The Partridges boarded their multi-colored school bus for the first time on this day in 1970. Airing on ABC (also home to The Brady Bunch) the show’s premise was loosely based on The Cowsills, a traveling family band. For the show, Shirley Jones played a widowed bank teller whose kids convince her to become part of their garage band. The kids were played by David Cassidy (Jones’ real-life stepson), Susan Dey, Danny Bonaduce, Suzanne Crough and Jereymy Gelbwaks who was replaced after the first year with Brian Foster. Dave Madden played the band’s manager, Reuben Kincaid. During the show’s run, the Partridge kids appeared in guest spots on the Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon series, Goober and the Ghost Chasers. Though the original show aired its last episode on March 23, 1974, CBS began airing the Hanna-Barbera show, Partridge Family 2200 A.D. during the fall. The cartoon presented the family living in space much like The Jetsons. Some of the characters were voiced by the actors who portrayed them on the original show. In 2004, VHI produced a pilot for The New Partridge Family which starred Suzanne Sole as Shirley, Leland Grant, Emma Stone and Spencer Tuskowski. The show was not picked up.
On this day, Willard Carroll "Will" Smith, Jr. was born in 1968. He slowly rose to fame as the rap artist, Fresh Prince in the late 1980’s but most people became aware of the rapper-turned actor when NBC offered him the starring role in the sitcom, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air in 1990. The showed ran for six seasons. Smith’s transition for TV to movies was a smooth one. To date, he is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the U.S. In 2007 Newsweek referred to Smith as the “most powerful actor in Hollywood.” As of 2014, all of his films have grossed $6.6 billion in the global box office. Smith as received Best Actor Oscar nominations for his work in Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness. His next works include Bright (2017) and he will play Genie in the upcoming live action musical of Aladdin for Disney (2019).