Entering show business at age 4 and a Screen Actors Guild cardholder by age 11, Danny Bonaduce rocketed to fame at age 10 for his role as the red-haired, wisecracking Danny Partridge on the ABC sitcom ''The Partridge Family'' (1970-1974). However, the luster of stardom wore off quickly and he became known for his tabloid lifestyle, cocaine addiction, multiple arrests, stints in rehab and a period of homelessness.
In the late 1980s, Bonaduce found a new career in radio. He hosted shows in Chicago, Detroit and New York before landing a successful gig on the morning show "The Jamie and Danny Show" on KYSR in Los Angeles. He later returned to television as a regular member of the syndicated talk show ''The Other Half'' (2001-2003) and starred in his reality show on VH1, ''Breaking Bonaduce'' (2005-2006).
Bonaduce appeared on Fox TV's ''Celebrity Boxing,'' sparring with Barry Williams of television's ''The Brady Bunch.'' In 2002, He released his autobiography, ''Random Acts of Badness,'' which details his fall into and recovery from drug addiction.
Best known these days as a motor-mouthed radio deejay, Bonaduce is currently co-hosting ''The Adam Carolla Show.'' He is also set to star in CBS Mobile's first original program titled ''Danny Bonaduce: Life Coach.''
More personally, the father of two has been married twice, once to a Japanese real estate agent and once to actress Gretchen Hilmer, whom he married on the same day of their first meeting on a blind date. Gretchen filed a divorce petition on April 9, 2007, after seventeen years of marriage.
"Being a child star is great. It's being a former child star that sucks." Danny Bonaduce
Childhood and Family:
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dante Daniel Bonaduce was born on August 13, 1959, to former TV writer/producer Joseph Bonaduce (born on February 5, 1927; died on August 3, 2004) and writer Betty Bonaduce (born on October 5, 1924). He has one sister, Cecelia Bonaduce, who also works as a TV writer.
By his own account, Bonaduce grew up in a dysfunctional family setting with physical and emotional abuse from his father. To get him away from that atmosphere, TV mom Shirley Jones and the other adults from the cast had Bonaduce stay with them some weekends.
Bonaduce attended the California Prep High School in Encino (in the San Fernando Valley), alongside Michael Jackson and Christian Brando.
In 1985, Bonaduce married Setsuko Hattori, a Japanese real estate agent, but they divorced three years later in 1988. He then married his second wife, actress Gretchen Hilmer (born on September 24, 1965) on the same day they first met on a blind date, December 6, 1990. They have two children, daughter Countess Isabella Michaela Bonaduce (born on November 23, 1994) and son Count Dante Jean-Michel Valentino Bonaduce (born on February 14, 2001). The pregnancy and birth of their son was chronicled on The Learning Channel's reality show titled "A Baby Story."
"Gretchen was my light at the end of a long tunnel of pain and struggle. She made sure I got my act together and life has been so much better since she has been in it." Danny Bonaduce
On April 9, 2007, Gretchen filed a divorce petition citing irreconcilable differences. Bonaduce reportedly now has a girlfriend named Amy Railsback, who is a 25 year old substitute teacher from Rocklin, California. They have been together since April 2007.
Bonaduce, who has said that he did not start drinking alcohol until after he kicked his cocaine habit in the early 1990s, was in rehab for drug and alcohol abuse in 1991, 2001 and 2005 (this one was during the filming of ''Breaking Bonaduce''). He was arrested for possession of cocaine twice, once in California and once in Florida. In 1991, he was arrested for beating up a transvestite street prostitute.
On a more positive note, as an adult, Bonaduce sparred with Donny Osmond for a charity event and later boxed Barry Williams in a separate event. Bonaduce won both contests. Bonaduce has studied martial arts under Chuck Norris for over 20 years and studied American Tang Soo Do under Chuck Norris black belt student Bob Burbidge. Bonaduce now holds black belts in several forms of martial arts and won the 1980 and 1981 International Championship. He also appeared in several episodes of ''CHiPs'' (1977) as a martial artist.
