Like her TV contemporaries Ron Howard and Valerie Bertinelli, actress Susan Dey grew up before the eyes of America. In 1970, the eighteen-year-old Dey was cast as Laurie Partridge on the popular sitcom The Partridge Family, garnering excellent reviews from critics who otherwise wrote off the series as a waste of time. As early as the 1975 TV movie Cage without a Key, Susan was struggling to break away from her goodie-goodie Partridge image. She almost succeeded with her nude love scene in the 1977 theatrical feature First Love, but audiences still preferred to see Susan in such roles as Jo March in the 1977 made-for-TV Little Women. Also in 1977, she starred in the obscure television series Loves Me, Loves me Not. In 1986, she accepted the role of no-nonsense attorney Grace Van Owen in the courtroom television drama LA Law, and in 1992, Susan was permitted to flex her comedy muscles once more as Wallace Porter in the weekly sitcom Love and War, though she grew dissatisfied with her role and left the series in 1993. Dey would continue to appear in selective projects over the coming years, specializing in Lifetime orignal movies like Deadly Love, Blue River, and Bridge of Time. Dey would also enjoy a story arc on the series Third Watch.
Biography by Hal Erickson
- As a teen model, appeared on the cover of several magazines, including Seventeen, American Girl and Simplicity.
- Landed breakthrough role of Laurie Partridge on The Partridge Family (1970-74) even though she'd had no prior acting experience.
- Was offered but declined the role of Sandy in the 1978 film Grease; the part subsequently went to Olivia Newton-John.
- Appeared as high-powered attorney Grace Van Owen on the NBC drama series L.A. Law from 1986 to '92.
- A champion of numerous causes, serves as a board member of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center and works as a volunteer with the organizations Love Is Feeding Everyone (LIFE) and Women Helping Women.