Dave Madden

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Dave Madden
Dave Madden 1970s.jpg
Madden in 1970
David Joseph Madden

(1931-12-17)December 17, 1931
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
DiedJanuary 16, 2014(2014-01-16) (aged 82)
Years active1962–2008
  • Nena Arnold
    m. 1975; div. 1985)
  • Sandra Martin
    m. 1998)

David Joseph Madden (December 17, 1931 – January 16, 2014) was a Canadian-born American actor. His most famous role came on the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, in which he played the group's manager, Reuben Kincaid, opposite Shirley Jones's character. Madden later had a recurring role as diner customer Earl Hicks on the mid-1970s to mid-1980s sitcom Alice.

Early life[edit]

Madden was born in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada to Verna (née Burleigh) and Roger Madden.[1] He had three older siblings: Sister Mary Roger (1919–), a practicing nun at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana; Richard (1921–?); and Jack (1926–1948). He spent his early childhood in Port Huron, Michigan, and in 1939, was sent to live with his aunt and uncle Bess and Frank Hoff, in Terre Haute, Indiana after his father's death and his mother's job keeping her on the road.[2] At age 13, a serious bicycle accident left him immobilized. Madden spent months recuperating, a time during which he took an interest in magic. He later worked magic into his comedy act, which he performed around Terre Haute. He graduated in 1950 from Otter Creek High School, where he served as joke editor of the school paper, writing his own material. Madden spent one semester at Indiana State Teachers College, and in 1951 dropped out to enlist in the United States Air Force. Assigned to Special Services, he was sent to Tripoli, Libya, where he was a hit as an entertainer in camp shows and native theater, even performing before Idris of Libya, ruler at the time.[2] After the Air Force, Madden attended the University of Miami, where he graduated with a degree in communications in 1959.


After two unsuccessful years on the Southern nightclub circuit, Madden travelled to Los Angeles, where a successful opening night at a Beverly Hills nightclub led to a 10-week retention, and a recommendation by patron Frank Sinatra to Ed Sullivan, who signed Madden for three nights on The Ed Sullivan Show.[3] These appearances led to his first real acting engagement, a spot on Camp Runamuck, in 1965.

Madden first gained national notice as a milk-drinking, confetti-throwing sad sack on Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In from 1968 to 1969. However, he became better known worldwide for his role as Reuben Kincaid, the harried manager/agent for The Partridge Family (1970–1974). Partridge co-star Danny Bonaduce, whom Madden took into his home during Bonaduce's family's domestic strife, has said that he owes a lot to Madden. In 1976, Dave appeared in Eat My Dust! It was the first movie developed by Ron Howard.

Dave Madden also made guest appearances on other television series such as Bewitched, Happy Days, The Love Boat, Barney Miller (1978, episode: Eviction, parts 1 and 2) and Fantasy Island. He had a recurring role on Alice as one of the customers of Mel's Diner and Tommy's basketball coach Earl Hicks.

Madden began voicing several characters on Focus on the Family's radio drama Adventures in Odyssey in the late 1980s. In 1990, he received his own regular character in the curmudgeonly window-washer Bernard Walton, a character he continued to play until 2008.[4] In 1992, he reprised his role of Mr. Kincaid for a sketch on an episode of The Ben Stiller Show.

In 1995, Madden appeared on the sitcom Boy Meets World in the episode "Rave On". His last guest appearance was on Sabrina the Teenage Witch where he played Dr. Egglehoffer along other former Laugh-In cast members.

Personal life and death[edit]

Madden married Nena Arnold in 1975. They had two children - adopted daughter, Selena; son, Peter Michael - before divorcing in 1985.

Madden married his former college sweetheart Sandy Martin on May 28, 1998.[1]

While starring on The Partridge Family, Madden took an interest in photography. He would bring his camera onto the set in order to photograph the cast, crew, and guest stars. This would become a lifelong hobby for him.[2]

A long-time smoker, Madden quit after The Partridge Family episode "Each Dawn I Diet" (in which Danny and Reuben make a bet that Reuben can abstain from smoking longer than Danny can from eating "junk" food).[1]

According to Madden, he did not get along with Shirley Jones' husband Marty Ingels; Madden and Jones had a limited relationship as a result.[1]

Madden befriended many fellow actors over his career, including Jonathan Winters, Alan Young, Pat Morita, Henry Gibson, Dan Rowan, Richard Gautier, Arte Johnson, James Karen and Gary Owens, as well as all of his "Partridge Family" co-stars and the show's creator Bernard Slade.[citation needed] While in retirement, he wrote his autobiography Reuben on Wry: The Memoirs of Dave Madden.[5]

Madden died on January 16, 2014 in Jacksonville, Florida, where he was receiving hospice care, of complications of myelodysplastic syndrome.[6] He was 82.