Danny Bonaduce landed his iconic role of the wisecracking Danny Partridge at age 10 on the ABC sitcom ''The Partridge Family'' (1970-1974), alongside young co-stars David Cassidy and Susan Dey. Academy Award-winner Shirley Jones led the cast as the mother of the performing family. Bonaduce's self-titled LP was released in 1973 by MGM Records.
After “The Partridge Family” ended in 1974, Bonaduce made numerous television guest appearances on such TV shows as NBC's anthology television drama ''Police Story,'' NBC’s cop drama ''CHiPs,'' ABC's ''Fantasy Island,'' and ABC’s comedy-drama series ''Eight Is Enough,'' among other programs. He also appeared in a TV movie about a hijacked passenger plane, which featured Sonny Bono and Farrah Fawcett Majors, ''Murder on Flight 502'' (1975), and the Gerald Seth Sindell directed comedy feature ''H.O.T. S.'' (1979).
In spite of his resume, Bonaduce’s career became a study in eccentricity and disarray and like many other child actors who gained fame early, Bonaduce subsequently hit a ''dry spell'' in his career. He then turned to the radio airwaves in the late 1980s thanks to radio personality Jonathon Brandmeier.
Bonaduce worked guest spots on several radio programs and in December 1988, he was recruited as a late-night DJ on a call-in talk program on WEGX FM, a radio station in Philadelphia. He then went to KKFR in Phoenix, Arizona, a stint which ended in 1991 after he was charged with assaulting a transvestite prostitute. In time, he moved to the midday slot on Chicago's WLUP-FM, a "personality talk" station.
After returning to acting with ''America's Deadliest Home Video'' (1993) in which he starred as a home video enthusiast, Bonaduce took his radio-hosting experience to a filmed, syndicated daytime talk show called ''Danny'' (1995-1996), which is probably best remembered for its debut that featured a "Partridge Family Reunion." Meanwhile, in the early 1990s, David Cassidy signed Bonaduce as his opening act and Bonaduce made a cameo appearance in a 1994 episode of ''Married with Children.”
In 1996, Danny worked on the "Danny Bonaduce and the Q-Crew" morning show on WKQI in Detroit and then would fly to Chicago to do the afternoon drive show on WLUP in the Windy City. He also co-hosted "The Jamie and Danny Show" (1999-2005) on 98.7 Star FM in Los Angeles. He was a frequent guest on the “Loveline” radio program and was seen in a 1998 episode of ''The Drew Carey Show” and appeared in a TV commercial for Ball Park hotdogs.
While working on "The Jamie and Danny Show," Bonaduce also co-hosted the television talk show "The Other Half" (2001-2003), a male version to ''The View'' that he co-hosted with Dick Clark, fellow former child star Mario Lopez, and others. During this time, he was also a Hollywood correspondent for the Australian morning show ''Today'' and appeared on the game show ''Who Wants To Be A Millionaire'' in 2001 in which he won a quarter of a million dollars for the charity of his choice, ''The Children's Miracle Network.''
In 2002, Bonaduce released an autobiography titled 'Random Acts of Badness,'' which details his fall into and recovery from drug addiction. It has been heralded as a smart, well-written comedic tragedy and was a New York Times bestseller. He also appeared as himself in a 2003 episode on the detective series ''Monk.''
After Bonaduce was fired from his radio program in 2005, he opened his private life for public viewing by starring alongside wife Gretchen and their two children in the reality television series ''Breaking Bonaduce'' on the VH1 cable network. In the show, that focuses on the issues and events that have led Bonaduce to consider his life a "car crash," the cameras followed him everywhere as he struggled with drugs and alcohol and tried to save his marriage to wife Gretchen. It was also notorious for Bonaduce's off-camera suicide attempt. The series premiered on September 11, 2005.
In January 2007, Bonaduce returned to radio by joining the crew of ''The Adam Carolla Show'' on Los Angeles' KLSX-FM. On the program, in April 2007, Bonaduce publicly celebrated one year of sobriety. He reportedly earns over $29,000 a month as co-host of the program.
Next, Bonaduce is set to star in CBS Mobile's first original program titled ''Danny Bonaduce: Life Coach.''