Susan Dey

Susan Dey

Publicity photo for The Partridge Family, 1970
Born Susan Hallock Dey
(1952-12-10) December 10, 1952
Pekin, Illinois, United States
Nationality American
Occupation Model
Years active 1970–2004
Known for The Partridge Family
L.A. Law
L.A. Law: The Movie
Spouse(s) Lenny Hirshan (1976–1981)
Bernard Sofronski (1988–present)
Children Sarah Hirshan (b. 1978)

Susan Hallock Dey (born December 10, 1952) is an American actress, known for her television roles as Laurie Partridge on the sitcom The Partridge Family from 1970 to 1974, and as Grace Van Owen on the NBC drama series L.A. Law from 1986 to 1992. A three-time Emmy Award nominee and six-time Golden Globe Award nominee, she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series for L.A. Law in 1988.

Early life and education

Dey was born Susan Hallock Dey in Pekin, Illinois, to Ruth Pyle (née Doremus) Dey,[1] a nurse who died in 1961, when Susan was eight years old, and Robert Smith Dey, a newspaper editor for the New Rochelle, New York, Standard-Star.[2] She attended Columbus Elementary School in Thornwood, New York, later moving to Bedford, New York, where she graduated from Fox Lane High School in 1970.


Dey was a model before starring as "Laurie Partridge" in the television series The Partridge Family from 1970 to 1974. She was 17 years old when she won the part and had no previous acting experience. She returned to weekly network television in 1977 as the co-star of the short-lived situation comedy Loves Me, Loves Me Not.

Her first film role was as a passenger in the 1972 airline hijack movie Skyjacked starring Charlton Heston. In a 1977 made-for-television movie, Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night, Dey portrayed a disturbed young mother with serious psychological problems, who begins to take them out on her toddler daughter. Also in 1977, Dey starred opposite William Katt in a romance film, First Love, directed by Joan Darling.

Dey co-starred with Albert Finney in the 1981 science-fiction film Looker, written and directed by Michael Crichton. She had a leading role in 1986's Echo Park as a struggling waitress-actress who takes a job as a stripper who delivers singing telegrams. She starred on L.A. Law as California assistant district attorney Grace Van Owen, who later became a judge. Dey won a Golden Globe Award as "Actress in a Leading Role – Drama Series" for the role in 1988. She was also nominated in each of the following four years. She was also nominated for the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" in 1987, 1988, and 1989.

She hosted a 1992 episode of Saturday Night Live. Later that year, she co-starred in the Diane English/CBS sitcom Love & War with Jay Thomas. Although the show ran until 1995, Dey was replaced in 1993 by Annie Potts because producers reportedly felt she had "no chemistry" with co-star Thomas.[3] In 1993, she produced and starred in the ABC Movie of the Week Lies & Lullabies (later released on DVD as Sad Inheritance), where she played a pregnant cocaine addict.

Dey was mentioned in Shirley Jones' memoir as the only one who "consistently refused" to take part in Partridge Family TV reunions.[4]

Personal life

Dey was married to Leonard "Lenny" Hirshan from 1976 to 1981. They have one daughter, Sarah Hirshan (born 1978). Lenny Hirshan died January 31, 2014. Dey has been married to her second husband, television producer Bernard Sofronski, since 1988. She serves as a board member of the Rape Treatment Center at UCLA Medical Center and co-narrated a documentary on campus rape with her former L.A. Law co-star Corbin Bernsen.[5]



Year Title Role Notes
1972 Skyjacked Elly Brewster
1973 Terror on the Beach DeeDee Glynn Television movie
1975 Cage Without a Key Valerie Smith Television movie
1977 Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night Rowena Harper Television movie
1977 First Love Caroline
1978 Little Women Jo March Television miniseries
1980 The Comeback Kid Megan Barrett Television movie
1981 Looker Cindy Fairmont
1983 Malibu Linda Harvey Television movie
1984 Love Leads the Way Beth Television movie
1986 Echo Park May
1987 The Trouble with Dick Diane
1992 Bed of Lies Vicky Daniel
1993 Lies and Lullabies Christina Kinsey Television movie
1994 Beyond Betrayal Joanna/Emily Doyle Television movie
1995 Deadly Love Rebecca Barnes Television movie
1995 Blue River Mrs. Sellers Television movie
1997 Bridge of Time Madeleine Armstrong Television movie
1998 Avenged Margo
2002 L.A. Law: The Movie Grace Van Owen Television movie
2002 Disappearance Patty Henley
2003 Rain Dianna Davis


Year Title Role Notes
1970–74 The Partridge Family Laurie Partridge 96 episodes
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
1973 Ghost Story (aka Circle of Fear) Peggy Episode: "Doorway to Death"
1973 Goober and the Ghost Chasers Laurie Partridge (voice) 8 episodes
1974 Partridge Family 2200 A.D. Laurie Partridge (voice) 2 episodes
1975 The Rookies Angel Episode: "Angel"
1975 Hawaii Five-O Susan Bradshaw Episode: "Target? the Lady"
1975 S.W.A.T. Janice 2 episodes
1976 The Quest Charlotte Rosee Episode: "The Captive"
1976 The Streets of San Francisco Barbara Ross 2 episodes
1977 Loves Me, Loves Me Not Jane Benson 6 episodes
1983–84 Emerald Point N.A.S. Celia Mallory 22 episodes
1986–92 L.A. Law Grace Van Owen 110 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama (1989–92)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series (1987–89)
Nominated—Viewers for Quality Television Award for Best Actress in a Quality Drama Series
1992–93 Love & War Wallis "Wally" Porter 23 episodes
1999 Family Law Karen Hershey Episode: "Holt vs. Holt"
2004 Third Watch Dr. Breene 2 episodes


  1. New York Times obituary, July 21, 1961.
  2. "Susan Dey profile". Advameg, Inc. 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  3. The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present Ballantine Books. 2003. p. 705. 0-345-45542-8
  4. Nguyen, Vi-An. "7 Surprising Secrets of the Partridge Family Cast from Shirley Jones's Memoir". Parade Publications. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  5. "Campus Rape". Rape Treatment Center, Santa Monica Hospital Medical Center. 1990. Retrieved April 29, 2015.


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