Publicity photo for The Partridge Family, 1970
|Born||Susan Hallock Dey
December 10, 1952
Pekin, Illinois, United States
|Known for||Partridge Family
LA Law: The Movie
|Spouse(s)||Lenny Hirshan (1976–1981)
Bernard Sofronski (1988– )
|Children||Sarah Hirshan (b. 1978)|
Susan Dey (born December 10, 1952) is an American actress, known primarily for her roles in film and television. Her more prominent parts came as elder daughter, Laurie Partridge, on the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, and as Grace Van Owen, a California assistant district attorney and judge on the dramatic series L.A. Law, a role she played from 1986 to 1992.
Early life and education
Dey was born Susan Hallock Dey in Pekin, Illinois, the daughter of Ruth (née Doremus), a nurse who died of pneumonia when Dey was 8 years old, and Robert Smith Dey, a newspaper editor for the New Rochelle, New York Standard-Star. She attended Columbus Elementary School in Thornwood, New York, later moving to Bedford, New York, where she graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford.
Dey was a model before starring as Laurie Partridge in the television series The Partridge Family from 1970–1974. She was 17 years old when she won the part and had no previous acting experience. She returned to weekly network television in 1977 as the co-star of the short-lived situation comedy Loves Me, Loves Me Not.
Her first film role was as a passenger in the 1972 airline hijack movie Skyjacked starring Charlton Heston. In a 1977 made-for-television movie, Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night, Dey portrayed a disturbed young mother with serious psychological problems, who begins to take them out on her toddler daughter. Also in 1977, Dey starred opposite William Katt in a romance film, First Love, directed by Joan Darling. The movie is based upon the story Sentimental Education by Harold Brodkey.
Dey co-starred with Albert Finney in a 1981 science-fiction film, Looker, written and directed by Michael Crichton. She had a leading role in 1986's Echo Park as a struggling waitress/actress who takes a job as a stripper who delivers singing telegrams.
Dey starred on the television series L.A. Law as Grace Van Owen and earned a Golden Globe Award as "Actress in a Leading Role – Drama Series" for the role in 1987. Dey was nominated four more times the following four years. She was also nominated for the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" for this role in 1987, 1988, and 1989.
She hosted a 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live. Later that year, she co-starred in the Diane English/CBS sitcom Love & War with Jay Thomas. Although the show ran until 1995, Dey was replaced in 1993 by Annie Potts because producers reportly felt she had "no chemistry" with co-star Thomas. In 1993, she produced and starred in the ABC Movie of the Week Lies & Lullabies (later released on DVD as Sad Inheritance), where she played a pregnant cocaine addict.
Dey was mentioned in Shirley Jones' memoir as the only one who "consistently refused" to take part in Partridge Family TV reunions.
Dey was married to Lenny Hirshan from 1976–1981. They have one daughter, Sarah Hirshan (born 1978). Dey has been married to her second husband, television producer Bernard Sofronski, since 1988. She serves as a board member of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center and co-narrated a documentary on campus rape with her L.A. Law co-star, Corbin Bernsen.
|1973||Terror on the Beach||DeeDee Glynn||Television movie|
|1975||Cage Without a Key||Valerie Smith||Television movie|
|1977||Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night||Rowena Harper||Television movie|
|1978||Little Women||Jo March||Television movie|
|1980||The Comeback Kid||Megan Barrett||Television movie|
|1983||Malibu||Linda Harvey||Television movie|
|1987||The Trouble with Dick||Diane|
|1992||Bed of Lies||Vicky Daniel|
|1993||Lies and Lullabies||Christina Kinsey||Television movie|
|1994||Beyond Betrayal||Joanna/Emily Doyle||Television movie|
|1995||Deadly Love||Rebecca Barnes||Television movie|
|1995||Blue River||Mrs. Sellers||Television movie|
|1997||Bridge of Time||Madeleine Armstrong||Television movie|
|2002||L.A. Law: The Movie||Grace Van Owen||Television movie|
|1970–74||The Partridge Family||Laurie Partridge||96 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|1973||Circle of Fear||Peggy||Episode: "Doorway to Death"|
|1973||Goober and the Ghost Chasers||Laurie Partridge||8 episodes|
|1975||The Rookies||Angel||Episode: "Angel"|
|1975||Hawaii Five-O||Susan Bradshaw||Episode: "Target? the Lady"|
|1976||The Quest||Charlotte Rosee||Episode: "The Captive"|
|1976||The Streets of San Francisco||Barbara Ross||2 episodes|
|1977||Loves Me, Loves Me Not||Jane Benson||6 episodes|
|1983–84||Emerald Point N.A.S.||Celia Mallory||22 episodes|
|1986–92||L.A. Law||Grace Van Owen||110 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1989–92)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1987–89)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series
|1992–93||Love & War||Wallis "Wally" Porter||23 episodes|
|1999||Family Law||Karen Hershey||Episode: "Holt vs. Holt"|
|2004||Third Watch||Dr. Breene||2 episodes|
- New York Times obituary, July 21, 1961.
- "Susan Dey Biography (1952–)". Filmreference.com. Advameg, Inc. 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2013.
- The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 705. 0-345-45542-8
- Nguyen, Vi-An. "7 Surprising Secrets of the Partridge Family Cast from Shirley Jones's Memoir". Parade.com. Parade Publications. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- "Campus Rape". Rape Treatment Center, Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center. 1990. Retrieved 29 April 2015.
- Terrace, Vincent (1985). Encyclopedia of Television Series, Pilots and Specials: 1974–1984. New York: New York Zoetrope. ISBN 978-0-918432-61-2. Retrieved October 14, 2011.
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