It’s been 40 years since “The Partridge Family” played their final gig. The ABC sitcom about a musical family with a crazy, colorful tour bus aired its finale episode on March 23, 1974.
While teen heartthrob David Cassidy was undeniably the star of the show, the series featured a slew of big name guest stars. Country singer Johnny Cash made a cameo appearance in the pilot episode, and that was just the beginning of a long lineup of famous faces that turned up on the show during its four-season run.
Check out these surprising “Partridge Family” guest stars.
Before they were known as Jill, Kelly, and Kris, future “Charlie’s Angels” stars Farrah Fawcett, Jaclyn Smith, and Cheryl Ladd all made appearances on “The Partridge Family.”
In her 2013 self-titled memoir, Shirley Jones, who played Partridge family matriarch Shirley on the show, wrote about Fawcett’s appearance on the 1970 episode “The Sound of Money.”
“Everyone noticed what a great looker she was and predicted she would go on to be a big star,” Jones dished.
While Fawcett was only credited as “Pretty Girl” in the “Partridge Family” episode, it was just a few years later that she went on to become a pop culture icon.
See Farrah Fawcett on “The Partridge Family” here.
The episode “The Eleven Year itch” featured a future Oscar winner. A pint size Jodie Foster played Julie, the tween daughter of Shirley’s dreamy beau Richard Lawrence. (Who, incidentally was played by game show legend Bert Convy.) In an interview with cmongethappy.com, “Partridge Family” star Danny Bonaduce said he remembers thinking Foster was “an actress” even at a young age.
“Get this: When we weren’t filming, she didn’t speak English – ever. She only spoke French. At 7 years old,” he said. “The teacher couldn’t talk to her, director, etc. She only spoke French. That was one of the only times I didn’t think I was the cat’s meow. She was amazing. Too bad her career went on to nothing!”
See a clip from “The Eleven Year itch” here.
Years before Luke and Laura became a soap opera super couple, it was Luke and Laurie. “General Hospital” legend Anthony Geary played a minister who fell for eldest Partridge daughter Laurie (Susan Dey) in the Season 3 episode “Ain’t Loveth Grand?”
And how about a couple of Oz icons? “Wizard of Oz” alums Ray Bolger and Margaret Hamilton both guested on the sitcom. Bolger, who’s best known as the Scarecrow in the 1939 big screen classic, played Shirley Partridge’s father in three episodes of the series. (Per Jones, the movie legend was “a bit irritable and insisted that everything had to be his way.”) And Hamilton, who played the evil Wicked Witch of the West in the movie, starred as the band manager’s mom in the episode “Reuben Kincaid Lives.”
Other big name “Partridge Family” guest stars included Richard Pryor, Meredith Baxter, Rob Reiner, Harry Morgan, Louis Gossett Jr. and “Addams Family” stars Jackie Coogan and John Astin.
See Rob Reiner in the episode “A Man Called Snake” here.