Real name: Shirley Mae Jones
Birthdate: March 31, 1934
Partner: Marty Ingels
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Shirley Mae Jones (born March 31, 1934) is an Academy Award-winning singer and actress, perhaps best known for her role as "Shirley Partridge," the widowed single mother of five children, in the television series The Partridge Family, co-starring her real-life stepson, David Cassidy.
Jones was born in the Pittsburgh suburb of Charleroi, Pennsylvania, later moving to nearby Smithton, Pennsylvania, to Marjorie Williams and Paul Jones, who was the owner of the Jones Brewing Company. An only child, she was named after Shirley Temple. She won a beauty pageant as a teenager and was crowned "Miss Pittsburgh 1952."
Before The Partridge Family, Jones had already achieved fame as a singer and actress. She starred in many films, including the highly successful musicals Oklahoma!, Carousel, April Love and The Music Man, in which she often embodied or represented wholesome beauty and kindness of character. In a rare "naughty girl" role, she won an Oscar for her role in Elmer Gantry as a prostitute corrupted by Burt Lancaster, who then takes revenge upon him. She attempted a television comeback in 1979 with the family drama Shirley, but the series fared poorly and was canceled after thirteen episodes.
Although best known for her movie and television roles, Shirley has an impressive stage résumé, including the musical Maggie Flynn on Broadway and a stellar turn in a rare revival of Noel Coward's operetta Bitter Sweet at the Long Beach Civic Light Opera in 1983. In 2004, Shirley returned to Broadway in a revival of 42nd Street, portraying diva "Dorothy Brock", opposite her son, Patrick Cassidy, the first time a mother and son were known to star together on Broadway. In July 2005, Shirley revisited the musical Carousel onstage in Massachusetts portraying Cousin Nettie. Shirley continues to appear in venues nationwide, in concert and in speaking engagements.
In July 2006, Jones received an Emmy nomination for her supporting performance in the TV film "Hidden Places". Shirley was nominated for a SAG award for the same film, but did not win; the award went instead to Helen Mirren for Elizabeth I.
She married actor Jack Cassidy on August 5, 1956, 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 remain married.
She is a registered Republican who appeared at the 1988 Republican Convention and sang the National Anthem. She also sang at the 2003 lighting of the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., at President George W. Bush's request.
Jones and her son Shaun Cassidy are the only mother and son to each have a song reach number one on the Billboard Charts. Jones hit #1 with The Partridges "I Think I Love You" in 1970 (sung with stepson David Cassidy). Shaun followed that in 1977 with "Da Do Ron Ron."