Danny Bonaduce Movies
The saga of irascible and gravel-voiced actor Danny Bonaduce
is archetypal and defiantly American: the child actor who scores early in his youth, bottoms out on multiple levels, and rebounds as a middle-aged man, in a slightly different celebrity role. But rarely has the tale unfolded with such color or verve.
Before he reached the age of 12 (a time when most pre-adolescents are attempting to survive the rigors of elementary school), the diminutive, redheaded Bonaduce
rocketed to national fame as the mischievous ten-year-old Danny Partridge on the blockbuster ABC sitcom The Partridge Family
, alongside young co-stars David Cassidy
and Susan Dey
. His fame and success were somewhat limited, however. Though Bonaduce
culled an estimated 350,000 dollars from the series, the program folded in the late summer of 1974, and the actor reportedly squandered most of his earnings not long after.
Years of inactivity followed, save guest appearances on such celebrity-studded series as Fantasy Island
and The Love Boat
, and contributions to exploitationers such as Murder on Flight 502
(1975) and H.O.T.S
(1979). The actor soon found himself battling poverty and drug addiction; a drug bust and mandatory counseling for narcotics possession followed in 1985. Bonaduce
's personal life hit the skids as well; he lived with his mother well into adulthood, then married a Japanese woman, Setsuko Hattori, to help her obtain a green card, and separated from her six months later. Another drug bust ensued in 1990.
first caught his second wind in the late '80s, when radio personality Jonathon Brandmeier learned of his plight and staged a mock food drive to raise support for the actor. The gimmick worked; Bonaduce
soon received invitations to do guest spots on numerous radio programs (including that of Howard Stern
) and devised the idea of hosting an on-air slot himself. In December 1988, WEGX FM, a radio station out of Philadelphia, hired him as its late-night DJ on a call-in talk program. In time, Bonaduce
moved to the midday slot on Chicago's WLUP-FM, a "personality talk" station.
scored high ratings consistently (especially with listeners who recalled him from Family
) and continued throughout the 1990s. His return to filmed entertainment began choppily and unpromisingly, with the ugly and sleazy, shoestring-budget exploitationer America's Deadliest Home Video
(1992), but he soon opted for another direction -- parlaying his radio-hosting experience into a filmed, syndicated daytime talk show. Danny! premiered in 1995 and unabashedly explored the same lurid subjects as Sally Jessy Raphael
and Montel Williams
, but Bonaduce
reeled in some critical kudos for his work. Time Magazine's Ken Tucker
observed, "Danny Bonaduce
is a very likable entry in a very unlikable genre. What's refreshing about the gravelly voiced redhead is that he's never pious, and he implicates his audience in the sleaze he teases." When the program folded within a few months, Bonaduce
continued his radio gigs at stations in New York and (later) Los Angeles. The actor then launched yet another televised talk show, The Other Half
, in 2001; a male-driven flip side to The View
that he co-hosted with Dick Clark
, Saved by the Bell alumnus Mario Lopez
, and others, the show lasted for two years.
Not long after, Bonaduce
emerged yet again, as a reality TV star. Breaking Bonaduce
premiered on VH1 on September 11, 2005, and pushed reality television far beyond the limits of questionable taste and ethics. The program featured calamitous episodes from the actor's home life with his second wife, Gretchen, and their two children. Low points included Bonaduce
confessing his extramarital infidelity; consuming alcohol, pain killers, and steroids; verbally abusing everyone in sight; and attempting suicide by slashing his wrists (off-camera). Troubled by the actor's behavior, the producers ultimately threatened to cancel the series unless the star entered rehab; Bonaduce
complied. His full rehabilitation treatment was then featured on the series. Bonaduce would continue to appear on screen, with small roles on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and reality appearances on Re-Inventing Bonaduce and The Smoking Gun Presents: World's Dumbest. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi