She starred in 1956's "Carousel," again with MacRae. In 1960 she won an Oscar for her role as Lulu Baines in the drama "Elmer Gantry." Ten years later, she took the role that would solidify her TV career, starring in "The Partridge Family," a comedy about a widowed mother and her pop musician children (her stepson David Cassidy also starred).
After "The Partridge Family" went of the air in 1974, Jones continued to fill her resume with film and TV credits. She guest-starred on "The Love Boat," "Hotel," and "Murder She Wrote," and landed her own 1979 self-titled series "Shirley" which aired for only a season.
In 2006, Jones earned an Emmy nomination for her role as Aunt Batty in the Hallmark original movie "Hidden Places."