Partridge Family's Shirley Jones on her showbiz journey
Discovered by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, Oscar-winner went on to play famed TV mom
Shirley Jones, the American singer and actress who became synonymous with her character Shirley Partridge, is touring a one-woman show looking back on a career that took her from the musical stage to a hit 1970s sitcom.
Jones, who stops in Richmond Hill, Ont., on Wednesday, performs numbers from Carousel and other favourite musicals and talks about her life in show business.
The show also includes eight minutes of film clips of her kissing every major movie star of the 1950s and 1960s, when she was a major star of movie musicals, including Oklahoma! and The Music Man.
"Most people think I’m going to get up there and sing music from the Partridge Family, which I don’t do. That’s David Cassidy’s genre, not mine. But I talk about it of course," Jones said in an interview with CBC’s Q cultural affairs show.
Jones told Q her agent warned her not to take a role in a TV series, because it would kill her movie career. She had turned down The Brady Bunch, but decided to take The Partridge Family, the series about a singing family that ran 1970 to 1974.
"It wasn’t a stereotyped role. I was the first working mother on television. It was a performing family. This was different: it wasn’t Mom putting the roast in the oven," Jones said.
Doing the series gave her time to stay closer to home and raise her own children, she added.
Show business survivor Jones talked to Q about being discovered by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein at the age of 18, why she wanted the role of a prostitute in 1960's Elmer Gantry (which earned her an Academy Award) and being able to separate her life and her career.