EXCLUSIVE Interview, Shirley Jones Tells Highlight Hollywood About, ‘General Hospital’ Role, ‘Raising Hope’ And She’s Headed To NYC, Plus An Album?

Highlight Hollywood caught up with the iconic actress Shirley Jones just moments before she was headed to a music studio to perform on an upcoming new album. “It’s done differently, Tommy.  This time we are doing an album to promote an upcoming Broadway show to raise money to get it produced, not the other way around. I won’t be doing the Broadway show [Maxeys], but they wanted me to record a song, and I was happy to do so. I’m staying busy, that’s for sure,” said the iconic Oscar-winner. Busy in an understatement. She just appeared on Fox’s “Raising Hope,” which stars her longtime friend and fellow Oscar-winner Cloris Leachman. “I have known Cloris for years, I love doing the show, it’s written so well, and I am always open to returning.”

However, it’s her upcoming role on ABC’s “General Hospital” that has everyone buzzing. Having guest-starred on NBC’s “Days of Our Lives” previously, I shared with Shirley that on this very morning, NBC announced the show has been renewed for another two years. “What great news, thank you Tommy. I loved working on ‘Days,’ I played an elderly Irish lady, with the accent and all, and it was such a great role. I love Daytime television. They work so very hard, and are so welcoming,” said Miss Jones. “And this role was nothing like my ‘Days of Our Lives’ role [Colleen Brady].  This time around I’m in Port Charles, and I play Mrs. McLaine.  My character is in a cemetery and I see a very shocking event, when I am visiting my character’s husband’s grave.” 

Jones shared more on the role, and although it’s just a one-day shoot, she is open to returning. “I really loved working on ‘General Hospital.’ Everyone is so professional, and so (involved).  I had the time of my life on ‘Days’ and now on ‘General Hospital.’ The production team and the cast are all so amazing.  And I hope viewers will watch, it’s a fun role and I think the storyline is going to be very interesting for them. I really enjoyed working with Dominic Zamprogna, who plays Dante. He’s such an interesting young man.”
Shirley Jones, best known for the role as Mama Partridge is far from the lonely widow who witnesses an event in Port Charles. Not only is she one of the busiest actresses post age 40 in Tinseltown, but the sought after award-winning actress and singer is headed to New York City next month to perform at the Café Carlyle.  “If I make it, I hope not to die of fright, Tommy.  I’m scared to death.  But it’s a particularly great venue, because unlike many of the big showrooms and arenas I’ve performed in, this is a small, more intimate setting, and I get to feel the audience’s interaction. It’s what we go into acting and singing for.  I am honored to be invited to the Carlyle, and hope to see you there, if you get to the east coast,” said Shirley Jones, the iconic “Oklahoma!” star. 
But, after brunch, Shirley had to head out to go to perform in the studio where she’s doing a song on the new album she told us about.  “It’s different, but they still want me. I told them, I’m still a soprano, but they said, ‘no worries’, you can do this, we’ll direct you, because we want you on this album.’  So, I’m looking forward to this as well.”  When asked if being around her legendary husband Marty Ingels has given her the courage to keep going in this business and to try new things, Shirley laughed and said, “Well, after 36-years with him, I think it’s been a wonderful marriage and it’s always fun. And as for trying new projects, I am from the old school, much like you are, and I enjoy working, and hope to continue for years to come. 
Look for Miss Jones to appear on February 5’s episode of ABC’s “General Hospital,” and expect more appearances on Fox’s “Raising Hope,” and for you New Yorkers, head over to the Café Carlyle’s website and pick up tickets for Shirley’s upcoming performances there. 
Shirley Jones spoke only with Highlight Hollywood leading up to her upcoming “General Hospital” stint, and we thank her for her time.  Now, right at this moment, one of the busiest actresses in Hollywood is singing her heart out, to help others.  She shows no signs of slowing down, thankfully. 
Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: File
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