Shirley Jones

Actor, Singer
Shirley Jones


Also Known As
Shirley Mae Jones
Birth Place
Smithton, Pennsylvania, USA
March 31, 1934


A sunny personality and a gorgeous singing voice brought actress Shirley Jones to the Broadway stage, which in turn led to her career in Hollywood. She was a natural for big-screen musicals, but defied critics' expectations for her surprising turn as a prostitute in "Elmer Gantry" (1960), which earned her an Oscar. Her film work cooled in the 1960s, but she gained a following among young...

Photos & Videos

Two Rode Together - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Carousel - Movie Posters

Family & Companions

Jack Cassidy
Actor, singer. Married on August 5, 1956; divorced in 1975; died in a fire in 1976.
Marty Ingels
Actor. Married on November 13, 1977; announced separation in October 1995; reconciled; separated again in July 1999; reconciled; Jones filed for divorce in March 2002.


"Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story"
Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels, William Morrow (1990)


A sunny personality and a gorgeous singing voice brought actress Shirley Jones to the Broadway stage, which in turn led to her career in Hollywood. She was a natural for big-screen musicals, but defied critics' expectations for her surprising turn as a prostitute in "Elmer Gantry" (1960), which earned her an Oscar. Her film work cooled in the 1960s, but she gained a following among younger viewers in the early 1970s as one of television's coolest moms on "The Partridge Family" (ABC, 1970-1974), which also starred her stepson, pop idol David Cassidy. The show's success ensured her status as a pop culture icon and helped her to maintain steady work in television and on stage for the next three decades.Born Shirley Mae Jones in Charleroi, PA, she was named after child actress Shirley Temple by her parents, Paul Jones and Marjorie Williams, who owned the Jones Brewery. An only child, her early years were marked by happiness and a burgeoning talent for singing, which earned her a spot in her local church choir at the age of six. Shortly after graduating from high school, she was encouraged by talent agents to enter the Miss Pittsburgh beauty competition, which she won in 1952. She was later named first runner-up in the Miss Pennsylvania Pageant, which earned her a scholarship to the acclaimed Pittsburgh Playhouse. She soon lit out for New York City to make a name for herself on the musical stage, and so impressed the legendary Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II that they cast her in the chorus of their 1953 production of "South Pacific." A small role in 1954's "Me and Juliet" led to her assuming the female lead in the touring production. While on the road, Rogers and Hammerstein arranged for Jones to audition for the upcoming film version of their smash hit "Oklahoma!" Upon her return from Hollywood, she discovered that she had landed the lead role of Laurey, and her film career was on its way.Jones was soon top-billed in some of the most popular and successful musicals of the 1950s, including "Carousel" (1956), "April Love" (1957) and "Never Steal Anything Small" (1959). The blonde beauty exceeded at playing musical characters with a degree of depth and grit, like the lovelorn Julie in "Carousel" or the married woman who catches James Cagney's eye in "Never Steal Anything Small." Television also offered her more dramatic opportunities. After her performance in "The Big Slide," a 1956 crime drama produced as part of "Playhouse 90" (CBS, 1956-1961), Burt Lancaster convinced director Richard Brooks to cast her as a former preacher's daughter-turned-prostitute in the hard-hitting drama "Elmer Gantry." The power of Jones' performance took audiences and critics alike by surprise, and she was showered with praise and awards, including the 1961 Oscar for Best Supporting Actress.Despite her overwhelming success, Jones struggled to find parts of equal substance in her subsequent features. John Ford's "Two Rode Together" (1961), with Jones as the sister of a man kidnapped by Comanches, gave her a fine showcase for her dramatic skills, but more often than not, she was cast as the object of romance in light comedies like "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" (1963) or "Bedtime Story" (1964) with Marlon Brando and David Niven. Her biggest success on film during this period was another musical, albeit one of the best - the 1962 film version of "The Music Man," with Jones as a prim librarian who disapproves of Robert Preston's flim-flam man. One of Warner Bros.' most well-loved and popular hits, it cemented audiences' perception of Jones as a beloved musical star, as did numerous national stage performances and nightclub performances. Her frequent co-star during this period was troubled actor and singer Jack Cassidy, whom she married in 1956. Their marriage produced three sons - future teen idol and television producer Shaun Cassidy, actor Patrick Cassidy, and baby brother Ryan.Jones found more compelling work in film and television during the late 1960s; she was nominated for an Emmy as a lonely married woman