The American performing arts are an industry that is almost as old as the country itself. The creative industry has played an important role in the country’s history. From its triumphs to its losses, Hollywood has always played a role. In an industry with centuries-old legacies, it goes without saying that it has its own share of veterans; those who have dedicated their lives to the performing arts. Shirley Jones is one of these veterans. The American actress and singer can look back on over 60 years of work and has won some of the highest awards in the industry. Who is Shirley Jones? What is her background? Her professional career? Read below to find out more.
Shirley Jones – Bio
Jones’ life began on March 31, 1934, when she was born into a family of a housewife and brewery owner by Marjorie and Paul Jones. Shirley’s career included much singing and was encouraged from the age of six when she joined the church choir. When she was old enough to attend high school, she began her acting career by participating in school performances at Huntingdon High School in Ruffs Dale, Pennsylvania.
Jones made a name for herself in musicals; her exceptional voice, coupled with her acting talent, would lead her to the top of the profession. This was a fact first recognized by Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein during their first audition for a play. Rogers and Hammerstein immediately signed a personal contract with her to be available to work with them whenever they needed her, and she was given her first role in a play called South Pacific. It was a supporting role, but it was a good start for Jones after only one audition. After South Pacific, she got an extended role in another Broadway show, Me and Juliet. Her performance earned her positive reviews and she was well on her way to becoming a star.
Over the next two decades, Shirley Jones became the de facto female lead in musicals, both plays, and films. She won an Oscar in 1960 for her performance in Elmer Gantry.
In the 70s Shirley Jones also worked for television. She signed with The Partridge Family, a musical sitcom that proved to be a great success. It was shown in 70 countries and made Shirley Jones an even bigger star than she already was. However, the show was short-lived and was canceled in 1974. On television, it lasted 4 years. After the cancellation of The Partridge Family, Shirley continued to go on television, but none reached the heights of The Partridge Family.
It takes several factors that come together to determine the success of a show, and they are not always under the control of the actors. Although Shirley was unable to find a show that reached the heights of The Partridge Family, her individual performances did not go unnoticed. She received an Emmy nomination for her work in There Were Times, Dear. She also received one for her performance in Hidden Places in 2006.
In the latter part of her career, she returned to Broadway and appeared in smaller projects in film and television. One of the highlights of Shirley Jones’ career is her appearances at the White House in 1957.
Shirley’s life’s work has earned her a total of $25 million in assets, consisting of performances in over 100 projects in theater, film, and television. In addition to the wealth created by her work, Shirley has also built up a huge network of friends in well-connected arenas, which in a sense ensured that her children never lacked opportunities.
Shirley Jones’s Children And Grandchildren
Shirley Jones first married her actor colleague and singer Jack Cassidy. The marriage took place on August 5, 1956, and produced three sons, but they had a fourth child, a boy from Jack Cassidy’s previous relationship. The boy, David Cassidy, is also an actor and appeared with Shirley Jones as the leading actor in The Partridge Family. Their son, Shaun Cassidy, followed in his parents’ footsteps and turned to sing and music production. Shaun was also a bit of an actor before he retired and concentrated on music. Shirley’s other son, Patrick Cassidy, is also an actor. Of Shirley’s children, he most likely followed in his mother’s footsteps by performing in musical theater and on television. He is currently married and has two children, Cole Patrick, and Jack Gordon.
After being divorced from Jack Cassidy in 1974, Shirley Jones married Marty Ingels in 1977. Despite a rocky period in their relationship that would have led to a divorce, Shirley held on to the relationship and the couple remained married until Marty’s death in 2015.
In total, Shirley Jones is the mother of three biological sons and the stepmother of one. She has ten grandchildren.
Is She Still Alive?
Although she has suffered the loss of her first love, Jack Cassidy, and her lifelong husband, Marty Ingels, including the recent loss of David Cassidy, her stepson from her marriage to Jack Cassidy, Shirley Jones herself is still alive and well. Too old to perform regularly in acting projects, she now lives a good life in her home and enjoys the fruits of her life’s work.