Opening credit, pilot
Opening credit, series
You don't know where that's been!
Negotiating with Reuben
Close BOTH eyes, Tracy!
Early publicity shot
Early publicity shot
Suzanne and horses on the show...
... and some of her actual horses
At school on the set with Danny and Brian
Born on March 6, 1963, in Fullerton, California, Suzanne Crough is the youngest of eight children. She appeared in several commercials before she was cast as Tracy Partridge. After "The Partridge Family", Suzanne played Stevie Friedman on the short-lived drama "Mulligan's Stew" on NBC in 1977. She also appeared in "Teenage Father" (a short film that won an Academy Award), several television movies, television pilots, commercials, and a stage production of "The Bad Seed". Suzanne is a graduate of Pierce College, and until 1993 she owned and operated a bookstore. She now lives in Nevada with her husband Bill and their two daughters, Samantha and Alexandra.
Suzanne spoke with Michael Colavolpe and Jennifer Futch
of cmongethappy.com in March 2000.
Suzanne spoke with Michael Colavolpe and Jennifer Futch of cmongethappy.com in March 2000.
Get Happy: Was "The Partridge Family" your first professional acting job?
Suzanne Crough: No. I did a Mattel Barbie commercial, first. It was the first thing I had tried out for.
GH: Did you do other commercials at that time?
SC: Not before "The Partridge Family". It was my 2nd audition.
GH: You were very young at the time, but do you have any memories of the audition process for "The Partridge Family"?
SC: I remember going back several times. If I remember right, there were about three callbacks, so four interviews total.
GH: Do you remember anything about two groups being considered – the Partridge Family group you were in and another, with Shirley being the mother in both?
SC: No, I don't remember anything like that. But I heard a long time ago that I was the second Tracy. There was a Tracy before me that cried on the set the whole time.
GH: How did you learn you were cast?
SC: I knew by the way the last interview went. It was between two of us. They had basically told my parents, but then my agent confirmed it.
GH: What happened at the last interview?
SC: I sat around talking while they did other interviews.
GH: Do you remember who interviewed you? Was it Bernard Slade or Bob Claver?
SC: I think it was either Bob or Paul [Junger-Witt]. [Casting Director] Rene Valente did the first one. There was more than one person almost each time.
GH: Were the auditions just a series of interviews, or did you have to show them you could bang a tambourine, etc.?
SC: I think they asked me to say a line or two, but mostly I talked to them. There was no tambourine playing.
GH: Since you were only 5 at the time, your parents must have shared some stories about those first seasons with you. Do any stick out in your mind?
SC: I remember doing the shows - at least parts of them. There are so many moments. The problems with Jeremy for instance.
GH: What is the truth about about Jeremy's departure from the series after the first season? Stories range from him being a problem on the set, to his father was transferred out of state.
SC: Well, I think his father did get transferred, but the first part is true, too. I think, with his dad being transferred, if all was well on the set, somehow his parents would have worked something out. That was not the case.
GH: Was Jeremy's mother a stereotypical "stage mother"? Were any of the mothers?
SC: No. The mothers and families got along really well. As for Jeremy, it was short lived.
GH: Was it your mother who accompanied you on the set most often?
SC: My mother took me everyday except for Monday. My father had that day off and drove me then. Monday was rehearsal day, so it was a short day.
GH: What did your father do for a living at the time?
SC: He owned his own business. It was a Vespa Scooter dealership. I learned to ride motorbikes before I was 4.
GH: Did you work on other projects during the run of "The Partridge Family", or were you strictly Tracy Partridge during those years?
SC: I did about 30 commercials during that time. I had also auditioned for a movie with Gregory Peck and got it, but "The Partridge Family" [producers] wouldn't let me do it.
GH: What movie was that?
SC: I don't remember the name. And I don't recall ever seeing it. I believe he was to be my father. I was looking forward to doing it because it was a western of sorts. Horses.
GH: You were into horses? Are you still?
SC: I don't have any now, but would love to have them again someday.
GH: You owned horses when you were younger?
SC: I got my first horse when I was about 9 or 10. I took riding lessons while I was on "The Partridge Family". I showed horses and had the up till the age of 18.
GH: Did you win many ribbons?
SC: I had a perimeter full hanging around a wire in my room. Plenty of trophies, too. I had a great horse. Before I got him he had won the grand nationals in English jumping. I rode him western. He was on autopilot all the time. He was awesome.
GH: Do you still ride motorbikes?
SC: I can, but I have a scooter that I don't ride. I bought it before my dad sold his business and two 2 years later he passed away. So I keep it for those reasons.
GH: Back to the set - How many hours a day were you able to work?
SC: While in school, only five. A total of eight hours, with three of them in school.
GH: Did you have an on-set teacher and what was that experience like?
SC: Yes, we did. We had, for the most part, very nice teachers. I believe there was a picture of me and a teacher named Jule Anderson in the school. You have to remember it was only Danny, Brian and myself in school, unless we had guest stars. They converted a train into our schoolhouse. It was cool.
GH: Do you think it provided you with an adequate education for the time you were tutored?
SC: Yes, it was basically one-on-one. One teacher to three kids. I wish my children had that.
GH: Was your tutoring comparable to a regular school curriculum?
SC: It was governed by the school board. It must have been close to it.
GH: When you weren’t needed on the set, did you go to regular public school or were you tutored at home?
SC: When I wasn't needed during the season, I went to school on the set. When we were on break, I went to public school.
GH: Was that tough, going back and forth?
SC: I don't think so. However, I really didn't know anything else. You could say it wasn't normal or easy going back to public school. The part that was hard was trying to be normal. I couldn't. The kids would follow me all over the playground. Some were nice, some were mean.
GH: They followed you because you were famous?
SC: I hope that was it. (laughs) No,
I'm sure that was it.