The Partridge Family: What Happened To The Cast?
One of the biggest hits from the ‘70s was the musical sitcom “The Partridge Family”, starring some of the most promising stars of that time, it ran for four years and conquered the love of Americans all over the country. Over 45 years have passed since then, so where are the cast members now? Let’s have a look!
THE PLOT OF THE SHOW
Running between 1970 and 1974, “The Partridge Family” was loosely based on the real-life musical family The Cowsills, who was a band formed in the ‘60s, composed of six siblings and, later on, their mother. Following the music career of the family members, the show quickly became one of the favorites on television.
While it was certainly a popular show, “The Partridge Family” only won public recognition in the early 2000s. It was nominated for the Grammy Awards and the Golden Globes in the 1970s, however, it had never won an award until the 2003 TV Land Awards, where it scored the “Hippest Fashion Plate” and “Favorite Teen Dream”.
THE CAST: WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
Over four decades have passed since the show ended and, while there were some reruns on different platforms at the beginning of the ‘90s, the cast members have continued pursuing their careers after 1974. What have they been up to and where are they now?
SHIRLEY JONES / SHIRLEY PARTRIDGE
Shirley Jones went through her career playing very similar roles to the one she had in this show: a kind and reliable person. The actress took part in numerous musical productions and is best known for her roles in the movies “Grandma’s Boy” and “The Music Man”.
After the show ended in 1974, Shirley kept making a presence in a series of television productions, such as “The Slap Maxwell Story”, “Burke's Law”, and “The Drew Carey Show”. More recently, Shirley was cast for 2018’s “On the Wing”, and worked in “Bruce the Challenge” and “Forgiven This Gun4hire”, both expected to be released in 2021.
DAVID CASSIDY / KEITH PARTRIDGE
Playing the eldest son of the Partridge Family, David Cassidy was a heartthrob during the ‘70s. After leaving the show, David continued to impress with his acting skills, having been part of “Police Story”, “David Cassidy - Man Undercover”, and numerous other television projects. He also did some stints as a voice actor in animated shows such as “Kim Possible”.
Not only was he succeeding on television, but Cassidy was a resident show in several locations in Las Vegas. Sadly, his success was also his downfall, as he suffered from various fame induced issues, having passed away at the age of 67 due to liver failure. He will forever be remembered as one of the best voices of Hollywood.
SUSAN DEY / LAURIE PARTRIDGE
Starting her career as a model, Susan Dey quickly developed a successful career in the industry and, while being cast as Laurie Partridge clearly bumped her celebrity score, nothing could have prepared her for the stardom she would reach when she landed the role in L.A. Law.
The actress went on to receive three Emmy Nominations and win a Golden Globe Award, after being nominated five times. While she quit acting in 2004, Susan has been investing in a different field of work. She is currently a board member at the UCLA Medical Center’s Rape Treatment Center and has been working on aiding victims.
DANNY BONADUCE / DANNY PARTRIDGE
Danny Bonaduce, who earned a former Child Star “Lifetime Achievement” Award for his work in “The Partridge Family”, kept on acting after he left the show. While none of his future roles would be as recognized as the one playing Danny Partridge, he succeeded to have some frequent roles in different types of movies.
Bonaduce also had a long-term project in radio where he worked for a station in Seattle. Sadly, and just like David Cassidy, David Bonaduce suffered from personal issues. He has since opened up about his struggles during a reality TV show. His last known role has been in the television series “The Kids Are Alright” in 2019.
SUZANNE CROUGH / TRACY PARTRIDGE
Suzanne was one of the young stars from the show that gave up acting shortly after leaving “The Partridge Family”. She took some roles in television series and movies, having had a recurring role in “Mulligan's Stew”. After her last role in the 1980’s television movie “Children of Divorce”, Suzanne decided to pursue her studies.
She attended the Los Angeles Pierce College, and since then spent some years working at a bookstore, and later as a manager at an office supplies shop. Sadly, she passed away at the age of 52 due to a heart condition that she didn’t know she suffered from. The actresses’ last appearance was at a show’s reunion in 2010.
