Dave Madden, of "The Partridge Family," Dies at 82

Dave Madden, a comic actor who played the child-hating agent on the hit 1970s sitcom “The Partridge Family,” died on Thursday in Florida. He was 82.

He died at a hospice center near his home in the Jacksonville area, his niece Mary Frances Miller said.

“The Partridge Family,” which ran on ABC from September 1970 to March 1974, revolved around a widowed mother and her five children who form a band. Towering and rumpled, Mr. Madden played Reuben Kincaid, the agent who managed the band and regularly clashed with its impish preteen bassist, played by Danny Bonaduce.

The series starred Shirley Jones, with her real-life son David Cassidy as the resident heartthrob. But it was Mr. Madden and the freckle-faced Mr. Bonaduce who were the reigning comic duo.

“His relationship with Danny Bonaduce is what made the show work,” Ms. Jones said of Mr. Madden on Thursday, “this strange, mad little boy and the grown man who was even worse as a father figure.”

Though Mr. Madden played a man bedeviled by the youngsters surrounding him, off camera he “loved kids,” Ms. Jones said.

Mr. Bonaduce later wrote that during his troubled youth Mr. Madden served as his surrogate father.

Before “The Partridge Family,” Mr. Madden was part of the ensemble on the “Laugh-In” comedy series, sipping and sometimes spitting milk along with joining in the show’s zany sketches and crazy jokes.

He later had a recurring role as a customer at Mel’s Diner on the long-running sitcom “Alice.”

David Joseph Madden was born on Dec. 17, 1931, in Ontario, Canada, and grew up in North Terre Haute, Ind. He began show business as a nightclub comic and then landed his first acting job on the short-lived sitcom “Camp Runamuck” in the mid-1960s.

He also appeared on such series as “Bewitched,” “Barney Miller,” “Happy Days,” “The Love Boat” and “Fantasy Island.”

In 2007 he published a memoir, “Reuben on Wry.”

Survivors include his wife and a daughter and son, both from a previous marriage.


First Russell Johnson, now this. Man, today was not a good day for classic TV fans.