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Shirley Jones 2nd Marriage Lasted 38 Years despite Being Criticized — Inside Her Life after Jack Cassidy

Stephen Thompson
Jun 15, 2022
12:30 P.M.
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Award-winning actress and singer Shirley Jones was always applauded for her spectacular acting, but not many approved of her choice in love when she married her second husband. This was years after her first seemingly "perfect" marriage to Jack Cassidy.


Shirley Jones, known for her gentle bird voice, remains one of the mind-blowing stars of the ABC musical sitcom "The Partridge Family." However, she was also known as the delectable wife of actor and singer Jack Cassidy.

When they met, Jones was only 20, while Cassidy, eight years her senior, was already a first-time divorcee with a son to look after. This did not scare the young actress away. Instead, she was attracted by his experiences and personality.

Shirley Jones attends the 2019 Tony Awards at Radio City Music Hall on June 9, 2019 in New York City | Source: Getty Images


The "The Partridge Family" star respected Cassidy, and she looked up to him for direction, calling him her "svengali" and "knight in shining armor." In her eyes, he could do no wrong.

Jones and Cassidy enjoyed marital bliss for nineteen years and were the cynosure of all eyes, with many tagging them as the perfect couple. However, like many other Hollywood marriages, it did not stand the test of time. The couple divorced in 1975.

Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy attending the Academy Awards, 1962 | Source: Getty Images


Despite the separation, the actress admitted that they were still in love and had considered a reunion before the sudden blow — Cassidy died in a fire.

She revealed that without the tragedy, they would have continued their relationship as lovers, and she would never have considered another man, but these were mere fantasies.

Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy in the 60s | Source: Getty Images


Eventually, the "The Partridge Family" actress left her past romance behind and moved on with another Hollywood star, Marty Ingels. However, many people did not accept Jones's new romance; they maintained that it was a sordid love tale.


Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels at Shaun Cassidy's 1980 concert at the Convention Center in Anaheim, California | Source: Getty Images


Ingels and Jones' love story remains the most unbelievable romance in Hollywood, and when it began, many were shocked that the actress considered the raucous comedian a lover.

The comedian had long been interested in Jones, even before her divorce. In 1974, when they first met at Michael Landon's house party, he made his affection known and "pursued her relentlessly."

Marty Ingels posing for a portrait with Shirley Jones in 1986, in Los Angeles, California. | Source: Getty Images


Jones' friends were irritated by the comedian's boldness and rough approach, yet he remained persistent and finally had a chance to talk to her over the phone.

Ingels rehearsed his speech to woo the actress for six weeks, and he was confident she would listen, especially after his well-known pursuit. During the phone call, Jones interrupted him: having got the memo, she agreed to go out on a dinner date with him.

As confident as Ingels was, he was gobsmacked when the actress consented to go out with him. What excited him was that she did not leave his car even though it was supposed to be a dinner date.

Actress Shirley Jones and comedian Marty Ingles attend the 30th Annual Emmy Awards on September 17, 1978 at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena, California | Source: Getty Images


First, they drove around Hollywood Hills, chatting while looking for a restaurant. However, they talked throughout the night and into the early morning hours before he drove her home.

Although Ingels' account was that the actress recognized him after his pursuit, to Jones, she considered him "an absolute maniac." The actress was going through a rough patch and had not thought about dating until it happened by chance.

Marty Ingels and Shirley Jones on January 16, 2013 in San Pedro, California | Source: Getty Images


She was sad and decided to finally return the comedian's call, hoping to have a great laugh, and she did. In fact, she fell in love with him. According to the singer:

"I started to laugh, and I never stopped. I guess the night I really fell in love with Marty was New Year's Eve [1976]."


Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels at the 3rd annual Jerry Herman Awards on June 1, 2014, in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


The actress said "I do" to her lover after dating him for more than one year in 1977. The couple had also spent a year and a half living together.

For the ceremony, they decided to project their beliefs. Ingels of Jewish origin and his non-religious wife had a half-secular, half-religious ceremony under a canopy in the luxurious Bel Air Hotel.

As expected, a rabbi presided over the party, and men clad in the traditional Jewish cap were present. Other attendants included Jones's kids from her former marriage, her female friends, and her goddaughter, Nancy, who was the maid of honor.

Marty Ingels and Shirley Jones dressed as the czar and czarina of Fawnskin in Fawn Park, on December 22, 2001. | Source: Getty Images


Despite America's favorite girl's decision to settle with the comedian, fans did not accept it. They maintained that they were an odd couple, and while Jones received flowers, her husband got death threats.

Even as the years went by, and it was evident that it was till death did them part, critics failed to comprehend that the union was full of positivity.

Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels on August 1, 2013 in Los Angeles, California | Source: Getty Images


Although everything seemed rosy for the odd couple, Ingels often felt the blow of the backlash and even got criticized in-house. For example, one of Jones's sons, Patrick, grew irritated by his stepfather's constant bickering over the phone because "he sounded like a used-car salesman."

Jones believed she married two crazy men (speaking of her first husband and Ingels). However, her family and friends who first questioned her choices resolved that she was a crazy person.


Marty Ingels, Shirley Jones, their housekeeper, and grandchildren at the premiere screening of "The Adventures of Scooter McDougal" on December 22, 2002, in Encino, California. | Source:Getty Images


Being referred to as an odd couple did not entirely seem strange, as it was valid to an extent. They had opposite stories, including backgrounds, professions, and personalities.

Jones was quick to figure out her life and found fame early, while it took her husband some time to carve a niche for himself. In an interview, Ingels explained that for them, opposites attract. Then he threw a joke, adding that:

"Shirley loves me dearly. She says, approves of absolutely nothing I have ever done…You can love a person and approve of nothing they do. How that is, I don't know."

Shirley Jones and Marty Ingels during Hollywood Collectors & Celebrities Show on June 28, 2003, in North Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images


As for Jones, she believed opposites attract, but now all the time. She confessed that her likeness for Ingels was due to her desperation to avoid marrying someone like her, plus she never liked "nice guys."

Throughout the years, Ingels proved his worth as he continued to make his wife laugh, keeping life from "being boring." Another answer to their long-term marriage was their ability to maintain their passion.

The actress strived to look healthy and fit, and her efforts were appreciated by her husband, who found her body attractive, even in old age.

Actress Shirley Jones attends the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival Opening Night Gala at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on March 26, 2015 | Source: Getty Images


To these two, it never mattered what family, friends, or the world thought about their romance. Instead, they stuck together like two peas in a pod. It was not until 2015, when Ingels took his last breath at age 79, that they were separated.

The notable comedian succumbed to complications from a stroke and died in Tarzana, California. When recounting her time with her dear husband, the actress said:

"He often drove me crazy, but there's not a day I won't miss him and love him to my core."

Undoubtedly, Ingels and Jones lived out a memorable romance by not giving in to criticism but instead accepting to work together as a team. In the end, they produced a successful, brave love story.