They made us laugh for four years during the 1970’s, and it was hard not to adore The Partridge Family. Following the end of the series in 1974, what happened to the cast we loved?
Shirley Jones as Shirley Partridge | Then
Shirley Partridge was the widowed mother of five children on the series. Jones co-starred alongside her real-life stepson, David Cassidy, who played her eldest son, Keith, for the four years that the show was on the air. Shirley also got a number one hit with her single from the show titled, “I Think I Love You.”
Shirley Jones | Now
Shirley was married to Jack Cassidy with whom she had three sons with, but also became the stepmother of his son, David. While starring on The Partridge Family together, Shirley and David formed a close bond and even co-starred alongside one another in more works. Shirley has since appeared on Days of Our Lives and General Hospital, while also appearing in musicals, to which her songs appeared on a “Then & Now” album in 2008 which featured songs from Jones’ musical career.
Farrah Fawcett As The Pretty Girl | Then
Farrah Fawcett made her guest appearance on The Partridge Family in 1971 and soon starred as Jill Munroe in the first season of Charlie’s Angels in 1976. However, Fawcett is most famous for the iconic poster of herself in a red swimsuit which was taken in 1986. For the shoot, Fawcett styled her own hair and did her own make-up, and 40 photographs were taken of the blonde beauty. After narrowing them down to six, the one that was eventually chosen became the best-selling poster in history.
Farrah Fawcett | Now
Farrah sustained a successful acting career up until 2009. During her career, she was awarded four Golden Globe Awards for Best Actress, and four Emmy Awards. Farrah’s Story, in 2009, in which she starred as herself, was her last role in television before she died later that year. Sadly, Fawcett passed away in 2009 after suffering from cancer. At the time, her son was on probation for driving under the influence, but he was fortunately allowed to leave his detention center to attend her funeral.
Suzanne Crough As Tracy Partridge | Then
Suzanne was best known for being an American child star having played the youngest Partridge sibling, Tracy. Being cast for the role at the tender age of seven-years-old, her role in the musical family was to play the tambourine while starring on The Partridge Family. Having had other TV movie roles and guest appearances on television shows following the end of the series, her last credited on-screen role was playing Kate in Children of Divorce in 1980.
Suzanne Crough | Now
When Suzanne appeared on a reunion interview on The Today Show with her former co-stars on The Partridge Family in March 2010, she stated that she was a manager at an OfficeMax in Bullhead City, Arizona. Following her time on the show, she also graduated from Los Angeles Pierce College and got married in July 1985 to William Condray, with whom she shares two daughters. Crough sadly passed away on April 27, 2015, at the age of 52 due to a rare form of cardiomyopathy,
Jeremy Gelbwaks As Chris Partridge | Then
The role of Chris Partridge was first played by Gelbwaks in season one of The Partridge Family. He left the series, as well as the business, and was replaced by Brian Foster. His former co-star, David Cassidy, claims that Gelbwaks “had a personality conflict with every person in the cast and the producers,” which may explain his departure. Meanwhile, his family moved to Virginia after his stint in the show, and he did not return to acting.
Jeremy Gelbwaks | Now
Although he appeared on some of The Partridge Family reunions, Gelbwaks became a computer analyst after studying at UC Berkeley. Before this, he studied business at Colombia University and later married Patricia Polander. He now resides with his wife in New Orleans and works as a business and technology planner. After being an actor for one year when he was just nine-years-old, it seems as though Jeremy had no desire to ever return, or his reputation during his short-lived stint did not help his career.
Brian Forster As Chris Partridge (2) | Then
Brian replaced Jeremy Gelbwaks as Chris Partridge from season two of the series and continued on the show until it ended in 1974. His role in the family musical band alongside his siblings was as drummer, and he was just 11-years-old when he was chosen as the replacement actor. Brian has admitted that although others have told him they were inspired to take up drums because of his character, he never actually learned how to play them, but just “faked it” for the cameras.
Brian Forster | Now
Brian had his sights set elsewhere for his career after a short stint as a television child actor. For a year in 2002, Forster was a race car driver in North Carolina and remained there to act in community theater. He does have an impressive family background too. He is the son of fellow actor Peter Forster and is the great-great-great-grandson of Charles Dickens. He is also the step-grandson of actor Alan Napier who was in the television series of Batman.
