For 80th Birthday, Shirley Jones Is Going Skydiving

'Partridge' star inspired by elder George Bush

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 29, 2014 10:27 AM CDT

(Newser) – Mrs. Partridge is going sky-diving. Oscar-winning actress and singer Shirley Jones says she'll take her very first skydive on Monday—her 80th birthday. "That's something I wanted to do all my life," Jones says. The inspiration comes from former President George H.W. Bush's jumps on several birthdays, including when he turned 85 in 2009. "When I saw him do it I thought, 'Wow, if he can do this, I can,'" she says.

Jones, who starred in TV's The Partridge Family in the 1970s, gained fame with the 1950s film versions of the Broadway musicals Oklahoma! and Carousel. She won an Oscar for the 1960 drama Elmer Gantry. She will be jumping in tandem with an instructor, according to her husband, comedian Marty Ingels. He's fine with the jump, but her kids are nervous. She quoted her oldest son, Shaun Cassidy, as saying, "Mom, what's the matter with you?" (Jones' new memoir reveals that she's not exactly prim and proper.)

A file photo of Shirley Jones.
A file photo of Shirley Jones.   (Chris Pizzello)
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