DAVE MADDEN / REUBEN KINCAID
While Dave Madden’s career had humble beginnings, he managed to become quite successful. Starting out as a comedian-magician in the US Air Force, he was able to climb the entertainment ladder until he landed the role that would change his life: playing Reuben Kincaid in “The Partridge Family”.
After leaving the show, he kept on making appearances in television shows and movies, the most notable one being on the sitcom “Alice”. Dave also had the opportunity to do some voice acting for video games, becoming quite well-known as a voice actor. Unfortunately, Madden passed away at the age of 82 due to an existing health condition.
BRIAN FORSTER / CHRISTOPHER “CHRIS” PARTRIDGE
The second actor to have left the cinematographic industry behind after leaving “The Partridge Family” is Brian Forster, who decided to go in a completely different direction. While he took some small projects in voice acting and in television productions, he has left Hollywood and became a racecar driver.
He has made his last appearance as himself on the television series “Break a Leg” in 2008, and while he has decided to pursue a different path in his life, he also does some acting in community theater while also driving in Northern California. A fun fact about Brian is that, through his mother, he is a great-great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens.
WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE SHOW
Now that we all know what happened to the cast members after the show, perhaps it’s time to get into what we still don’t know from the behind the scenes. From low salaries to unexpected reasons why we remember the house from the show, you will be surprised by these facts!
DAVID CASSIDY’S SALARY WAS $600 PER WEEK
While the series itself was getting more views and sales than ever, the cast’s salaries were frozen. Sadly, the most dramatic salary was David Cassidy’s who was probably the most popular actor from the show. Companies were making fortunes out of his image and didn’t have to pay him royalties, or even ask for permission to use his pictures.
DANNY BONADUCE WAS REALLY THE CHILD OF THE FAMILY
Being just a kid at the time, Bonaduce had a very basic understanding of what was work and what was playtime. Other cast members would often treat him like their own child, telling him to go to his room when he misbehaved. He also had some trouble memorizing his lines, and one time needed over thirty takes to complete a scene.
THE TWO VERSIONS OF CHRIS PARTRIDGE
You may not remember, but the actor who played Chris Partridge on the first season was not the same in the following ones. In fact, during the first episodes, this character was played by Jeremy Gelbwaks, who decided to leave the show as he was unhappy doing it.
THE GUEST-STARS THAT MADE IT TO THE SHOW
Counting with many invited guests, “The Partridge Family” was actually one of the very first shows of many people that would become celebrities later in time. And the best part is that the list of guest-stars is enormous! From Jodie Foster to Farrah Fawcett, passing through Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd.
Other actors that made their own appearances on the show are Michael Ontkean, Ray Bolger, Margaret Hamilton, Louis Gosset, Jr., Mark Hamill, Charlotte Rae, Tony Geary, Nancy Walker, Meredith Baxter, and even Johnny Cash himself! Which ones do you remember seeing in the show? Let us know in the comments below!
THE REASON WHY THE HOUSE LOOKS FAMILIAR
One of the most recurrent comments about this show is just how familiar the Partridge house looks, and there is a reason for it! In fact, this was the same house used in “Bewitched” by the Kravitzes, as well as the same block had been used in shows such as “I Dream of Jeannie” and “The Donna Reed Show”.
THE TEENAGE ROMANCE BETWEEN CASSIDY AND DEY
Throughout the show’s filming, there was a chemistry between the then teenagers David Cassidy and Susan Dey. While they acted as brother and sister, the reality was very much different, and Dey has since admitted that she had a massive crush on Cassidy - how adorable is that?
As the musical sitcom that marked the ‘70s, “The Partridge Family” is still fondly remembered by the fans of prime-time television. Launching the careers of many actors, we are happy to know they all succeeded to reach their own happiness over the years. Which was your favorite character from the show? Let us know in the comments below and make sure to share this story with your friends!
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