Dave Madden As Reuben Kincaid | Then
Dave Madden may have started his career before the 70’s, but he gained worldwide recognition after appearing on The Partridge Family as Reuben Kincaid, the manager and agent for the Partridge band. Madden formed a close relationship with fellow co-star Danny Bonaduce, after taking him into his home during Bonaduce’s family domestic strife. After his role on The Partridge Family, when the series came to an end, Madden appeared in Eat My Dust!, the first movie produced by Ron Howard in 1976.
Dave Madden | Now
While his career was primarily focused on acting during his time on The Partridge Family, Madden also turned his sights to photography, as he would bring his camera to set and photograph the cast, crew, and guest stars. This soon became a lifelong hobby for the actor. He was married twice, having divorced his first wife – with whom he adopted a daughter and had a son – and married his college sweetheart, Sandy Martin in 1998. He died on January 16, 2014, after health complications at the age of 82.
Jaclyn Smith As Tina | Then
Jaclyn appeared in one episode of the series during season one playing Tina. She was best known for playing Kelly Garrett in the television series Charlie’s Angels from 1976-1981 and was the only female lead to star in the series for its complete run. After the series ended, she began developing and marketing her own brands of clothing and perfume. She was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Miniseries or TV Film for her title role in Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy in 1981.
Jaclyn Smith | Now
From 2002-2004, Smith had a recurring role in the drama series, The District, and made an appearance in two episodes of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation as Olivia Hodges in 2012. Apart from her career, Smith has been married four times, including to two fellow actors, a filmmaker and a cardiothoracic surgeon, to whom she is still married to. She had two children with her third husband – Gaston and Spencer Margaret. Her second husband, Dennis Cole appeared on episodes of Charlie’s Angels several times before their divorce.
Jodie Foster As Julie Lawrence | Then
You may not have associated this famous actress with her appearance on an episode of The Partridge Family in 1973 because Jodie Foster was an unrecognizable 11-year-old. However, Foster began her acting career at the tender age of three and was already nominated for an Academy Award in 1976 for her role in Taxi Driver. She later returned to her studies, studying at Yale and also garnered critical acclaim in 1988 for her role in The Accused, for which she earned herself an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Jodie Foster | Now
Foster has continued to strive in her acting career since her return in the 80’s and has been heavily awarded for her acting talents. Since 2010, she has taken a back seat from acting and decided to focus on directing, which has also won her more awards. Much of her focus, however, has been raising her two sons which she shares with her former partner, Cydney Bernard. After their breakup in 2008, following a 15-year romance, Foster married actress and photographer, Alexandra Hedison, in 2014.
Bobby Sherman As Bobby Conway | Then
Bobby appeared in only one episode of The Partridge Family in 1971, and the episode was used as a pilot for his spin-off series, Getting Together. The ABC TV series first aired in 1971, but was canceled after 14 episodes. Sherman is best known for being a teen idol during the 70’s for his music career and had many successful singles, most notably “Little Woman.” However, he retired from music in the late 1970’s to pursue a career as a paramedic and a police officer.
Bobby Sherman | Now
After he released 107 songs, 23 singles and 10 albums between 1962-76, eager fans were awaiting his return in 1998 after a 22-year absence. Many flocked to see him in concert as part of “The Teen Idol Tour.” He did his last solo performance in Rhode Island in August 2001 and had since retired from public life. In 2005, he was considered number eight on TV Guide’s list of “TV’s 25 Greatest Teen Idols.” Sherman married his second wife, Brigitte Poublon, on July 18, 2010, in Las Vegas and together they founded the Brigitte & Bobby Sherman Children’s Foundation.
Dick Clark As Himself
Clark appeared in just one episode of The Partridge Family, season one, but his primary career focused on being a radio broadcaster. He was also a television presenter and had hosted American Bandstand in 1957 and The Dick Clark Show in 1958. It was estimated that this show had an audience of 50 million and became a show that ran daily through the week up until 1963. Clark also played host when Bandstand was revived in 1989, and the show had become the longest-running variety show in TV history.
Dick Clark | Now
Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve has become an annual event since its first production in 1972. With a display put on in Times Square, New York, the audience gets to watch the ball drop festivities every New Year’s Eve, and it has become the most watched New Year’s Eve broadcast since 1977. Although he took a break during the year in which he suffered a stroke, Clark resumed duties when he felt better. Clark was married three times and passed away in April 2012 after suffering from a heart attack.