who finds love with a stranger (Lloyd Bridges) in her TV movie debut, "Silent Night, Lonely Night" (1969), and gave a comic spin on her "Elmer Gantry" role as the salty proprietress of "The Cheyenne Social Club" (1970), a bordello inherited by aging cowpokes Henry Fonda and James Stewart. Both were overshadowed by her first television series, "The Partridge Family," which debuted in 1970. Based on the real-life family pop group the Cowsills, the series cast Jones as a widowed mother who finds herself on the top of the music charts, thanks to her children's band. Jones' real-life stepson David Cassidy also starred as the group's lead singer and central eye candy, with future headline grabber Danny Bonaduce as the comic relief bassist. A substantial ratings hit, the fictitious group also found themselves on the real Billboard charts with their debut single, "I Think I Love You," which featured Jones on backing vocals. She soon found herself at the center of a teen music and television phenomenon, which generated nearly a dozen album releases, countless promotional appearances and even a spin-off cartoon.The success of "The Partridge Family" came to an end in 1974 when Cassidy grew weary of the show and the fan adulation; seeking instead to establish himself as a serious musician outside of its confines. The series aired its final episode in 1974 - the same year that Jones painfully divorced her alcoholic husband, Jack Cassidy. Though more popular during its network run than its chief competitor for young audiences, "The Brady Bunch" (ABC, 1969-1974), it did not score as highly in syndication, and remained a cult favorite until the Nick At Night network revived it in the mid-1990s. Jones and the original cast were reunited for several high profile promotional appearances, and two TV movies based on the series were aired in 1999 - "Come On Get Happy: The Partridge Family Story" and "The David Cassidy Story," which attempted to explore the series' popularity and its effect on the major players.After "The Partridge Family," Jones remained very active on stage and television during the 1970s and 1980s; among her better TV features during this period was "Winner Take All" (1975), which cast her as a gambling addict; the terrorism drama "Evening in Byzantium" (1979), and "The Children of An Lac" (1980), which cast her as real life Red Cross nurse Betty Tisdale, who helped rescue Vietnamese orphans before the fall of Saigon in 1975. There were also attempts to return to a series - "Shirley" (NBC, 1979-1980) - which starred Jones as a recent widower raising her children in a small California town, while "The Adventures of Pollyanna" (1982) was an unsold pilot based on the classic children's story that originally aired as party of "Disneyland" (ABC/CBS/NBC, 1954-1990). In 1977, Jones married manic TV comedian Marty Ingells, who chronicled their unusual courtship in the 1989 book Shirley and Marty - An Unlikely Love Story. Ingells' eccentricities put him at odds with her grown children, and Jones herself twice filed for divorce before retracting the petitions. It seemed after the heartache of being married to the womanizing drinker that was her first husband, Jones was determined to take a different path - that of being with someone who made her laugh, no matter how odd the rest of the world saw the comic.Jones' acting career thrived well into the 1980s, 1990s and into the new millennium, with frequent guest appearances on television series and roles in TV features and stage productions. She never strayed very far from musicals - a 2004 Broadway production of "42nd Street" saw her appearing opposite her son Patrick - but she also began to show an aptitude for broad comedy, most notably in a recurring stint on "The Drew Carey Show" (ABC, 1995-2004) as an older woman who becomes Drew's romantic interest, as well as in the comedy "Grandma's Boy" (2006) as a sexually aggressive senior citizen.Audiences were reminded of Jones' dramatic talents with the 2006 TV movie "Hidden Places," which cast her as the Bible-quoting aunt of a young Depression-era widow left to care for her family's farm. Jones received considerable praise for her performance, netting an Emmy nomination as well as a nod from the Screen Actors Guild. That same year, she returned to series work with the short-lived daytime serial "Monarch Cove" (Lifetime, 2006), a soapy drama based on a German telenovela. Two years later, she joined the cast of the long-running soap "Days of Our Lives" (NBC, 1965- ) for a six-episode stint as Colleen Brady, a mysterious member of the perennially troubled Brady clan. Meanwhile, she received critical kudos for her turn as the alcoholic mother of an angry and stressed talent manager (Noah Bean) being counseled by a recovering drug addict (Benjamin Bratt) on the short-lived drama, "The Cleaner" (A&E, 2008-09). Jones' turn put her in contention for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series. Jones continued performing occasionally on television, including guest appearances on shows ranging from cult favorite sitcom "Cougar Town" (ABC/TBS 2009-2015) to tween hit "Victorious" (Nickelodeon 2010-13).



