Evelyn Ward

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Evelyn Ward
Born(1923-05-21)May 21, 1923
DiedDecember 23, 2012(2012-12-23) (aged 89)
Years active1949–1965
Jack Cassidy
(m. 1948; div. 1956)

Elliot Silverstein
(m. 1962; div. 1968)

Alton Charles (Al) Williams
(?–2005, his death)
ChildrenDavid Cassidy
RelativesKatie Cassidy (granddaughter)

Evelyn Ward (May 21, 1923 – December 23, 2012) was an American actress known from her stage musical performances and television appearances. Her son was the actor/singer David Cassidy.


Ward was born and raised in West Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of Frederick and Ethel Laurinda (née Wheeler) Ward. She was of Colonial American, Irish, and Swiss descent.[1] Her ancestors were among the founders of Newark, New Jersey.[1]


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), and Along Fifth Avenue (1949).[2]

Her 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.[3] In 1967, Ward appeared in the play And So to Bed at the LA Theater Center), and her son David Cassidy also was featured in the cast.[4] In 1996, she left retirement to co-star in Such a Pretty Face.[2]

She also performed in nightclubs in New York City and Boston, and in 1954 performed in a Las Vegas revue.[3]

In 1949, Ward was a regular on the CBS game show Hold It Please,[5]:466 and in 1950-1951, she was a regular on the ABC variety series The College Bowl (also known as The Chico Marx Show).[5] Her other television credits include Man from U.N.C.L.E., Ben Casey, Dr. Kildare, Perry Mason, Mike Hammer, The Further Adventures of Ellery Queen, and Hallmark Hall of Fame.[3]

Personal life[edit]

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.[3] Ward and Cassidy had one son, David Bruce Cassidy, born on April 12, 1950 and died on November 21, 2017. The family resided in Ward's native West Orange. The marriage of Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward ended in a Mexican divorce in July 1956.

In August 1956, Cassidy married actress Shirley Jones, with whom he had 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.[6]

After her divorce from Cassidy, Ward and the couple's son resided with Ward's parents in West Orange[7] until 1961, when Ward married film director Elliot Silverstein.[4]

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.[8] Later, Ward married Al Williams, who died in 2005.[3]


Ward died on December 23, 2012, from dementia.[9][2] Her son, David, died from liver failure on November 21, 2017. Ward is survived by two grandchildren, Katie Cassidy and Beau Cassidy. [3]


  1. ^ a b Smolenyak, Megan (March 7, 2011). "Should David Cassidy Have Let His Roots Show on Celebrity Apprentice?". Huffington Post.
  2. ^ a b c Barnes, Mike. "Actress Evelyn Ward Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Actress singer Evelyn Ward dies at 89". Variety.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Evelyn Ward Biography". Retrieved 2010-02-26.
  5. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7.
  6. ^ Shirley Jones: a memoir (ebook ed.). New York: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster). 2013. ISBN 978-1-4767-2597-0.
  7. ^ "David Cassidy interview". NJ.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
  8. ^ "IMDB bio". Retrieved 2010-02-27.
  9. ^ David Cassidy Opens Up About His Dementia Diagnosis, on Dr. Phil Show, youtube.com; accessed August 25, 2017.

External links[edit]