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Oscar-Winner Shirley Jones on Newsmax TV: 'I Was a Rebel, Always a Rebel'

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Friday, 02 Aug 2013 07:39 PM

Image: Oscar-Winner Shirley Jones on Newsmax TV: 'I Was a Rebel, Always a Rebel'
Oscar-winning actress Shirley Jones says she’s bared her sex life in a saucy new memoir to show she’s more than just the squeaky-clean mother she played on "The Partridge Family."

"The fact is, I am a woman and I'm almost 80. I figured people only know me from the things I’ve done and they're all sort of pleasant and happy and wonderful," Jones told David Nelson, guest host of "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

"I thought … I never would have done this ten years ago or 20 years ago, but if I'm going to do it, this is the time."

Story continues below video.

The book, "Shirley Jones: A Memoir" is published by Simon & Schuster.

Jones, who won an Academy Award for best supporting actress in the searing 1960 drama "Elmer Gantry," was married to actor Jack Cassidy, who she calls "my Svengali, my knight in shining armor."

"He taught me everything about everything, including sex. I was a virgin when I married Jack. I was 21 years old. He had been married. He was married, actually, when I met him," the still-perky blond star said.

"I was this little girl from a small town in Pennsylvania, population 800 — an only child. But I was a rebel, always a rebel … so I liked trying new things. Jack kind of taught me how to do that in every way."

Jones would go on to star as Shirley Partridge, the widowed mother of five musically-talented kids in "The Partridge Family," which aired on ABC-TV from 1970-1974 and spawned the Top 40 hit record, "I Think I Love You."

The sitcom co-starred teen heartthrob David Cassidy, her husband's son from an earlier marriage.

"A lot of the Partridge Family was things that happened to me with my kids and all of that. But I'm also more than that. Mrs. Partridge didn't have a husband and I've had two — and I still have one," she said, referring to her current spouse, comic Marty Ingels.

In her book, she discusses the complex man Jack Cassidy was — a talented performer who was bipolar, bisexual, and promiscuous, and yet was always honest with her.

"People say, what about all of the affairs he had with men and women and so forth? It wasn't that I heard this from other people. He told me everything," Jones said.

"He told me everything that he did and he said this is the way I am. As a matter of fact, when we first got married, he said, 'I'm telling you right now that probably in nine or 10 years, I'll be having affairs with other women.'"

Of all of the leading men she appeared with in musical films like "The Music Man," "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel," and the comedy "Bedtime Story," Jones says the actor who kissed the best was Burt Lancaster, whom she adored as a young girl.

"He was great. I adored him. When I was 16 years old, I had his pictures all over my bedroom wall," she said.

One story Jones is not being candid about is a passage from her book in which she alleges that she, Cassidy, English actor/singer Anthony Newley and his actress-wife Joan Collins, nearly got involved in an orgy.

She writes that Newley suggested the two couples remove their clothes and watch porn — an invitation she rejected.

But, as TMZ.com reported, Collins denied the story and fired off a cease and desist letter, which ended in the publisher agreeing to remove her name from the e-book version and future reprints.

Asked to discuss the controversial passage, Jones was tight-lipped.

"What's in the book is in the book and that's all I have to say. OK?" she said. "What I wrote is what I wrote."

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