too soon. Though Cassidy feared it would be dementia that would take his life, as it did his mother’s and grandfather’s, it was his drinking.
Fearing dementia, he said, “I was in denial, but part of me always knew this was coming.” Adding, “In the end, the only way I knew she recognized me is with one single tear that would drop from her eye every time I walked into the room . . . I feared I would end up that way,” he said.
The Final Days
David Cassidy’s son Beau took on the responsibility of updating the world about his father’s dire condition. He wrote, “David Cassidy is very sick,” as the former teen heartthrob waited for a liver transplant. At the hospital, doctors medically induced a coma to hopefully keep him alive until a liver became available.
A donor was the only hope that could save him.
Director Kevin Smith (Clerks) was sad to see Cassidy go. He shared a photo from a 1990 MTV award show in which David and co-star Susan Dey presented an award.
Smith said, “I grew up in an era before even cable TV when The Partridge Family was already in reruns. David Cassidy’s “Keith” was one of my favorite TV characters. He was legit funny AND he could sing. The man entertained me during my childhood and even years later.”
So many celebrity colleagues expressed the sadness of David Cassidy’s loss.
Marlee Matlin said, “You were so sweet to me and you left us too soon. To me and millions of us you were forever young.”
The Secret Love Story of David Cassidy and Susan Dey
It was no secret to anyone on the set—Susan Dey adored David Cassidy. You can call it a crush, yet she was no different than a large percentage of American teenage girls who swooned in his presence. Lucky for her, she actually got to be in his presence! On the other hand, he showed no interest in his little sister co-star, and would intentionally hurt her feelings. To no avail, Shirley warned Susan to stay away to avoid heartbreak.
David was very clear about his feelings. In his 2013 memoir he wrote, “I find a certain sluttiness [sic] very attractive in a woman, and Susan just didn’t have it. She was sweetness and innocence, a good girl, and I couldn’t think of her as anything but my sister.” He did finally give her a chance after The Partridge Family wrapped up. The two teenage heartthrobs hooked up for one night, and they both regretted it.
The Source of the Family Rift
He regretted it immediately, and she regretted it as soon as she read the intimidate details published in his memoir. This is the real reason Susan Dey is the Partridge cast no-show.
David Cassidy said as much, admitting that Susan disassociated herself with the show because of his published indiscretion.
The Partridge Family Cartoon
Partridge Family, 2200 A.D., the animated spinoff styled on The Jetsons, a popular Saturday morning futuristic cartoon, came out in 1974. Most of the cast of The Partridge Family did not endorse it and refused to voice the program.
David and Shirley refused to have their names associated. Susan Dey and Danny Bonaduce, however, permitted their voices to be used in a limited manner. It only lasted a year. By 1975, the animated spinoff was off the air.
Danny Bonaduce’s Real-Life Family Drama
Being on set with his fictional family was a break for Danny Bonaduce. At home, he was the victim of physical and emotional abuse. He came home to this after a long day taping the show. At one point, co-star Dave Madden, who played the band’s manager, took him home with him. Danny actually ended up living with him for a while.
Danny says he owes Madden more than he can repay him. This is one reason he felt the Partridge Family cast is more like a real family.
Little Tracey Partridge, the family’s tambourine section and second-to-youngest sister, was played by Suzanne Crough. After the show ended, she finished school, went to college, owned a bookstore and was married with two daughters. But in 2015, Suzanne died suddenly.
The entire cast attended the services for the sad occasion.
Dave Madden was born in Canada and raised in Terre Haute, Indiana. He joined the Air Force, and with his love of comedy, he found himself performing for the King of Libya. He reprised the role of band manager, Reuben Kincaid of The Partridge Family.
Sadly, Dave Madden died at age 82 of bone cancer while in hospice care. His TV presence will continue to live on.
Danny Bonaduce played the family drummer, Danny Partridge. He had a rough start, but, out of all the former cast members, Bonaduce has the most successful post-Partridge story. He received the Former Child Star Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. After the show, he made appearances in several TV shows while breaking into radio.
He hosts a syndicated radio talk show in Seattle. He has broadcast the popular radio show since 2011. He’s even done some pro wrestling.
A Motherly Bond
Shirley Jones was David Cassidy’s fictional mom on TV, and he was her real stepson who she loved like a real son.
When he died, she said, “As a little boy, his sweet sensitivity and wicked sense of humor were already on display, and I will treasure the years we spent working and growing together. I will also find solace knowing that David is now with his dad.”