Arte Johnson As Nicholas Minsky Pushkin | Then
Johnson appeared in just one episode of The Partridge Family whilst also appearing on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In. Johnson was best known for starring in this series, where he played various characters during his time on the show and won Emmy Awards for his work. After the series ended, he continued to make appearances on television series such as A Touch of Grace, Night Court, and General Hospital, while also appearing on film and doing voice-over work.
Arte Johnson | Now
After such success during the 70’s and 80’s, it seems Johnson stepped away from acting work after the 90’s, and his appearance in Second Chance in 1996 was his last role. His most recent works were performing more than 80 audiobook readings, and appearing in an episode in the Justice League Unlimited playing the voice or Virma Vundabar in 2005. He has been married since 1968 to his wife, Gisela, and is a non-Hodgkins lymphoma survivor, after being diagnosed and treated successfully in 1997.
Ray Bolger As Grandpa Renfrew | Then
Ray Bolger appeared as Grandpa Renfrew for a total of three episodes during the series broadcast of The Partridge Family, but he was already well-known as the Scarecrow from The Wizard of OZ. However, he was originally cast to play the Tin Woodman in the 1939 feature film adaptation, but was not happy with this role. Fortunately, the roles of cast members were switched, and Bolger eventually secured the role as the Scarecrow. Bolger also had Broadway appearances during his career.
Ray Bolger | Now
His last appearance before his death was in 1985 when he starred alongside Liza Minnelli in That’s Dancing! and Bolger was the last surviving main credited cast member from The Wizard of Oz. Bolger passed away in January 1987, at the age of 83, after suffering from bladder cancer. He had been married to his wife, Gwendolyn Rickard, for 57 years but the couple never had children. A year after his passing, a Golden Palm Star was dedicated to him on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars.
Danny Bonaduce As Danny Partridge | Then
Danny was the bass guitar player in the musical Partridge family band and toured alongside his siblings in their painted school bus for the four years of the series. Having starred in the show for the full length of time it was on the air, Bonaduce was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star “Lifetime Achievement” Award for playing Danny Partridge. He was 11 years old when he took on this role.
Danny Bonaduce | Now
Danny continued to make appearances on television shows such as Sabrina the Teenage Witch, The Drew Carey Show, and Married… with Children, however, he soon turned to radio and is now a host for the morning show on Seattle’s radio, 102.5 KZOK. Bonaduce is an ordained minister and has been married twice. He met his first wife on a blind date, and they decided to get married that same day. He then met his current wife in Starbucks, and she is 23 years his junior.
Susan Dey As Laurie Partridge | Then
Susan Dey played Laurie Partridge for the four years the show was on the air. At 17-years-old, she had not had any previous acting experience when she was cast to play the second eldest child in the Partridge family who played the piano/keyboard, and was an aspiring model at the time. Having appeared on all 96 episodes of The Partridge Family series, Dey was one of the leading characters on the show. Following the end of the series, Dey was cast in the short-lived sitcom, Loves Me, Loves Me Not.
Susan Dey | Now
Following the end of production for the series, Dey and her co-star David Cassidy pursued a relationship after feelings for each other grew while filming. Cassidy eventually broke it off, however, claiming he didn’t reciprocate the same feelings for Dey. Susan also took on the role as Grace Van Owen in the NBC drama, L.A. Law, from 1986-1992, and was nominated for three Emmy Awards and six Golden Globes for her role. She won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series in 1988.
David Cassidy As Keith Partridge | Then
David Cassidy made his debut acting role as David Partridge after producers knew his good looks would attract viewers. Although he was cast to be part of the musical family, he was cast without care if he could actually sing. He managed to convince them otherwise, and became the lead singer for all recordings. Cassidy then became a teen idol during the 70’s for his acting and singing. His success of ten albums with The Partridge Family and five solo albums led to sellout concerts for the star.
David Cassidy | Now
David continued to pursue a singing career following his time on The Partridge Family and was highly successful. He filed for bankruptcy in 2015, and in 2017 he confirmed he was suffering from dementia after he forgot the lyrics to his songs while performing. Having suffered from substance abuse and being arrested several times as a result, Cassidy sadly passed away in February 2017, at the age of 67 after being hospitalized for liver and kidney failure. He continued to work until his death.