David Cassidy

Active - 1969 - 2013  |   Born - Apr 12, 1950 in New York, New York, United States  |   Died - Nov 21, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, FL  |   Genres - Comedy, Drama, Music [nf], Mystery

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A performer whose career soared and peaked in the early '70s, multifaceted entertainer David Cassidy dramatically redefined the term "teen idol," as others including Paul Anka and Neil Sedaka had before him. In his heyday, Cassidy culled an untoward number of admirers, including legions of starstruck teenage girls. The son of actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward (and the stepson of Shirley Jones), David landed his first major break on the blockbuster '70s musical sitcom The Partridge Family (1970-1974), opposite Jones, Susan Dey, and Danny Bonaduce. Based very loosely on the experiences of the real-life family vocal band the Cowsills, the now-iconic series told of a widowed mother and her brood of rowdy kids, who became national pop stars overnight, and eked out a life touring in a colorful schoolbus and performing all over the country. Cassidy -- 20 years old when the series premiered -- played the eldest Partridge boy, 16-year-old David. Series producers took advantage of the program's success by marketing the Partridges as a real-life recording group, fronted by David (who was not a professional musician); this worked, and brought Cassidy Grammy Awards and the largest celebrity fan club in the history of recorded music. The triumphs were somewhat short-lived, however, and by 1975 (a year after Family folded) Cassidy's popularity with the younger market had declined, as new and fresher talent took his place. He responded by branching out into acting roles, in films such as A Chance to Live (1978), The Narc (1978), and The Night the City Screamed (1980), and in time established an agreeable presence as a musical theater star, on Broadway and in London's famed West End.

Cassidy's overall popularity rebounded in the mid- to late '90s. Thanks in no small part to a nostalgia craze and to presence on VH1, he landed an assignment opening the 75-million-dollar show EFX at the MGM Grand, which in turn gave him the clout to mount and produce his own revue in Vegas, a tribute to Sinatra and co. christened The Rat Pack Is Back (1999). In the following decade, Cassidy began touring once again, signed a new record deal, and issued a series of albums including Then and Now (2001) and Touch of Blue (2003). Busy as ever, he topped TV GUIDE's list of the 25 Greatest Teen Idols in 2005.

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Factsheet

  • Made his Broadway debut in 1969 in the notorious flop The Figs Are Falling. Returned to Broadway in 1982 with better results as a replacement for Joseph during the original run of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
  • Starred with his then-stepmother Shirley Jones in The Partridge Family.
  • Was the world's highest paid performer by age 21.
  • Released his first solo album, Cherish, in 1972.
  • Posed nude in the May 11, 1972, issue of Rolling Stone magazine.
  • Daughter Katie Cassidy has covered his 1970 hit "I Think I Love You."
  • Races and breeds thoroughbred horses with wife Sue Shifrin.
  • Topped TV Guide's 2005 list of the 25 Greatest Teen Idols.
  • Worked with his three brothers in 2009 on the ABC Family show Ruby & the Rockits (Patrick costarred; Shaun produced; Ryan was a set designer).
  • Supported and spoke on behalf of the Alzheimer's Research & Prevention Foundation.