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This Is How Much David Cassidy Got Paid on the Partridge Family

What do Jodie Foster, Dick Clark, John Astin, Farrah Fawcett and Mark Hamill have in common? They all guest-starred on an iconic musical sitcom that debuted in September of 1970. The Partridge Family premiered on ABC 50 years ago. It’s hard to believe that a half century has gone by since the world was introduced to David Cassidy and company.

Oscar-winner Shirley Jones and her ragtag musical family traveled across the country in one super-groovy bus and performed a slew of songs that are probably stuck in some of your heads. Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Brian Forster, Suzanne Crough and Shirley Jones stepson David Cassidy borrowed heavily from another real-life musical family ensemble known as The Cowsills.

The show had a certain saccharine innocence about it as The Partridge Family gently guided it’s viewers through the early 1970s with a musical touch. No, you really couldn’t call it counterculture, but TV audiences still had never seen anything like it before. Given the novel nature of the program, the ratings went through the roof.

Not only did people tune in every week to see what their favorite musical family was up to, but they also rushed to the store to purchase up all of their albums and sweet merch. Who didn’t have a Partridge Family lunchbox back then?

Even though David Cassidy and Shirley Jones were the only two cast members that actually performed on the Partridge Family albums, the whole group received a Grammy nod back in 1971 for Best New Artist. Granted, they lost to The Carpenters, but they still had some huge chart topping hits. ‘I Think I Love You’ astoundingly outsold The Beatles ‘Let it Be” and went to number 1 in 1970.

The TV series itself was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best TV Show in 1971 and 1972.

So, you think you’re a Partridge Family fan? Well we got news for you! We’ve got the inside scoop on some super tasty Partridge facts that you’d be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, so put on your comfiest velour pantsuit, and fluff those neck ruffles because we’re about to go on a little musical journey back in time.

David Cassidy Only Made $600 Per Week

Even though the show was a bonafide hit and record sales we’re skyrocketing, the cast of The Partridge Family wasn’t getting their fair cut of the loot. Most heinous was the exploitation of David Cassidy. He became a superstar teen idol overnight. He was selling out stadiums all across the country and amassing a legion of screaming fans wherever he went.

He would even come home to find naked women ready and willing waiting for him in his house or camped out in the backseat of his car. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing his name and likeness plastered across a whole array of magazine covers and merchandise.

People were making some serious money off of his image but unfortunately the contract he signed didn’t require them to pay him any royalties or ask for his permission to use his name to make a profit. When young girls would dish out their allowances to join the David Cassidy fan club, they were oblivious to the fact that that cash was just lining the pockets of some greedy people that David never met and never approved to use his name.

Lunch boxes, action figures, board games, T-shirts, you name it. There was David Cassidy everything but at the end day, the teen idol was only bringing in a flat salary of $600 a week.

He was only able to rectify the situation when his manager figured out that he was underage when he had signed his contract. How they missed that little detail in the first place is anyone’s guess, but after making the realization, she was able to renegotiate his contract which gave him a piece of the royalties and merchandising revenue and updated his weekly salary to reflect his superstar status.

David also was able to strip away his squeaky-clean image manufactured by the studio when he gave a candid and revealing interview with Rolling Stone in 1972 that touched on his sex life and drug use. He further went out of his way to prove that he wasn’t the goody two-shoes teen idol that the press labeled him as by posing nude on the cover.

Shirley Jones Almost Played Carol Brady Instead

Jones career has been quite magical. She landed her first audition with Broadway legends Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers and managed to land a part in the chorus of South Pacific on that very same day. A year later, she was starring in the film adaptation of Oklahoma!.

She rose to fame for her innocent roles in musicals but she went on to show off her dramatic side when she won and Oscar for starring in Elmer Gantry.

By 1970, Jones was rearing three kids with her Husband Jack Cassidy and had shifted her interest to doing steady acting work on a TV series instead of film or stage plays which tended to be more demanding of her time and focus.

One of the first roles that she was offered was the the part of Carol Brady on a newly developed series that was scheduled to debut in the fall called The Brady Bunch, ever hear of it?

Well, Jones wasn’t impressed by the script and decided to turn it down. She didn’t want to be your standard housewife always stuck in the kitchen making sandwiches. That just wasn’t her style. So when the role of Shirley Partridge came her way and presented her with the opportunity to play an unorthodox woman that quits her job at the bank to tour with her musical kids in a far-out painted up school bus, she was so down. She was so grateful that she had held out for the right part. Can you even imagine her as Carol Brady? You think there’s an alternate universe where…..ahhhh nevermind.

