October 17, 2012

Where Are They Now: Shirley Jones

Here at Harvest Gold Memories, I've featured a recurring series I call "Pop Culture Reunions" where I share various video clips from different cast reunions of TV shows, movies or even musicians and bands that were popular back in the 1970s and 1980s. In June 2012, I featured one for "The Partridge Family" or http://goo.gl/yuqQN which ran on NBC's Today Show on March 1-2, 2010. Almost the entire cast was featured ... EXCEPT for Partridge Family mama Shirley Jones, and Susan Dey who played sister Laurie Partridge.

Shirley Jones' real-life stepson David Cassidy (who happened to play Keith Partridge on the show) said she couldn't make the cast reunion because she was out touring at the time.

That was kind of a bummer.

However, I guess that's a testament to the fact that academy award winner Shirley Jones remains extremely active and keeps herself busy even at age 75 (her age at the time of the reunion on the Today Show). Shirley Jones looks largely unchanged over the last 30 years. Today, her platinum blonde hair has turned completely white, which I think helps her to keep a youthful appearance. But aside from not having gained a pound since her first movie premiers, she looks pretty much the same as she did when she played Shirley Partridge.

Regular readers here may recall that I've also started to feature a segment from Australia's 7 television network called "Where Are They Now?" when I introduced everyone to a clip on "The Six Million Dollar Man" (or visit http://goo.gl/QkLm9). Apparently, that particular program ran only for about a year or two in Australia, but nevertheless featured one of the missing parties from "The Partridge Family", notably actress and singer Shirley Jones.

I should note that the segment I'm featuring today actually pre-dates the cast reunion for "The Partridge Family" by several years since it ran in 2007 whereas the reunion took place in 2010. However, I think this fills in a missing piece of info from the original posting on "The Partridge Family", and the discussion with Shirley Jones remains as relevant today as it was in 2007. She talks about how she got involved in television to do "The Partridge Family" at a time when everyone told her it would be career suicide (it wasn't), how she wanted to do the show so she could remain home with her sons, how she still stays in touch with many of her former castmembers from the show, and more.

Without further delay, catch that clip below, or by visiting http://youtu.be/rXfsDvdLeUI:

Let me just close by including some additional info on Shirley Jones that is not necessarily included in the preceding video.

For one thing, Shirley Jones has been happily married to a man by the name of Marty Ingels for the past 35 years! Talk about an enduring relationship, especially in Hollywood where marriages are sometimes considered disposable commodities. Although her marriage to Jack Cassidy ended in divorce in 1976, her marriage to Marty Ingels seems to have endured the test of time.

While they might appear to be an unlikely couple, as the book "Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story" (see http://amzn.to/WplTIK to buy the book) written by Shirley Jones, her husband Marty Ingels, and Mickey Herskowitz writes in a very entertaining way happens to note, he's a New York transplant who's also a comic, and they really seem to compliment one another very well. Shirley who is the quintessential American (I believe she's originally from Pittsburgh), while her husband Marty is a gruff, Jewish guy from Brooklyn, New York and his accent shows that you can take the man out of Brooklyn, but you can't take the Brooklyn out of the man!

However, both of them discussed on a very entertaining podcast of Stu's Show (hosted by Stu Showstak, see http://www.stusshow.com/) recorded on September 15, 2010, where Shirley commented that one of the reasons their marriage has endured for so long (certainly by Hollywood standards), in her own words, was "Because I'M the crazy one!". That podcast is available for $0.99, just visit http://www.stusshow.com/ and search in the archives for "Shirley Jones". I would have to say that podcast was a pretty entertaining look at Shirley Jones in a way that I would say is probably seldom seen by outsiders.

Shirley Jones also has her own website at http://www.shirleyjones.net/ which is also worth a visit if you're so inclined. She's got all kinds of stuff from her long and successful career in the entertainment business. Let me just remind everyone that although "The Partridge Family" was certainly not all she was known for, certainly anyone who remembers that show (either from original broadcasts, or broadcasts in syndication) might also like to visit an awesome fan-made website about "The Partridge Family" at http://cmongethappy.com/. There, you can find out virtually everything about the show, and it even has the font for the show you can download for your computer ... all free.

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