Film and television[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1965–1966 Camp Runamuck Counselor Pruett 18 episodes
1967 Bewitched Joe Episode - "Super Car"
1967 Accidental Family Tom Episode - "Everywhere a Chick Chick"
1968–1969 Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In Regular Performer 26 episodes
1969 Bewitched Fred Episode - "Samantha's Shopping Spree"
1970–1974 The Partridge Family Reuben Kincaid 96 episodes
1972–1973 Love, American Style Howard / Walter Lerner Segments - "Love and the Topless Policy" and "Love and the Singing Suitor"
1973 Charlotte's Web Ram (voice) Feature film
1974 The Girl Who Came Gift-Wrapped Stanley TV movie
1974 Happy Days Jack Whippett Episode - "Big Money"
1976 Eat My Dust! Big Bubba Jones Feature film
1976 ABC Afterschool Special Coach Puckett Episode - "Mighty Moose and the Quarterback Kid"
1977 Starsky & Hutch Phil Hill Episode - "Starsky and Hutch on Playboy Island"
1977 Mulligan's Stew Elliot Episode - "A New Grandpa"
1978 This Is the Life Roman Centurion Episode - "The Stableboy's Christmas"
1978 Barney Miller Clayton Walsh Episodes - "Eviction" (Parts 1 & 2)
1978–1985 Alice Earl Hicks 35 episodes
1978 The Love Boat Wes Larsen Episode - "El Kid/The Last Hundred Bucks/Isosceles Triangle"
1978 Flying High Reception Clerk Episode - "Fun Flight"
1979 Fantasy Island George Crane Episode - "The Red Baron/Young at Heart"
1979 Skinflint: A Country Christmas Carol Stanley Gershen TV movie
1980 When the Whistle Blows Roscoe Baker Episode - "Miss Hard Hat USA"
1980 More Wild Wild West German Ambassador TV movie
1981 The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo Sidney Episode - "The Girls with the Stolen Bodies"
1982 Richie Rich Additional voices Episode - "Dollar's Exercise/Richie's Cube/The Maltese Monkey/Everybody's Doing It"
1985 CBS Storybreak Arnold's Dad Episode - "Arnold of the Ducks"
1986 The New Leave It to Beaver Mr. Johnson Episode - "How's Your Bird?"
1986 Life with Lucy Stanley Bigelow Episode - "Lucy Make Curtis Byte the Dust"
1989 Marvin: Baby of the Year Jeff Miller (voice) TV special
1992 The Ben Stiller Show Mr. Kinkaid Episode - "Pilot"
1994 Married... with Children Manager Episode - "How Green Was My Apple"
1995 Boy Meets World The Manager Episode - "Rave On"
1998 Sabrina the Teenage Witch Dr. Hans Egglehoffer Episode - "Good Will Haunting"


Year Title Role Notes
1988–2008 Adventures in Odyssey Various Characters/Bernard Walton 97 episodes

Video game[edit]

Year Title Role Notes
1997 The Curse of Monkey Island Dinghy Dog Voice only


  1. ^ a b c d Madden, Dave (2007). Reuben on Wry: The Memoirs of Dave Madden. New York: BookSurge. ISBN 978-1419681950.
  2. ^ a b c "An Interview with Dave Madden". C'mon Get Happy. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  3. ^ "Television's Blonde Baby Sitter". TV Guide: 28–29. December 18, 1971. ISSN 0039-8543.
  4. ^ "'B' Characters". Adventures in Odyssey HQ Characters. Retrieved July 10, 2016.
  5. ^ "Dave Madden, Grumpy Manager on 'The Partridge Family,' Dies at 82". The New York Times. Associated Press. January 16, 2014. p. A23.
  6. ^ "Dave Madden dies at 82; actor played manager on 'Partridge Family'". Los Angeles Times. January 16, 2014.

External links[edit]