Cast (Feature Film)

The Irresistible Blueberry Farm (2016)
Over the Garden Wall (2015)
Beatrice's Mother
Zombie Night (2013)
Carnal Innocence (2011)
Christmas is Here Again (2008)
Hidden Places (2006)
Grandma's Boy (2006)
Ping! (2002)
Manna From Heaven (2001)
Bunny Burns
Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th (2000)
Nurse Kevorkian
Gideon (1998)
Tank (1984)
Hotel (1983)
Inmates: A Love Story (1981)
The Children of An Lac (1980)
Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979)
A Last Cry for Help (1979)
Who'll Save Our Children? (1978)
Yesterday's Child (1977)
Laura Talbot
The Lives of Jenny Dolan (1975)
Jenny Dolan
The Family Nobody Wanted (1975)
Helen Doss
Winner Take All (1975)
The Girls of Huntington House (1973)
Anne Baldwin
The Cheyenne Social Club (1970)
The Happy Ending (1969)
The Secret of My Success (1965)
Marigold Marado
Fluffy (1965)
Dark Purpose (1964)
Karen Williams
Bedtime Story (1964)
Janet Walker
The Courtship of Eddie's Father (1963)
Elizabeth Marten
A Ticklish Affair (1963)
Amy Martin
The Music Man (1962)
Marian Paroo
Two Rode Together (1961)
Marty Purcell
Pepe (1961)
Suzie Murphy
Bobbikins (1960)
Betty Barnaby
Elmer Gantry (1960)
Lulu Bains
Never Steal Anything Small (1959)
Linda Cabot
April Love (1957)
Liz Templeton
Carousel (1956)
Julie Jordan Bigelow
Oklahoma! (1955)
Laurey [Williams]

Music (Feature Film)

First Man (2018)
Song Performer
The Dressmaker (2016)
Song Performer

Special Thanks (Feature Film)

My First Mister (2001)
Special Thanks To

Cast (Special)

TV Land Awards: A Celebration of Classic TV (2003)
Second Chance: America's Most Talented Senior (2003)
Intimate Portrait: Shirley Jones (2001)
Richard Rodgers: The Sweetest Sounds (2001)
Eddie Albert: A Passion For Life (2001)
The 70s: Bell-Bottoms and Boogie Shoes (2001)
The 3rd Annual Family Television Awards (2001)
Florence Henderson: Here's the Story (2001)
Jean Simmons: Picture Perfect (2001)
The Great American History Quiz: Pursuit of Happiness (2000)
Shirley Jones: Hollywood's Musical Mom (2000)
Radio City Music Hall's Grand Re-Opening Gala (1999)
Thirteenth Annual Genesis Awards (1999)
The Partridge Family: The E! True Hollywood Story (1999)
TV Guide's Truth Behind the Sitcoms (1999)
67th Annual Hollywood Christmas Parade (1998)
The 70th Annual Academy Awards (1998)
The Great Christmas Movies (1998)
Burt Lancaster (1997)
The Making of a Child Star (1997)
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1996)
Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies (1996)
The Golden Globe's 50th Anniversary Celebration (1994)
The Tunes of Tommy Dorsey: A Sentimental Journey (1994)
The 65th Annual Academy Awards Presentation (1993)
Mom Knows Best (1992)
Stars and Stripes: Hollywood and World War II (1991)
Charlie (1990)
The 1990 Miss America Pageant (1990)
Music By Richard Rodgers (1990)
Festival At Ford's Theater-salute To The President (1989)
A Salute to Broadway: Chorus Lines (1988)
Christmas in Washington 1988 (1988)
A Grand Night: The Performing Arts Salute Public Television (1988)
Six Hours For Life (1987)
Happy Birthday, Hollywood! (1987)
There Were Times, Dear (1987)
Bob Hope's Royal Command Performance From Sweden (1986)
Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (1986)
An All-Star Tribute to General Jimmy Doolittle (1986)
Getting the Last Laugh (1985)
Tennessee Ernie Ford's America (1985)
Bob Hope Special: Ho Ho Hope's Jolly Christmas Hour (1984)
TV's Censored Bloopers (1984)
Bob Hope Special: Bob Hope's Women I Love - Beautiful but Funny (1982)
The Adventures of Pollyanna (1982)
Polly Harrington
Women of Russia (1981)
Bob Hope Special: Hope, Women and Song (1980)
Perry Como's Music From Hollywood (1977)
Thanksgiving Reunion with the Partridge Family and My Three Sons (1977)
A Knight in Shining Armour (1971)
Friends and Nabors (1966)
The Wonderful World of Burlesque I (1965)
Hollywood Melody (1962)
Step on the Gas (1960)
You're the Top (1956)

