Susan Dey
Birth Date:
December 10, 1952
Birth Place:
Pekin, Illinois, USA
5' 7" (1.70 m)
Famous for:
Her role as Laurie Partridge on The Partridge Family (1970-1974)
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Susan Dey
L.A. Law


American Golden Globe Award winning actress and producer Susan Dey first came to fame as Laurie Partridge on the ABC sitcom “The Partridge Family” (1970-1974), from which she also earned a Golden Globe nomination and a TV Land Award. The former model gained even more attention and recognition thanks to her portrayal of Grace Van Owen during the first to sixth season of the NBC legal drama series “L.A. Law” (1986-1992). The role brought Dey her Golden Globe Award and three Emmy nominations. Dey also played regular roles on “Loves Me, Loves Me Not” (1977), “Emerald Point N.A.S.” (1983-1984) and “Love & War” (1992-1993), and has made guest appearances in several TV shows, including “S.W.A.T.,” “Hawaii Five-O,” “Family Law” and Third Watch.” Dey has also acted in numerous television movies and films.

Currently, Dey is married to television producer Bernard Sofronski. She has one daughter, Sarah Hirshan, from her previous marriage to Lenny Hirshan (together from 1976 to 1983). She has served as a board member of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center and co-narrated a documentary on campus rape with Corbin Bernsen, her co-star on “L.A. Law.”     


Childhood and Family:

One of four children, Susan Hallock Smith, who would later be popular as Susan Dey, was born on December 10, 1952, in Pekin, Illinois. Her family soon relocated to New York City, where her father, Robert Smith, worked as an editor for a group of newspapers on Long Island. Her mother, Gail Smith, was a nurse until she died of pneumonia when Susan was eight years old. Susan graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York. While in school, she was active in the drama club and appeared in the school productions “Summer and Smoke” and “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Susan's sister, Leslie, also was a model, and the sisters once worked for the same agency.  

In November 1976, Susan married Lenny Hirshan. The couple had one daughter, Sara Dey-Hirshan, in November 1978. They later divorced on January 19, 1983. Susan married second husband Bernard Sofronski on February 20, 1988.      

The Partridge Family


Susan Dey began her career as a model when she was 16 years old. Her first acting job came two years later when she landed the regular role of Laurie Partridge on the musical sitcom “The Partridge Family,” about a widowed mother and her five children who venture to a music career. Playing the pretty 18 year old, sensitive, eldest daughter and keyboardist of the traveling musical clan, she was nominated for a 1973 Golden Globe in the category of Best Supporting Actress – Television for her fine acting. She was on the show from its premiered on September 25, 1970 until it ended on March 23, 1974. Dey later received a 2004 TV Land Award for Favorite Teen Dream – Female and a nomination for Most Beautiful Braces in 2007. She and her co-stars that included Shirley Jones, David Cassidy, Danny Bonaduce and Suzanne Crough also shared TV Land nominations for Quintessential Non-Traditional Family (2003) and Favorite Singing Siblings (2006).

While working on the ABC show, Dey also took other acting jobs. In 1972, she made her feature film debut as Elly Brewster in “Skyjacked,” a disaster movie starring Charlton Heston, James Brolin, and Yvette Mimieux and directed by John Guillermin. In the following year, she appeared in an episode of “Circle of Fear” and played DeeDee Glynn in the CBS made for television film “Terror on the Beach,” opposite Dennis Weaver, Estelle Parsons and Kristoffer Tabori. The same year, she also provided the voice of Laurie Partridge on several episodes of ABC's Saturday morning cartoon show,  “Goober and the Ghost Chasers.”

After “The Partridge Family” departed the airwaves, Dey again voiced Laurie Partridge on the  animated cartoon series “Partridge Family: 2200 A.D.” (CBS, 1974-1975), which was the spin off of “The Partridge Family.” She appeared in episodes of television series, such as “Born Free” (1974), “The Rookies” (1975), “S.W.A.T.” (1975, as Janice), “ Hawaii Five-O” (1975), “Matt Helm” (1976), “Petrocelli” (1976), “Good Heavens” (1976), “The Quest” (1976), “The Streets of San Francisco” (1976) and “Barnaby Jones” (1977) before returning to series television as a regular on the short lived CBS sitcom “Loves Me, Loves Me Not” (1977), in which she starred as Jane Benson. Dey was cast in lead role of Valerie Smith, a 17 year who is lured into taking part in a robbery in the television movie  “Cage Without a Key” (1975), directed by Buzz Kulik, starred alongside Joaquin Garay III and Tim Matheson in the Western film “The Captive: The Longest Drive 2” (1976) and portrayed Rowena Harper in the CBS TV film “Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night” (1977), which was nominated for a 1978 Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Made for TV. She starred opposite William Katt in the Joan Darling directed film “First Love” (1977), which was based upon the story Sentimental Education by Harold Brodkey.     

