Film Festival to honor Oscar-winner
by Renita Alldritt
Legendary singer and actress Shirley Jones will be one of
the film professionals whose works are celebrated at this year's
Ojai Film Festival.
One of her seminal films, "The Music Man," will be
screened in Ojai's Libbey Bowl on Saturday and Jones will be
on hand to answer questions from the audience.
In a career that has lasted more than 50 years, Shirley Jones
came to film prominence in her early 20s when she starred in
the musicals, "Oklahoma!" (1955), and "Carousel"
(1956), and then won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for a
straight dramatic role in "Elmer Gantry" in 1961. She
returned to musicals in the film version of the Broadway hit
"The Music Man."
Moving easily between Broadway and Hollywood, Jones's talent
spanned difficult dramatic roles, musicals and comedy. Her singing
ability afforded her a parallel recording career, and during
her stage work on Broadway, she forged strong bonds with the
legendary Rodgers and Hammerstein.
Jones married actor Jack Cassidy in 1956 and they had three sons.
By the '70s she was enjoying unprecedented popularity in the
hit television show "The Partridge Family," starring
alongside her stepson, David Cassidy. As Mrs. Partridge, Shirley
struck a chord with the American public and the show is still
seen in syndication. She was identified so strongly with the
role that it effectively ended her career in film. But Shirley
went on to enjoy a robust career in television, earning several
Emmy nominations for her work.
"The Music Man" received an Academy Award nomination
for Best Picture in 1962, and stands as one of the most perfect
American musicals Hollywood ever made. Capturing the essence
of small town America, the film reflects much that is in Ojai,
including our Libbey Park bandstand.
"The Music Man" will be screened Saturday night at
7 p.m. in Libbey Bowl to enjoy once again the classic story
of a town that falls in love with music. Preceding the film at
5 p.m., Shirley Jones will attend a meet-the-artist reception
at the Ojai Art Center, receive her award at the screening and
will participate in a Q & A session after the film. Advance
tickets are available at the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce.
© 2002 The Ojai Valley News
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