Jeremy Gelbwaks is a former American child actor, probably still best known for his role as Chris Partridge in the television series “The Partridge Family” in 1970. However, his career in acting was short-lived, as he retired only a year later.
Early life, family, education
Jeremy Gelbwaks was born on 22 May 1961, in Los Angeles, California, making him 62 years old today. He was only nine years old when he joined the cast of “The Partridge Family,” supported by his parents.
Gelbwaks concluded his acting career when his family relocated from California to Reston, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C. They lived there for approximately a year and a half before moving to Connecticut, and subsequently to Potsdam, New York State. In 1978, Gelbwaks completed his education at Hermon Dekalb Central School in Hermon, NY. Throughout his academic journey, he showcased outstanding performance, earning recognition as a member of the National Honor Society. Notably, his father Norman played a significant role in academia, serving as a computer science instructor at the State University of New York at Potsdam.
Career, The Partridge Family
While Jeremy Gelbwaks may not be a household name, his brief stint as Chris Partridge in the popular 1970s television series “The Partridge Family” left a lasting impression on fans, and has been a subject of curiosity over the years.
Jeremy Gelbwaks joined the cast as the youngest member of the Partridge family, for the show’s first season. His character was the drummer in the family band, and his innocence and mischievous antics added a youthful charm to the series. This was also the only season of the show that he appeared in; the exact reasons for his departure have been the subject of speculation and rumors. The actor himself has maintained a low profile in the years that followed, making it challenging to verify the details.
At first, reports suggested that he’d ended his involvement with the series due to his parents’ relocation to Virginia. However, it was later revealed by a “Partridge Family” cast member, David Cassidy, that Jeremy had a conflict with every member of the cast, even including the producers. Shirley Jones, who played the widowed mother in the show, later stated in an interview that Jeremy was unhappy during his time on the show, and that he only did it because his parents wanted him to. For these reasons he was let go, and promptly replaced by Brian Forster.
The transition between the two actors went smoothly, without much disruption to the to the show’s continuity, and the series continued to enjoy success in subsequent seasons.
At its core, “The Partridge Family” follows the lives of the widowed mother, Shirley Partridge and her five children as they form a family musical band. The standout character, Keith Partridge, played by David Cassidy, serves as the lead singer, adding a touch of teen appeal that resonated with the audience.
The Partridge Family’s musical journey was accompanied by the infectious tunes produced by the cast, including hits like “I Think I Love You,” written by Tony Romeo. The musical performances were an integral part of the show, contributing to its unique charm and helping launch real-life musical careers for some of the cast members.
“The Partridge Family” also featured a diverse cast, including Susan Dey as Laurie Partridge, Danny Bonaduce as Danny Partridge, Suzanne Crough as Tracy Partridge. Each character brought a unique personality to the mix, contributing to the show’s overall appeal.
In 24 hours The Partridge Family celebrates their 50th Anniversary with Shirley Jones, Danny Bonaduce, Brian Forster, Jeremy Gelbwaks and many others! Join us live on Facebook at WHEN WE'RE SINGIN' or visit YouTube TELEGRAPH HILL RECORDS Friday, September 25, 2020 at 8:30PM EST!! pic.twitter.com/X7cfsedwa1
— When We're Singin' (@whenweresingin) September 24, 2020
Jeremy Gelbwaks was not the only cast change on “The Partridge Family.” Suzanne Crough, also left the show after the third season, further altering the dynamics within the fictional family. The circumstances surrounding her departure have remained behind the scenes with audiences left wondering what had happened.
After the series came to a close in 1974 after its four seasons, there have been attempts to resurrect the story in various ways. Most notable attempt took place in the same year, with the release of “The Partridge Family 2200 A.D.,” commonly known as “The Partridge Family in Outer Space.” In this imaginative spin-off, the Partridge family found themselves transported into the distant future—the show departed from the more grounded, family-centric theme of the original series, embracing a sci-fi premise with humor and creativity. David Cassidy and Shirley Jones did not lend their voices to their animated counterparts, and Susan Dey and Dave Madden had minimal participation in the cartoon. The animated show had a short lifespan of only 16 episodes before being retired.
On 8 June 2023, news surfaced regarding the development of another animated revival for the series. Notably, in this upcoming version, The Partridge Family characters will be portrayed as black.
“The Partridge Family” received several award nominations, but didn’t win any major awards. David Cassidy and Shirley Jones were nominated for Primetime Emmy Awards in 1971. The show also had a Golden Globe nomination for Outstanding New Series in 1971, and David Cassidy was nominated for Outstanding New Actor.
Jeremy Gelbwaks today
In the years that came after his retirement from acting, Jeremy Gelbwaks graduated from college in 1982, and embarked on a diverse and accomplished professional journey. Initially, he entered the computer industry, leveraging his analytical skills and expertise in chemistry, which he studied at UC Berkeley. Gelbwaks made significant contributions as a computer analyst, dedicating almost two decades to the field until 1999. Gelbwaks also pursued further education at Columbia University, focusing on business studies, and transitioned into the role of a management consultant.
Gelbwaks married Patricia Polander and settled in New Orleans, where he currently works as a business and technology planner.
Despite his professional accomplishments, Gelbwaks maintains a private lifestyle, and has chosen not to engage in social media. This intentional decision allows him to focus on his career and personal life without the distractions of public attention.
Jeremy Gelbwaks stands at a height of 6ft 2ins (1.87m) and weighs around 187lbs (85kgs). He has short brown hair and hazel brown eyes – he keeps his beard trimmed short to a stubble and reportedly has no tattoos on his body.
He frequently wears sweatshirts and jeans, but also occasionally dresses up in a suit for purposes of his job.
As of 2023, Jeremy Gelbwaks’s net worth has been estimated at around $1.5 million. His financial wealth comes primarily from his entrepreneurial endeavors, and isn’t closely linked to his acting career.