Early 1980s found roles in films like “The Comeback Kid” (1980, TV), “Looker” (1981), “The Gift of Life” (1982, TV), “Malibu” (1983), “Sunset Limousine” (1983) and “Love Leads the Way: A True Story” (1984, TV). She played Thomas Mallory's eldest daughter, Celia Warren, on the television drama series “Emerald Point N.A.S.,” starring Dennis Weaver as Rear Admiral Thomas Mallory, the commanding officer of the N.A.S. The show ran on CBS from September 26, 1983 until March 12,  1984.   

After the cancellation of “Emerald Point N.A.S.,” Dey gained a huge success on the small screen when she was cast as lawyer Grace Van Owen on the David E. Kelley legal drama “L.A. Law” (NBC, 1986-1994), a role she had during the show's first six seasons. The actress picked up a 1988 Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama for her performance, plus  another four nominations in the same category, as well as three Emmy nominations for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

During her stint on the show, Dey also appeared in other projects. In 1986, she starred with Tom Hulce in the comedy/draam film “Echo Park,” which was directed and produced by Robert Dornhelm. She next teamed up with Tom Villard and Elaine Giftos for the comedy film “The Trouble with Dick” (1987), helmed by Gary Walkow, portrayed Sister Ann McKeon in the made for television film “Angel in Green” (1987), opposite Milo O'Shea, Pete Smith and Dan Lauria,  and was cast as Beth Williams in the award winning television special “ A Place at the Table” (1988), opposite Lukas Haas, Jenny Lewis and David Morse. Besides, she was featured as Southern Belle in “That's Adequate” (1988), a Faux documentary about a fictional Hollywood film studio, starred in the ABC TV film “ I Love You Perfect” (1989), on which she also made her debut as co-producer, and starred opposite Chris Cooper in the fact based docudrama “Bed of Lies” (ABC, 1992).   

After leaving “L.A. Law,” Dey starred as a Chicago restaurateur named Wallis 'Wally' Porter on the first season of the CBS sitcom “Love & War” (1992-1993). She quit due to 'creative differences' with the producers, and was replaced by Annie Potts for the following two seasons until the show ended in 1995. Dey starred and co-produced the television film “Love, Lies & Lullabies” (ABC, 1993), opposite Lorraine Toussaint and D.W. Moffett, played Roberta 'Robby' DeBoer in the made for TV film “Whose Child Is This? The War for Baby Jessica” (ABC, 1993), with Quince Camazzola and Tom Heaton, and was cast as Joanna / Emma Doyle, an abused wife on the CBS TV movie “Beyond Betrayal” (1994). She continued to star in TV films such as “Deadly Love” (1995), “Blue River” (Fox1995) and “Bridge of Time” (Fox, 1997) and landed a supporting role in the film “Avenged” (1998), directed by Rift Kahn. In 1999, she made a guest appearance in an episode of “Family Law.”  

Dey returned to acting after a few years hiatus when she was cast alongside Harry Hamlin on the TBS television film “Disappearance” (2002), helmed and written by Walter Klenhard. The same year, she reprised her role of Grace Van Owen on the television film “L.A. Law: The Movie.” In the following year, she co-starred with Scott Cooper and Pamela Moore Somers in the film “Rain,” directed Robert J. Wilson and written by Martin Kitrosser and John McGowan. In 2004, she portrayed  Dr. Breene, a fire department psychiatrist in the “Third Watch” episodes, “Family Ties: Part 1 and 2.” She has since put her acting career on the backburner.    

TV Land: Favorite Teen Dream – Female, “The Partridge Family,” 2004
Golden Globe: Best Performance by an Actress in a TV-Series – Drama, “L.A. Law,” 1988 Show Less
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Partridge Family beauty Susan Dey
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