Starred in musical TV sitcom “The Partridge Family”
By: Legacy Staff
12 months ago
David Cassidy, the singer and actor who rocketed to teen-idol status in the 1970s as the costar of the musical TV sitcom “The Partridge Family,” died Tuesday, Nov. 21, after having been hospitalized several days earlier in Florida, where he lived, according to multiple news sources. He was 67.
Cassidy had announced earlier this year that he was battling dementia, which had previously afflicted his mother and grandfather.
David Bruce Cassidy was born April 12, 1950, to the musical theater actors Evelyn Ward and Jack Cassidy. His parents divorced while he was still a child, and his father married musical actress Shirley Jones, who would soon be a household name as the star of popular movies including “Oklahoma!” “Carousel,” “The Music Man,” and “Elmer Gantry.”
David Cassidy followed his parents into show business more directly than most: Shortly after debuting on Broadway at the age of 19, he was cast to costar with his stepmother Jones in her new TV show, “The Partridge Family.”
The series told the fictional story of a suburban California family who form a pop band together and become stars. While Jones brought her already-Oscar-winning star power to the show, the actors who portrayed her children subsequently went on to notable careers of their own – none more so than Cassidy, who was catapulted into stardom as the Partridge Family’s lead singer. Though the Partridges were fictional, they released actual records: Their single “I Think I Love You” hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1970, and their Christmas album was the No. 1 selling holiday record of 1971.
Cassidy released his first solo album, “Cherish,” in 1972, and his concert tour was a string of massive, sold-out arena shows: Madison Square Garden, the Astrodome, Wembley Stadium. For a while, “Cassidymania” was a phenomena echoing the early days of the Beatles’ fan madness – so much so that, in 1974, fans at a London show stampeded, injuring hundreds and resulting in the death of one.
Cassidy’s pop career continued to flourish in the U.S. and U.K. through the 1970s and ‘80s, and he starred in several Broadway musical productions.
He toured throughout his life, finally announcing in February 2017 that he would be retiring from live performance this year. He revealed in a story for People magazine and in an appearance on “Dr. Phil” that he was suffering from dementia.
Cassidy was married three times, and is survived by a daughter, Katie, and a son, Beau.
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