David Cassidy - who became a teen idol when he starred on The Partridge Family - has passed away at the age of 67 according to People. He was hospitalized last week for kidney and liver failure and has now succumbed to those medical issues. He was born April 12, 1950 to actor and singer Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. Because his parents often toured or worked in theater, Cassidy was initially raised by his maternal grandmother. He saw his parents so sporadically that he didn't even learn that they divorced until two years later, their schedules allowed the family to keep the news from young David in order to protect him emotionally. When Cassidy was six, his father married actress and singer Shirley Jones, who would later be an important figure in Cassidy's career.
After graduating from high school, Cassidy moved in with his father, stepmother, and three half brothers and began to work towards a career as an actor and singer. One year after he graduated from high school, Cassidy made his professional stage debut in the play The Fig Leaves are Falling. The play was a flop and closed in under a week, but Cassidy's performance was impressive enough to land him a screen test, and he ended up signing with Universal Studios. This lead to a number of guest-starring roles on several TV series, including Marcus Welby M.D., Adam 12, Bonanza, and Mod Squad.
In 1970 Cassidy landed the role of a lifetime when he was cast as Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family, opposite his real life stepmother Shirley Jones, who played his character's mother Shirley Partridge. Initially, Cassidy was cast in the musical series without the producers knowing if he could sing or not, but Cassidy proved his musical chops and quickly became the lead singer of the show's musical group. Cassidy's skills as a singer helped the show's debut single - I Think I Love You - become a runaway hit.
Cassidy sang on 15 albums through the show - 10 featuring the songs from the series and five solo albums - all of which sold very well. His popularity became so great that there was a literal stampede of 800 people at one of his live concerts, resulting in the death of a teenage girl, which haunted Cassidy deeply. He quit both touring and The Partridge Family not long after, focusing on writing and recording music.
It was a few years before Cassidy acted again, with a guest spot on Police Story, which lead to an Emmy nomination. NBC wrote him an entire series based around the episode, but David Cassidy - Man Undercover only ran for a season. He continued to act however, with numerous guest starring roles and several musical theater performances. Often his roles referenced his history as a musician. He played a washed up singer in an episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, voicing a character in a boy band themed episode of Kim Possible, and playing the role of Grant in the movie Popstar.
Cassidy struggled with alcoholism throughout his life, and retired early in 2017 due to suffering from dementia. His family was at his side in the hospital for the last few days before he died, including his children, brothers, and Shirley Jones. He will be greatly missed.
Rest in Peace David Cassidy: April 12, 1950 - November 21, 2017
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