Monday, August 16, 2010


You most likely remember her as the mom on The Partridge Family, or maybe Marion the librarian from The Music Man. And though she's been out of the spotlight for a while, the 76-year-old Shirley Jones is still performing. She released an album a few years ago, still sings on stage from Florida to Arizona to London, and she does the occasional acting gig.

Working with her family (step-son David, and sons Shawn, Patrick, and Ryan) on Ruby & the Rockits did not fare too well. But her most recent role, Lola Zellman on The Cleaner, earned her an Emmy Nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.

Lola, an alcoholic lounge singer, appeared in the episode called “Does Everybody Have a Drink?” which aired last July. Shirley faces some stiff competition in the category from Mary Kay Place, Sissy Spacek, Lily Tomlin, and Ann-Margret. But our money's on Shirley.

She told, "It’s difficult these days, certainly at my age, to get a really good role that works well for me. You know, my reputation is Mrs. Partridge for the rest of my life so I was thrilled when they asked me and I read it and I had a great time doing it."

Lola is a far cry from Shirley's first starring role as Laurey in Oklahoma. Most Shirley fans know she was just 18 years old when Rodgers and Hammerstein plucked her out of the chorus of South Pacific and gave her the movie gig. But did you know, she really got the role during her first professional audition EVER. Hear her tell the whole story in this Archive of American Television interview.

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For other Emmy stories check out:
10 Random Thoughts about the 2010 Emmy Nominations

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