‘The Partridge Family’: Show’s Success Played Part in Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones’ Divorce

by Joe Rutland
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Actress Shirley Jones has a track record of success. But the success of “The Partridge Family” proved too much for her marriage.

Jones, who wrote “Shirley Jones: A Memoir” in 2013, talks about how “The Partridge Family” and its quick rise up the ratings hurt her husband’s feelings. She was married to actor Jack Cassidy, who had a fine career on Broadway and as a character actor on TV shows.

If you watch any of those early 1970s police shows like “Columbo” or “McMillan & Wife,” then the “bad-guy” role usually fell in Cassidy’s lap.

Yet his jealousy of his wife’s Top 10-rated TV show just was too much.

“The stratospheric success of the show took its toll on my marriage to Jack,” Jones writes. “His overriding sense of inferiority in the face of my success drove him into the arms of other women even more often than before.”

Shirley Jones Left Jack Cassidy For Comic Marty Ingles

The entire marriage blew up after Jones caught Cassidy at a restaurant with another woman. It was right then and there that he announced he wanted a separation, and the couple later divorced.

Jones put up with a lot of infidelities from Cassidy through their marriage. She also writes very specifically about how Cassidy played a role in helping her discover her sexuality.

After the couple divorced, Jones went on to date and eventually marry comedian Marty Ingles. Cassidy, though, took a darker turn as his alcoholism and bipolar disorder kicked in even more. He would physically abuse his son and Shirley Jones’ stepson, David Cassidy, and it caused a lot of problems.

Yes, David Cassidy also found himself in the middle of stardom by playing Keith Partridge on “The Partridge Family.”

But Jack Cassidy could not stand the success Shirley Jones was accumulating through the ABC hit sitcom. Sadly, Jack Cassidy died in an apartment fire caused by his own lit cigarette on Dec. 12, 1976. He was 49 years old.

David Cassidy Almost Kidnapped From ‘Partridge Family’

If life could not get even weirder for David Cassidy, it then took a really dark turn. He almost was kidnapped after filming an episode of “The Partridge Family.”

David Cassidy was really popular. Thanks to his role as Keith Partridge on “The Partridge Family,” he was beloved by countless fans.

According to a report on CheatSheet.com, Cassidy was swarmed by fans at the height of his popularity. He had security with him; however, fans would tear at his clothes and stretch out to touch him.

There was all this tragedy during Cassidy’s career and even a plot to kidnap him. According to the report, after filming an episode of “The Partridge Family,” the actor’s manager called him and told him to pack quickly.

The FBI was getting him because of a verified kidnapping threat. The agents took Cassidy to a hotel for protection. With the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI kept an eye on Cassidy everywhere he went. This included trips to the studio and the bathroom.

“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, “C’mon, Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus.”

Obviously, the plan did not work.

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