HomeAmerican EntertainmentTVClassic TV‘The Partridge Family’ Star Danny Bonaduce Was Not Happy About How Much He Made Per Episode

‘The Partridge Family’ Star Danny Bonaduce Was Not Happy About How Much He Made Per Episode

by Suzanne Halliburton
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Let’s spin the way back machine to more than a half-century ago when The Partridge Family entered the TV scene and became an instant classic.

The nation’s teenagers all had mad crushes on David Cassidy. And they bought all The Partridge Family records, not knowing that most of the kids, save for Keith Partridge, actually weren’t singing. The show still remains a classic TV staple.

Yes, David Cassidy was the undisputed star of The Partridge Family. But Danny Bonaduce, the red-headed, freckle-faced, wise-cracking middle brother, stole just about every scene he was in. Bonaduce’s acting career never really blossomed after he graduated high school.

He certainly couldn’t live off his Partridge Family salary. Get this, Bonaduce said he made $400 an episode. In today’s dollars, that’s worth about $2,800. The show ran for four years and 96 episodes. So Bonaduce made almost $40,000. Or in 2022, the salary equivalent of about $270,000. It was nice folding money for a middle schooler. Maybe it could make for a proper nest egg. But in Bonaduce’s case, it didn’t give him much of a financial leg up on his future.

The Partridge Family in 1970. (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

The Partridge Family Kids Didn’t Get Rich Off the Show

He revealed his Partridge Family income during a recent appearance on Behind the Velvet Rope with David Yontef podcast.

“Go ahead and ask me what I made per episode,” Bonaduce said in a rambling kind of response. “$400. $400 to be Danny Partridge. But like, it wasn’t all pretty, but the things that went well for me, aside from some things that were drama, it was always like some people say, ‘Hey man, how could you really live like that? Do you really live in your car?’ And by the way, that’s exaggerated.”

Bonaduce says that stories about his living out of his car were “exaggerated.” Yet he then offered personal anecdotes about his living out of his car.

“But I spent a lot of time there,” he said. “But when you look back on it at being a super famous guy, living in the back seat, that’s interesting to me. If somebody else said it about them, I’d say, oh man, that’s wild. Well, I used to get woken up by the cops all the time. They knew who I was and they said, you can’t stay here. And I said, “where can I go?” And they did the old bar line. “You have to leave. I don’t care where you go, but you have to leave.”

While Bonaduce’s acting career never really went anywhere after The Partridge Family, he still found success in the entertainment business. Specifically, he co-hosts a long-time radio show from Seattle.

Late last month, he announced that he was taking a medical leave of absence from the show. He didn’t offer specific details, only that he needed a cane.

“Some news to share,” Bonaduce wrote on social media.“I’m taking a temporary medical leave from my radio show. I’ll share more when I know more. I’m still working towards receiving a diagnosis. What I know is, I need time to focus on my health. I love my job and talking to you guys & I’ll be back on the air soon.”

Days later, Bonaduce’s sister revealed that her 62-year-old brother was having issues with his balance. Doctors were trying to figure out why.