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Birth name Shirley Mae JonesNationality USABirth 31 march 1934
(85 years) at Charleroi (USA
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress
Shirley Mae Jones (born March 31, 1934) is an American singer and actress of stage, film and television. In her six decades of show business, she has starred as wholesome characters in a number of well-known musical films, such as Oklahoma! (1955), Carousel (1956), and The Music Man (1962). She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a vengeful prostitute in Elmer Gantry (1960). She played the lead role of Shirley Partridge, the widowed mother of five children, in the musical situation-comedy television series The Partridge Family (1970–74), which co-starred her real-life stepson David Cassidy, son of Jack Cassidy.
On August 5, 1956, Jones married singer and actor Jack Cassidy, with whom she had three sons, Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan. David Cassidy, Jack's only child from his first marriage to actress Evelyn Ward, became her stepson. Divorcing Cassidy in 1974, she later married comic/actor Marty Ingels on November 13, 1977. Despite drastically different personalities and several separations (she filed, then withdrew, a divorce petition in 2002), they remained married until Ingels' death in 2015. Jones and Ingels wrote an autobiography based on their quirky relationship/marriage, Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story. Ingels passed away on October 21, 2015 following a massive stroke. Prior to his death, Jones said: "He often drove me crazy, but there’s not a day I won’t miss him and love him to my core."
Jones was friends with her late co-star Gordon MacRae and his ex-wife Sheila, and he was named godfather to her first son, Shaun. She also admitted that she had a crush on MacRae and was starstruck when she worked opposite him on Oklahoma! and states she is the one who convinced MacRae to take the part as Billy Bigelow in Carousel. Frank Sinatra, who had originally been cast, suddenly dropped out during the first days of filming because each scene had to be shot twice, once in CinemaScope 55 (a wider-than-usual, 55-mm, 6-track stereo system) and once in 35-mm CinemaScope. Sinatra felt that he should have been paid twice because technically he was shooting two films. Three weeks after he left, they found a way to film the scene once on 55-mm, then transfer it onto 35-mm.
On the evening of December 11, 1976, after Jones had refused an offer of reconciliation from Jack Cassidy, she received news that her ex-husband's penthouse apartment was on fire. Apparently, the fire started from his lit cigarette when he fell asleep on the couch; the following morning, firefighters found Cassidy's body inside the gutted apartment. Jack "wanted to come back (to me) right up to the day he died", Jones said in a 1983 newspaper interview. "And as I realized later, I wanted him. That's the terrible part. Much as I love Marty and have a wonderful relationship – I'd say this with Marty sitting here – I'm not sure if Jack were alive I'd be married to Marty." Jones was 20 years old when she met Cassidy, who was eight years her senior, and she refers to him as the most influential person in her life.
Jones is a supporter of PETA.
Jones is the grandmother of ten: Caitlin, Jake, Juliet, Caleb, Roan, Lila, and Marian Cassidy by son Shaun, Cole and Jack, by son Patrick, and Meaghan by son Ryan Cassidy.
Jones has eight hobbies: singing, dancing, politics, philanthropy, spending time with her family, swimming, exercising and traveling.
Jones was devastated when Suzanne Crough passed away on April 27, 2015; Crough played one of her TV daughters on The Partridge Family. She had a very close relationship with the younger actress and remained close friends long after the series was cancelled. Jones said of Crough's death on Hollywood life, "I am so devastated to hear of the sad and sudden loss of Suzanne. I still remember her as my young daughter on The Partridge Family. She was the baby of the show. It’s a rude awakening that we are all mortal. How fleeting life is. My heart goes out to her family and children. Suzanne will always be remembered and I will always treasure my memories of her. Suzanne Crough …my sweet TV baby for 5 years…only 52…never a sick day…two adorable children…a devoted husband…everything to live for…just fell asleep at the dining room table and left us forever. Dear God take care of my baby."
Before the death of her second husband, Jones is also in a real-life crisis, when one of her TV sons, David Cassidy (her real-life former stepson) who played Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family, is no longer contacting her family or a family of his own, Jones said of her former co-star's alcoholic behavior, combined with his own legal battles, "We are just scared to death that we are going to wake up one morning and find out that he is dead on the floor." Jones also added: "David has not had a relationship with anyone in the family for years. We are sick over it!"