Music (Special)

Music By Richard Rodgers (1990)
Song Performer ("The Sweetest Sounds" "Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'" "It Might As Well Be Spring" "Time")
Festival At Ford's Theater-salute To The President (1989)
Song Performer ("God Bless America")
Christmas in Washington 1988 (1988)
Song Performer
A Grand Night: The Performing Arts Salute Public Television (1988)
Song Performer
A Salute to Broadway: Chorus Lines (1988)
Song Performer ("If I Loved You" "You'Ll Never Walk Alone" "Till There Was You" "Oklahoma!")
Bob Hope's Royal Command Performance From Sweden (1986)
Song Performer
Tennessee Ernie Ford's America (1985)
Song Performer

Misc. Crew (Special)

The Beatles Anthology (1995)

Cast (TV Mini-Series)

Dog's Best Friend (1997)
Evening in Byzantium (1978)

Life Events


Made TV debut as a performer on "The Lux Video Theater"


Auditioned for Rodgers & Hammerstein, leading to a small part in the Broadway production of "Me and Juliet", and the leading role on tour


Made feature debut as Laurey in "Oklahoma!"


Starred in in the film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Carousel"


Won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her change of pace performance as a prostitute in "Elmer Gantry"


Starred as Marian in "The Music Man"


Starred in the romantic comedy "The Courtship of Eddie's Father" opposite Glenn Ford and Ron Howard


Made debut as an original cast member of the Broadway musical, "Maggie Flynn", starring opposite then-husband Jack Cassidy


Starred in first TV-movie, "Silent Night, Lonely Night" (NBC), opposite Lloyd Bridges


Starred as Shirley Partridge in the popular musical series "The Partridge Family"; scored several hit singles and albums


Co-starred opposite Henry Fonda and James Stewart in the western comedy "The Cheyenne Social Club"


Cast as a compulsive gambler in the NBC TV-movie "Winner Take All"


Had lead role in the NBC TV-movie pilot "The Lives of Jenny Dolan", playing a glamorous reporter


Returned to series TV in the NBC sitcom "Shirley"


Co-starred opposite James Garner in action comedy "Tank," her last feature film for 15 years


Had recurring role on the NBC sitcom "Something So Right"


Co-starred in the Family Channel TV-movie "Dog's Best Friend"


Had recurring role on "The Drew Carey Show" as an older woman with whom Carey has a romantic relationship.


Co-starred as Aunt Batty in the Hallmark original movie "Hidden Places"


Co-starred in the stoner comedy "Grandma's Boy"


Played Colleen Brady on "Days of Our Lives"


Landed a supporting role in the comedy-drama "Family Weekend"


Appeared in "Waiting in the Wings: The Musical"

Photo Collections

Two Rode Together - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Two Rode Together - Behind-the-Scenes Photos
Carousel - Movie Posters
Carousel - Movie Posters


