Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Why ‘The Partridge Family’ Star Shirley Jones Passed on ‘Brady Bunch’ Part

Why ‘The Partridge Family’ Star Shirley Jones Passed on ‘Brady Bunch’ Part

It turns out, that The Partridge Family matriarch Shirley Jones almost joined a rival 70s sitcom family, The Brady Bunch.

In 2013, Jones authored a memoir titled Shirley Jones: A Memoir. Within its pages, the esteemed Broadway, film, and television icon reflects on various aspects of her personal and professional journey. One instance Shirley Jones writes about is when she received an offer to play the mother role on The Brady Bunch.

“While the idea of playing the mother in The Brady Bunch was initially attractive to me,” Shirley Jones wrote, “I turned it down because I didn’t want to be the mother taking the roast out of the oven and not doing much else.” Of course, the iconic role of Carol Brady was ultimately awarded to Florence Henderson.

Despite Passing on ‘The Brady Bunch’, Shirley Jones Had No Hesitation Joining ‘The Partridge Family’

After declining The Brady Bunch, Jones had no hesitation in embracing the role of Shirley Partridge. “I had no doubts at all about playing Shirley Partridge,” Jones wrote. “First, because she was destined to become the first working mother on TV and I loved the script. Second, because working on the series would let me be an almost full-time mom and raise my kids.” 

When the show premiered on ABC on September 25, 1970, it lasted for four seasons. It also spawned a chart-topping debut single on the Billboard chart with “I Think I Love You,” received Golden Globe and Grammy nominations, released 13 studio albums, and inspired an animated spinoff series on CBS.

Fans of The Partridge Family are well aware that David Cassidy emerged as the standout star from the ABC sitcom. David Cassidy’s portrayal of Keith paved the way for a highly successful singing career, leading to the release of twelve studio albums. Shirley Jones was married to actor Jack Cassidy, making David her stepson.

Despite his achievements, Cassidy battled alcohol addiction and stepped away from his career in 2017 upon being diagnosed with dementia. Tragically, he succumbed to liver failure later that year at the age of 67. He is survived by his two children, one of whom is his daughter Katie Cassidy, now a thriving actress.

Since the show stopped filming, Shirley Jones has unveiled six studio albums and made numerous TV appearances on popular shows including Melrose Place, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, That ’70s Show, Raising Hope, Cougar Town, and General Hospital.

She has also performed on stage in productions such as “The King and I,” “42nd Street,” and “The Music Man.”