May 21, 1923|
West Orange, New Jersey
|Died||December 23, 2012
Los Angeles, California
|Years active||1949-1965, 2004-2004,|
|Spouse(s)||Jack Cassidy (1948 - 1955; 1 child; divorced)
Elliot Silverstein (1962 - 1968; divorced)
Ward was born and raised in West Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of Ethel Laurinda (née Wheeler) and Frederick Ward. She was of mostly Colonial American descent, along with smaller amounts of Irish and Swiss. Her ancestors were among the founders of Newark, New Jersey.
Ward began her performing career as a teenager dancing with the Roxyettes at the Roxy Theater. After understudying Mary Martin in the musical Dancing in the Streets - which closed "out of town" in the spring of 1943 - Ward made her Broadway debut that summer in the musical Early to Bed. Her subsequent Broadway musical credits include The Firebrand of Florence (1945), Spring in Brazil (1945), Billion Dollar Baby (1946), Heaven on Earth (1948) and Along Fifth Avenue (1949). Ward's subsequent theatrical credits were mostly in regional theater but she did return to the Broadway musical stage in the spring of 1958 replacing Gwen Verdon in the lead role in New Girl in Town. In 1967 Ward appeared in the play And So to Bed at the LA Theater Center), her son David Cassidy also being featured in the cast. also performed in nightclubs in New York City and Boston, and in 1954 performed in a Las Vegas revue.
Ward's television credits include CBS's Manhattan Showcase, The College Bowl, Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Perry Mason, Mike Hammer, The Furthur Adventures of Ellery Queen, and Hallmark Hall of Fame.
Ward married actor Jack Cassidy on June 28, 1948: the couple had met in 1945 while appearing in the Broadway musical The Firebrand of Florence. Ward and Cassidy had one child together, their son David Bruce Cassidy being born in 1950: the family resided in Ward's native West Orange. The marriage of Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward would end in a Mexican divorce in July 1956. In August 1956 Cassidy married actress Shirley Jones, with whom he'd been romantically involved since the previous summer. According to Jones, Cassidy and Ward had been separated twice and then got back together prior to her meeting Cassidy, and their marriage had remained rocky.
After her divorce from Cassidy, Ward and the couple's son David resided with Ward's parents in West Orange until 1961, when Ward married film director Elliot Silverstein. Ward had known Silverstein for several years as she had acted in Boston area stage productions directed by Silverstein in 1955 and 1957. Ward and Silverstein divorced in 1968. Ward is sometimes mistaken as the onetime wife of film-director Norman Z. McLeod as well. However, McLeod's wife, also named Evelyn Ward, was born in Iowa between 1900 and 1902.
- Smolenyak, Megan (March 7, 2011). "Should David Cassidy Have Let His Roots Show on Celebrity Apprentice?". Huffington Post.
- Shirley Jones, with Wendy Leigh (2013). Shirley Jones: a memoir (ebook ed.). New York, NY: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster). p. 125. ISBN 978-1-4767-2597-0.
- "Actress singer Evelyn Ward dies at 89". Variety.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "Evelyn Ward Biography". Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- "David Cassidy interview". NJ.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "IMDB bio". Retrieved 2010-02-27.
- Barnes, Mike. "Actress Evelyn Ward Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter.