By: Laura Ramirez
Danny Bonaduce is a happy man. It is not a secret that he once struggled with drugs, alcohol and even homelessness for a period of time, but today that dark past seems to be behind him. The actor of The Partridge Family is now content with life. At least that’s the impression a few aspiring journalists like me, studying at the New York University got during a 45-minute interview with the 52-year-old actor, radio and TV personality.
During the informal interview held via Skype, Bonaduce shared interesting anecdotes and stories with the students. Seated in a radio studio where he hosts a morning show he talked about swimming with sharks, skydiving, bungee jumping and a whole series of extreme adventures he had completed in recent years. Apparently he loves the adrenaline rush these activities make him feel. He also confessed loving to get paid to do some of them. When asked by student about what else was on his bucket list, the actor who has a great sense of humor, said he had “done everything, except kicking the bucket”.
But Bonaduce is surely not finished with the list. He told us he was getting ready to jump in the Delaware River, despite the freezing temperatures, in the 2011 Polar Bear Plunge for Special Olympics. The difference this time is that the event was for a good cause; raising fund for athletes of the Special Olympics in Pennsylvania, his home state.
America got to know the red-hair actor in the 70’s sitcom The Partridge Family, where he played the witty Danny Partridge. He didn’t talk that much about either his childhood or the show, but he explained that the reason why it was so fun and easy to play the character was because they shared more in common than just the first name. “He was very much like me”, Bonaduce said.
Bonaduce’s high-energy personality and funniness is what makes him a natural entertainer. The combination caught the interest of VH1, where he has been seen in the small screen in the past few years. The network offered the actor his own reality TV shows Breaking Bonaduce and the judging/hosting jobs in the competition show I Know my Kid’s a Star.
In the present time Bonaduce hosts his own morning show in Philadelphia’s 94 WSYP radio, a job he likes because provides him with “almost total freedom to discuss anything he wants”. But how did he go from the big Hollywood screen to a career in radio? Bonaduce explained that he didn’t choose radio but that radio found him. It was during a period when he was abusing drugs, lived in his car and had no money that he was offered $2000 to tell his story on a radio show in the windy city, Chicago. From that day on, Bonaduce kept receiving offers like this one from other stations to talk about his experience until eventually got a position as a radio host. In other words, radio saved him from the streets. He said, “it allowed him to put food on the table” then and still does today.
No matter what dramatic experiences Danny Bonaduce lived in the past, today he is a changed and happy man. He recently remarried and seems to be enjoying his radio career more than ever. “I live my life the way I want to” he said. Whether you are a fan of Danny Bonaduce or not one have to appreciate that he has lived his life by this mantra.