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- Susan Hallock Dey
- Pekin Illinois
- United States
Susan Hallock Dey (born December 10, 1952 in Pekin, Illinois) is an Emmy Award-nominated American actress, known primarily for her roles in movies, soap operas and television. The naturally brunette-headed Dey is best known for her roles as Shirley Jones's first daughter, Laurie Partridge, on the 1970s sitcom, The Partridge Family, and as a California assistant district attorney named Grace Van Owen, on the 1980s drama, L.A. Law (a role she played from 1986 to 1992).
Born to Robert Smith (a newspaper editor) and Gail Dey (a nurse), Susan was a model before starring as Laurie Partridge in the television series The Partridge Family from 1970–1974. She was 18 years old when she won the part, and had no previous acting experience.
While participating in The Partridge Family, striving to be as thin as possible, Dey developed an eating disorder, a form of orthorexia nervosa, according to A&E's Biography. While suffering from this disorder, she would eat only carrot sticks. People began to worry when Dey's skin turned orange from her disorder. After a struggle, Dey overcame her disorder and regained her normal health.
In 2006, co-star David Cassidy confirmed persistent rumours he and Dey had a brief sexual relationship, claiming he'd given in to pressure from her and instantly regretted the liaison. He told US newspaper The Globe: "I find a certain sluttiness very attractive in a woman, and Susan just didn't have it. She was sweetness and innocence, a good girl, and I couldn't think of her as anything but my sister."
After the end of the television series, Dey strove to shed her wholesome image. She took several movie roles in which she was required to appear nude or semi-nude, including a supporting role in the 1981 thriller Looker. The new image did not significantly help her career, however. Dey felt that she had become too typecast, and to this day she refuses to talk about her days on The Partridge Family.
She nearly disappeared from the public eye until her starring role in the TV series L.A. Law as Grace Van Owen. She was critically hailed for her part in this role. She earned a Golden Globe Award as "Actress In A Leading Role — Drama Series" for this role in 1987. She was nominated four more times the following four years. She was also nominated for the Emmy Award for "Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series" for this role in 1987, 1988 and 1989.
Dey has been married to her second husband, television producer Bernard Sofronski, since 1988. She has one child, a daughter, Sarah Hirshan (born 1978). Her daughter's father is her first husband, Lenny Hirshan (married 1976–1981). Susan Dey is a notable graduate of Fox Lane High School in Bedford, New York.
Since the ending of L.A. Law, Dey has devoted herself to public service. 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 LA Law co-star, Corbin Bernsen.