Movie Clip

Music Man, The (1962) -- (Movie Clip) Till There Was You Librarian Marian (Shirley Jones) is magnanimous in her praise of huckster Professor Hill (Robert Preston), with one of composer Meredith Willson's most famous tunes from The Music Man, 1962.
Music Man, The (1962) -- (Movie Clip) Wells Fargo The company starts on Meredith's Willson's tune, an interlude with Mayor and Mrs. Shinn (Paul Ford, Hermione Gingold) and Marian (Shirley Jones), and her brother Winthrop (Ronnie "Ron" Howard) getting his trumpet from Professor Hill (Robert Preston), in The Music Man, 1962.
Music Man, The (1962) -- (Movie Clip) Iowa Stubborn Just arrived on the train from Illinois, after an opening number confirming the disdain of other traveling salesmen for his scorched-earth methods, un-credentialed music professor Henry Hill (Robert Preston) hears from the folk of River City, Io-way about their own predisposition, in the hit Warner Bros. adaptation of the Meredith Willson musical, with Timmy Everett, and Paul Ford as the Mayor, in The Music Man, 1962.
Music Man, The (1962) -- (Movie Clip) Shipoopi Buddy Hackett never played the part on Broadway, and was a regular on NBC’s Tonight Show at the time, but his one number as Marcellus, friend of the title character, is one of the more remembered and parodied from the landmark Meredith Willson musical, The Music Man, 1962, starring Robert Preston.
Pepe (1960) -- (Movie Clip) That's How It Went, All Right It's been said that Bobby Darin's secret was that he could deliver any song like it was the one you'd been waiting for all night, example here with Cantinflas (title character) watching, tune by Andre and Dory Previn, in George Sidney's celebrity cavalcade Pepe, 1960.
Pepe (1960) -- (Movie Clip) The Rumble Second part of a long number in an L-A club where waitress Suzie (Shirley Jones, not a double) also dances, Eugene Loring choreography with two uncredited partners, her friend Cantinflas (title character) panicking when it gets a little too West Side Story, in Pepe, 1960.
Courtship Of Eddie's Father, The (1963) -- (Movie Clip) Liquor Won't Solve Anything First evening with new housekeeper Mrs Livingston (Roberta Sherwood), learning Spanish, Glenn Ford as newly-widowed Tom doing fine, discussing Elizabeth (Shirley Jones) and plausibly dazzled by her first appearance, Ronny Howard (title character) delighted too, early in Vincente Minnelli’s The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father, 1963.
Courtship Of Eddie's Father, The (1963) -- (Movie Clip) Very Fond Of My Pectoral Girdle After his new year’s party and unsatisfactory outcomes with two other prospects, Tom (Glenn Ford) meets divorceè neighbor Elizabeth (Shirley Jones) wrapping up her date, and they break new ground together, baby-sitting Mrs. Livingston (Roberta Sherwood) pretending sleep, in The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father, 1963.
Beyond The Poseidon Adventure (1979) -- (Movie Clip) Did You Come By Canoe? A quick roll call as Michael Caine and his improvised salvage crew (Sally Field, Karl Malden), with Telly Savalas heading a Greek medical team, discover survivors not seen in the original, Veronica Hamel, Peter Boyle and Shirley Jones with back-stories, in Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, 1979.
Beyond The Poseidon Adventure (1979) -- (Movie Clip) I've Had Smoother Crossings Michael Caine and his crew (Sally Field, Karl Malden) revel in their salvage from the capsized liner when a new survivor (Slim Pickens as Tex) appears, then two more, Angela Cartwright who’s the daughter of Peter Boyle, and Mark Harmon her rescuer, Shirley Jones and Veronica Hamel also among the band, in Beyond The Poseidon Adventure, 1979.
Carousel (1956) -- (Movie Clip) Open, Trouble Down There Safe to say the originally-cast Frank Sinatra would have filled the shirt in a way different from Gordon MacRae, in the opening as Billy Bigelow, with "heavenly friend" William Le Massena, before the credits and overture from Darryl Zanuck's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, 1956.
Carousel (1956) -- (Movie Clip) Your Little Pink Bustle Carnival barker Billy (Gordon MacRae) begins his flash-back from heaven, to Maine where he works for Mrs. Mullin (Audrey Christie), noticing pretty Julie (Shirley Jones) and Carrie (Barbara Ruick) in the crowd, early in Darryl Zanuck's 1956 20th Century Fox production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.



Paul Jones
Beer manufacturer.
Marjorie Jones
David Cassidy
Actor, singer. Born on April 12, 1950; mother, Evelyn Ward; played Keith Partridge in the musical series "The Partridge Family".
Shaun Cassidy
Actor, singer, TV producer. Born on September 27, 1958; father, Jack Cassidy.
Patrick Cassidy
Actor. Born on January 4, 1962; father, Jack Cassidy.
Ryan Cassidy
Born on February 23, 1966; father, Jack Cassidy.


Jack Cassidy
Actor, singer. Married on August 5, 1956; divorced in 1975; died in a fire in 1976.
Marty Ingels
Actor. Married on November 13, 1977; announced separation in October 1995; reconciled; separated again in July 1999; reconciled; Jones filed for divorce in March 2002.


"Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story"
Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels, William Morrow (1990)