Eliot Stein Interviews Shirley Jones


ELIOT: Will there ever be any big screen musicals again like the
ones you starred in? Or is that gone forever?

SHIRLEY: Well, my instinct tells me that is gone forever.
If the public wants and needs that again, maybe there will be a
great Andrew Lloyd Webber one.
But we don't have the writers we once had!

ELIOT: How do you feel these days about "The Partridge Family?"
The public seems to love it now.

SHIRLEY: The public loved it in the 1970's and they love it now.
There was that period when people said it was corny.
But now they love these kinds of shows!
There is a need for other things than violence and the other
stuff we are inundated with.
"The Partridge Family" makes people feel good!

ELIOT:Is there any talk of a reunion telefilm?

SHIRLEY: No I don't think so. They talked about perhaps a movie.
But the Partridge Family basically disintegrated.

ELIOT:What would you like to do in the next few years?

SHIRLEY: I'd like to do a mature love story film.
I'd love to do a wonderful film.
I live for the moment and I am doing many concerts.
But I don't want to work as hard.
I'd like to spend more time with my family!

ELIOT: Did you enjoy doing "The Partridge Family?"

SHIRLEY: I did enjoy it!
I had been touring all over the world.
This was my first "normal" job in showbiz.
It was six months work and six months off.
We had a great time. We really enjoyed it.
It killed my movie career. I was stereotyped as Mrs. Partridge.
But I had a great time!

ELIOT: Do you have any plans to return to weekly TV?

SHIRLEY: Not at the moment..

if something interesting came up.
I WANT creative control now.or I won't be involved!

ELIOT: Looking back at the thousands of hopefuls who came to broadway, Hollywood..and never made it? Have you ever thought WHY ME???

SHIRLEY: I will never know why???
I was born with a gift.A God given gift to sing.
perhaps when I went in front of producers they realizedthat I was using that gift.who knows???
I really don't know the answer.

ELIOT: What are your most memorable thoughts about "Elmer gantry?"

SHIRLEY: Working with Burt lancaster was incredible!!!.
I'll never forget that.to be given a role of that stature.
the writing was phenomenal.when I read the script I knew that it
was going to be a very important motion picture!

ELIOT: Are there any roles you turned down that now you go.I should have gone for it?
SHIRLEY:Not really..I turned down "the Brady Bunch" TV show!!.
Then i got "The Partridge Family" so there's not many regrets about that!

ELIOT: Is Hollywood only a state of mind these days? Please comment on how the studio system has changed!

SHIRLEY: We don't have a studio system.no more moguls.no contract players.
very few people are under contract to a studio.
TV has made such an imprint on the industry.the studio system is long forgotten.
Movies are vying again for their position out there.it's a real business now than ever.

ELIOT: What was it like being the mom of two of the biggest teen idols ever to come through the pop music business?

SHIRLEY: David is my step-son.
As wonderful as it wAs for him at the time.it did him in.
a bout with drugs.went into seclusion.it's a big high and a very big low!!!
Shaun learned form David's mistakes.
He is writing and producing now of course.
probably because he started so young. The up was great .. but the down was greater!

ELIOT: Which is your favorite musical that you did?

 SHIRLEY: Carousel.

 It wasn't the best film.but the music was the best ever!


ELIOT: How have you viewed Hollywood over the years?

SHIRLEY: It's a business.
there are sharks in every business.
slimy people.but I have worked with some WONDERFUL people!.
I've worked with fine human beings.Jimmy Stewart..
SJ; but there is treachery in this business like in any other.
I have met some wonderful decent actors and directors!