Whatever Happened to 'The Partridge Family' ? A Look Back at the Stars of the '70s Sitcom

C'mon, get happy! We're taking a closer look at the lives and careers of the cast of the classic 1970s television series

01 of 07

David Cassidy

David Cassidy. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; David Livingston/Getty Images

Thrust into the spotlight at an early age, Cassidy — who played lead singer Keith on the show — became an instant heartthrob and teen idol. Following the success of the original songs featured on The Partridge Family, Cassidy began recording his own music and ultimately launched a solo career — and produced five albums — while on the show.

In his later years, the actor-musician struggled in his personal life. In November 2010, he was charged with a DUI and subsequently charged with the same offense in August 2013 and January 2014. A month after his third arrest, his wife, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, filed for divorce. In February 2015, the actor filed for bankruptcy and was charged following his hit-and-run eight months later in October 2015.

The actor, who worked steadily on TV and had two children, also dealt with substance abuse issues, including a stint in rehab in 2014. In 2017, Cassidy revealed to PEOPLE that he had been diagnosed with dementia, a disease his grandfather and mother also faced. That November, he was hospitalized for liver and kidney failure and died at the age of 67. Just two months before he died, Cassidy confessed in an interview that aired after his death that he never had dementia and was still drinking even though he claimed to have been sober.

02 of 07

Shirley Jones

Shirley Jones. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; Phillip Faraone/WireImage

Jones was the matriarch of The Partridge Family clan, taking on the role of widowed mother-of-five Shirley Renfrew Partridge. Before starring on the hit show alongside her real-life stepson, David Cassidy, Jones — who had a musical background — garnered critical acclaim and an Oscar for her Best Supporting Actress performance in Elmer Gantry.

Reflecting back on her time on The Partridge Family, Jones was quick to issue a caveat about starring on a hit show. "When my agents came to me and presented it to me, they said if you do a series and it becomes a hit show, you will be that character for the rest of your life and your film career will go into the toilet, which is what happened," she said in a 2009 interview. "But I have no regrets."

The star, who married actor Marty Ingels in 1977 after her split from Jack Cassidy in 1974 (the pair had three sons together) continues to act. As for whether or not she's similar to her Partridge Family character, Jones told the AP: "I am nowhere near as breezy and uncomplicated as Mrs. Partridge."

03 of 07

Danny Bonaduce

The Partridge Family cast. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images

Described as "a wild child who came from an unhappy home" by his TV mom, Shirley Jones, Bonaduce played the part of the wisecracking middle child, Danny. The actor, who was a preteen when cast on The Partridge Family, scored a few TV guest spots following the end of the series, as well as a starring role in 1978's Corvette Summer, opposite Mark Hamill.

However, his professional life — which also includes a longstanding career as a radio talk show host — is often overshadowed by his personal life, which included experiencing drug problems and alcoholism. These subjects were tackled in his 2005 reality show, Breaking Bonaduce. Bonaduce married his third wife, Amy Railsback, in 2010. He has two kids — Countess Isabella and Count Dante — from his second marriage.

In 2022, Bonaduce took a hiatus from his radio show after suffering from a mysterious illness that left him unable to walk.

04 of 07

Susan Dey

Susan Dey. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

At 17 years old, Dey took on the role of Laurie on the family-friendly sitcom. In Shirley Jones's memoir, The Partridge Family matriarch revealed Dey was the only one of the cast who "consistently refused" to partake in any of the show reunions after the series ended.

Following the end of the hit series, Dey — who has been married to her second husband, Bernard Sofronski, since 1988 — went on to star in L.A. Law from 1986 to 1992. Her performance in the drama earned her a Golden Globe in 1988. Dey, who has one daughter from her previous marriage, has kept a low profile since appearing on two episodes of Third Watch in 2004.

05 of 07

Dave Madden

Dave Madden. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

Best known for his role as The Partridge Family manager, Reuben Kincaid, Madden first made a splash as a comedian after performing on the Ed Sullivan Show. The actor kept busy with a slew of guest spot gigs and a recurring role on the long-running TV series Alice.

Madden died in 2014 at the age of 82 from complications of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was survived by his wife, a daughter and a son.

06 of 07

Suzanne Crough

Suzanne Crough. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; Steve Granitz/WireImage

Except for her turn as the youngest Partridge sibling, Tracy, Crough stayed away from Hollywood. In fact, the actress — who married husband William Condray in 1985 — was last seen on-screen in a 1980 TV movie.

Sadly, in 2015 at the age of 52, Crough died suddenly in her Nevada home after suffering from a rare form of cardiomyopathy. "Everyone thought I'd be the first Partridge to go. Sadly it was little Tracy," Danny Bonaduce said upon hearing of Crough's passing. "Suzanne was a wonderful lady and a good mom. She will be missed."

07 of 07

Brian Forster

Brian Forster. ABC Photo Archives/ABC via Getty Images; Bobby Bank/WireImage

Forster took on the role of pint-sized drummer Chris in The Partridge Family after the original actor, Jeremy Gelbwaks, exited the show in 1971. "I remember being in fourth or fifth grade, dancing around to 'I Think I Love You' and all of a sudden I was going to be on the show, so I was pretty excited," Forster recalled of being cast on the hit sitcom. Since the show's end in 1974, Forster dabbled in race car driving in the early 2000s and occasionally acts outside of Hollywood.

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