Danny Bonaduce Was A Pain To Deal With

What a little smart-alack that kid was. Really, he didn’t have to pretend to be anyone other than who he was when he played the mischievous Danny Partridge. Even though he was relatively well-liked by the cast and crew, he had quite the reputation of acting up while on set. I mean, you really can’t hold that against him. After all, he was just a kid.

There’s this one time that Shirley Jones got so fed up with his antics that she ordered him upstairs to go to his room, despite the fact that the set didn’t have an upstairs and she wasn’t actually his mother. Another time, his fellow castmates decided to teach him a little lesson by getting Susan Dey to pour a huge glass of milk over his head.

This ‘milking’, if you will, actually made its way into an episode, although it was Keith that got a hairfull of dairy instead of little Danny. Bonaduce, who was only 11 when he joined the cast also had a pretty difficult time remembering all of his line. There was one time that it took 36 takes to get a pretty elementary scene completed – but we all need a little extra helping hand at some point.

Vanishing Cast Members And Two Chris Partridges

When the show first premiered, Chris Partridge was played by Jeremy Gelbwaks. While the official tale told by the production team what that the Gelbwaks family had to move away, in reality the entire cast and crew couldn’t stand the kid. He was the ultimate brat and his behavior was wildly unprofessional. It became readily apparent that he wasn’t ready to work on a TV show. By season two he was replaced by Forster who continued playing Chris for the remainder of the series. The viewers didn’t seem to minder the switch either, because the studio didn’t receive a single letter mentioning the recasting.

Not only did Chris get swapped out, but there was also another disheartening cast member that poofed with no explanation. Just like the Brady family’s pooch Tiger, the Partridges also had their very own canine companion Simone. Although after season 1, the pup up and vanished never to be heard from again.

Simone, if you’re out there somewhere, we never forgot about you.

The Guest Star List Is Mind Blowing

The Partidge Family guest star list reads like a who’s who in Hollywood. A lot of up-and-coming superstars paid the show a visit at some point before their careers took off.

Before she starred in Taxi Driver, a very young Jodi Foster guest-starred as the daughter of one of Shirley’s love interests. Her character had such a massive crush on Danny that she awkwardly punched him in the eye. Ahhhh, young love!

Farrah Fawcett made a cameo when she was enlisted by Danny and Reuben to help discredit TV vet Harry Morgan. The other angels, Jaclyn Smith and Cheryl Ladd also had guest spots on the series as well.

Some other notable Partridge family alumni include Michael Ontkean of Twin Peaks, Mark Hamil in his pre Star Wars days, Charlotte Rae from The Facts of Life, Tony Geary of General Hospital and the one and only Johnny Cash.

There’s a ton of star power in The Partridge Family, but future Family Ties mom Merdith Baxter made one of the biggest impacts. Meredith and David Cassidy had a brief yet explosive relationship. Scheduling conflicts prevents them from spending a lot of time together, and when she was cast into a a new series, Bridget Loves Bernie, she broke Cassidy’s heart when she fell in love with her co-star David Birney.

The Partridge Family House Might Look Familiar

If you got laser-sharp vision, then you might notice that The Partridge Family House looks a little similar to another house you might have seen in another show from the same time period. In fact, the the same house facade was used on Bewitched for Samantha and Darrin Steven’s pesky nextdoor neighbors The Kravitzes.

The house had previously been used for I dream of Jeanie, Dennis The Menace and The Donna Reed Show. Years later, the same house would be used for the Reese Witherspoon film Pleasantville.

Dey Had A Giant Crush On Casssidy

Even though they played brother and sister on TV, they were still very much so teenagers. Dey was a couple years younger than Cassidy, but that didn’t matter much. The two really hit it off. Cassidy was perfectly satisfied with what he thought was a platonic friendship, but in reality Dey had the mother-of-all-crushes on the teen idol.

When he would get back from tour and spill the beans about all the girls that followed him around begging for the chance to spend the night with him – and often times succeeding- she would listen as any good friend would have but Cassidy had no clue that each word he said was hurting her more and more. Shirley Jones eventually pulled him aside and explained how his stories were essentially like plunging a knife into Dey’s heart with each word and he finally got the picture. He felt like such an idiot but then he started seeing her in a different light.

After the series wrapped up, the two eventually dated briefly but nothing ever became of it. Anticlimactic? Yes. But sometimes things pan out like that.

Welp, that’s all of the Partridge facts we got for you today.

Which show were you more of a fan of, The Brady Bunch or The Partridge Family? Drop your opinion in the comments section below.

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