May 21, 1923|
West Orange, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||December 23, 2012
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1948; div. 1956)
(m. 1962; div. 1968)
|Relatives||Katie Cassidy (granddaughter) Beau Cassidy (grandson)|
Ward was born and raised in West Orange, New Jersey, the daughter of Ethel Laurinda (née Wheeler) and Frederick Ward. She was of Colonial American, Irish, and Swiss descent. 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), and Along Fifth Avenue (1949).
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. 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. She also performed in nightclubs in New York City and Boston, and in 1954 performed in a Las Vegas revue.
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 son, David Bruce Cassidy, born in 1950. 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.
After her divorce from Cassidy, Ward and the couple's son 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.
- "Actress singer Evelyn Ward dies at 89". Variety.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "Evelyn Ward Biography". Retrieved 2010-02-26.
- Shirley Jones: a memoir (ebook ed.). New York, NY: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster). 2013. ISBN 978-1-4767-2597-0.
- "David Cassidy interview". NJ.com. Retrieved November 29, 2013.
- "IMDB bio". Retrieved 2010-02-27.
- Notice of death of Evelyn Ward, davidcassidy.com; accessed May 20, 2015.
- Barnes, Mike. "Actress Evelyn Ward Dies at 89". The Hollywood Reporter.