The Partridge Family is 50 years old.
The popular 1970s TV sitcom created by Bernard Slade debuted on September 25, 1970 — with an intro by the legendary Johnny Cash, who described the TV family as “America’s latest success story” — and aired on ABC for four musical seasons.
Starring Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Jeremy Gelbwaks, Brian Forster, and Suzanne Crough, the show was loosely inspired by the real-life musical clan The Cowsills and spawned a string of hit songs, including “I Think I Love You” and ” I Woke Up in Love This Morning.”
In honor of the milestone anniversary, cast members from the ABC hit will reunite for a Facebook Live event at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight, the exact day of the week and time that the show premiered 50 years ago.
As noted in a post on the When We’re Singin’ Facebook page, original cast members Jones, Bonaduce, Gelbwaks, and Forster will reunite. But Dey, who has long moved on from her Partridge past, is not listed for the reunion.
Sadly, the oldest and youngest Partridge Family kids — Cassidy and Crough — have both passed away, as has Dave Madden, who played the group’s manager, Reuben Kincaid, on the series.
In addition to the main series stars, an all-grown-up Rick Segall, who played the clan’s too-cute singing neighbor, Ricky, in the final season of the series, will make a cameo, as will actor Bruce Kimmel, who — with five appearances on the show — is the most frequent guest star on the sitcom. Tiger Beat editor Ann Moses will also appear alongside photographer Henry Diltz. The event will be hosted by author and Partridge Family superfan, Johnny Ray Miller.
It’s not a huge surprise that Dey is skipping the reunion. For the past two decades, the retired actress has famously snubbed anything Partridge-related. She reportedly became upset over stories about her in Cassidy’s 1994 tell-all memoir, C’mon Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus.
The ’70s teen heartthrob later said he wrote Dey an apology letter for dishing about their relationship in his book, but he never heard back, per Desert News. She also stopped speaking to the rest of the cast and refused to participate in any type of reunion or interview regarding The Partridge Family.
“I really feel badly that Susan Dey, for whatever her own personal reasons, can’t embrace the fact that she was 16, 17 years old, and millions of people loved her for that,” Cassidy said at the time. “You don’t have to prove that you’re so serious.”
Following her Partridge Family days, Dey went on to win a Golden Globe for her role as Grace van Owen on L.A. Law.