Shirley Jones talks giving up a movie career for her kids, being a Republican in Hollywood

July 25, 2013

Who knew Shirley Jones was such a wild woman? The 79-year-old “Partridge Family” mom has been making the rounds promoting her memoir “Shirley” talking about being in a threesome with her philandering first husband Jack Cassidy and shaking her assets for her current husband Marty Ingles! We talked to Jones about her weird and wild life and uncovered a few other facts that may not yet have seen the light of day…

FOX411: First off, you’re a Republican, which can’t have been too popular in the 70’s in Hollywood.

Shirley Jones:  Well it still isn’t. It’s pretty bad here. They’re all Democrats here, but that doesn’t bother me.

FOX411:  Ever feel like it hurt your career?

Jones: No! I didn’t care one bit about that stuff. I do my thing my way. If you don’t like it then tough!

FOX411: It was sort of sad reading how Jack Cassidy had so many flagrant affairs and threw them in your face.

Jones: It was a sad experience for me. He was my first husband. I was 21 when I married him and he was like my knight in shining armor. I was raised in a small town and marriage was it for me. I was never, ever going to get a divorce from anybody, I wasn’t raised that way. He was older than me and more experienced. It was sad in many ways; on the other side of the coin he taught me everything. We sang together, we worked together. He was a wonderful talent, very bright, every well-read. I admired him tremendously.

FOX411: The story of how you got your first break is crazy.

Jones: It was a remarkable thing that happened and I don’t think could ever happen again. When I tell it to people they can’t believe it and I still can’t believe it. I was on my way to college. I wanted to be a vet but I could sing and that was a gift.

Every summer my parents would take me to New York. We went and I knew a pianist from the Pittsburgh Playhouse where I took singing lessons. I called him and he said, ‘Rodgers and Hammerstein’s casting director is having an open casting call.’ I’d never been to a professional audition. He talked me into it.

I sang for the casting director and he said, ‘Miss Jones what have you done?’ I said, ‘Nothing.’ He said, ‘Can you wait a few moments? Mr. Rodgers happens to be across the street.’ I didn’t even know who he was to tell the truth. I sang for him and he said, ‘Can you wait a minute? I’m going to call my partner Oscar Hammerstein to have him come and hear you.’

I ended up auditioning with a City Centre Symphony with the score of ‘Oklahoma’ which I’d never seen before. Three weeks later I was in my first Broadway show, ‘South Pacific.’ Within a year I was playing the lead in the film of ‘Oklahoma.’

FOX411: You must have been like, ‘This showbiz thing is pretty easy. What are people complaining about?’

Jones: I just didn’t understand it. I thought, ‘What are you people talking about? This is the easiest thing that ever happened to me.’ Then I found out what the business was really about when I was shooting ‘Oklahoma.’ At that time you could work actors around the


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