I always loved watching Shirley Jones. Was her role as "mother hen" in The Partridge Family based on her own family, by any chance?
—M. Owen, Medford, Ore.
Somewhat inspired by the real-life 1960s family pop act The Cowsills, The Partridge Family aired from 1970 to 1974 and had little connection to the real life of Shirley Jones. Born in Pennsylvania, she went into acting after winning a Miss Pittsburgh beauty pageant and found movie stardom in Oklahoma!, Carousel and The Music Man. She won an Oscar for her role—cast against her wholesome reputation—as the vengeful, blackmailing Lulu Baines in the 1960 film Elmer Gantry. Most recently, Jones has appeared in numerous summer-stock musicals and continues to make movies, including Grandma's Boy, a new theatrical comedy, and Hidden Places, a made-for-television drama.