‘The Partridge Family’: Here’s Why the Original Chris Partridge Was Replaced

by Keeli Parkey
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It often takes television shows a while to find that perfect cast. Usually, this happens before the show airs. But sometimes it happens after an actor has already appeared on the show. This was the case with “The Partridge Family.”

According to an article about the popular television show on Biography.com, Jeremy Gelbwaks originally played Chris Partridge. He was later replaced by Brian Forster. IMDb reports that Gelbwaks played Chris for 25 episodes on the show during 1970 and 1971. Forster took over the role in 1971. He played Chris until the show’s final episode aired in 1974.

So, why was Gelbwaks taken off “The Partridge Family”? According to Biography.com, he was removed from the show because “every” member of the cast and crew made complaints about how he behaved. “The kid was not ready to work,” the article says.

The story the studio told the public for Gelbwaks departure from the show was that his family relocated. However, that wasn’t the case. And, according to the article, there was not one letter sent to the studio complaining that Gelbwaks had left the show.

There was also another cast member on “The Partridge Family” that “left” after the show premiered. That character was the family’s dog. Named Simone, the pet was in some episodes but was never seen again. According to the article, the dog’s exit from the show was never discussed.

David Cassidy Faced Kidnapping Threat While on ‘The Partridge Family’

In addition to the exit of Gelbwaks from the show, there was other drama behind the scenes on “The Partridge Family.” This included a threat to kidnap star David Cassidy. The actor played Keith Partridge, the oldest of the family’s children.

According to a report on CheatSheet.com, Cassidy was swarmed by fans pretty much wherever he went while he was on “The Partridge Family.” He had security with him; however, fans would tear at his clothes and stretch out to touch him. Other fans would even faint at seeing him.

Things reportedly got so bad that David Cassidy began to disguise himself or even hide in the trunk of a vehicle to avoid detection by his supporters. The singer wrote about this in his memoir. The book is “C’Mon Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus.”

After filming an episode of “The Partridge Family,” the actor’s manager called him and told him to pack quickly. Why? The FBI was coming to get him because there had been a verified kidnapping threat.

“Two guys planned on kidnapping me, and hoped to collect a multimillion-dollar ransom from my family and Screen Gems-Columbia Pictures,” Cassidy wrote in his memoir.

Cassidy was taken to a hotel where the FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department could keep a close on him for his safety. They followed him wherever he went, even to the bathroom. They reportedly protected him for a month until the danger passed.

Outsider.com