David Cassidy

David Cassidy
David Cassidy

Eat to the Beat, Epcot Food & Wine Festival, Orlando, October 2007
Born David Bruce Cassidy
April 12, 1950 (1950-04-12) (age 61)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actor, singer, musician
Years active 1956–Present
Spouse Kay Lenz (1977–1982)
Meryl Tanz (1984–1985)
Sue Shifrin (1991–present)
Children Katie Cassidy and Beau Devin Cassidy

David Bruce Cassidy (born April 12, 1950) is an American actor, singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known for his role as the character of Keith Partridge in the 1970s musical/sitcom The Partridge Family. He was one of pop culture's most celebrated teen idols, enjoying a successful pop career in the 1970s, and still performs today. Aside from Elvis Presley, David had the largest fan base worldwide. He was one of the contestants on Celebrity Apprentice 2011.[1], in which his daughter Katie Cassidy made a brief appearance at her father's request.


Early life

David Cassidy was born at Flower Fifth Avenue Hospital in New York City, New York, the son of actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. As his parents were frequently touring on the road, he spent his early years being raised by his maternal grandparents in a middle class neighborhood in West Orange, New Jersey.[2] In 1956, he found out from neighbors' children that his parents had been divorced for over two years and had not told him.[3] David's parents had decided because he was at such a young age, it would be better for his emotional stability to not discuss it at that time. They were gone often with theater productions and home life remained the same.

In 1956, his father married actress Shirley Jones, and three half-brothers were born: Shaun (1958), Patrick (1962) and Ryan (1966).As a young teen he moved into Shirley's home in Beverly Hills where his father and step-brothers resided. David remained there seeking fame as an actor/musician until he moved out when his career began to flourish.


On January 2, 1969, Cassidy made his professional debut in the Broadway musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling. It closed after 4 performances[4] but a casting director saw the show and asked Cassidy to make a screen test. In 1969, he moved to Los Angeles.[4]

After signing with Universal Studios in 1969, Cassidy was featured in episodes of the TV series Ironside, Marcus Welby, M.D., Adam-12 and Bonanza. In 1970, he took the part of Keith Partridge, son of Shirley Partridge, who was played by Cassidy's real stepmother and series' lead, Shirley Jones. According to an episode profiling her on A&E Biography, "Shirley Jones: Hollywood's Musical Mom", Cassidy said that he wanted to hate his stepmother, but after his mother's real-life divorce, she immediately stepped in and he began to love her. It wasn't until he had children of own that he began to have a new love and respect for his mother of birth, Evelyn Ward. She became very close to her granddaughters family, (The BENEDON'S) which united the family for a period of time. They enjoyed a strong bond until Evelyn, In her late 70's, was moved unnecessarily into a nursing facility by David where she is still residing today.

The Partridge Family series creator Bernard Slade and producers Paul Junger Witt and Robert "Bob" Claver did not care whether Cassidy could sing, knowing only that his androgynous good looks would guarantee success. But shortly after production began, Cassidy convinced music producer Wes Farrell that he was good enough and he was promoted to lead singer for show's recordings. Once "I Think I Love You" became a hit, Cassidy began work on solo albums as well. Within the first year he had produced his own single, "Cherish" (from the album of the same title), which reached #9 in the US, and began tours that featured Partridge tunes and his own hits. He became a teen idol. Unfortunately, Davis strived to become a respected rock musician with an edge such as Mick Jagger or Alice Cooper, but instead his career turned him into a teen idol. A title he loathed until much later in life when thru therapy, he came to terms with his bubblegum status.

On and off the show, Cassidy had a strong bond with his stepmother. He and co-star Danny Bonaduce did not get along with Jeremy Gelbwaks, (who played their brother, Chris) during its first season. In the second season, Gelbwaks was replaced by Brian Forster, who stayed until the series' end.

Cassidy in 1974

Ten albums by The Partridge Family and five solo albums were produced during the show. Cassidy also became an instant drawcard with spectacular sellout concerts successes in major arenas around the world. These concerts produced mass hysteria resulting in the media coining the term Cassidymania. By way of example, he played to two sellout crowds of 56,000 each at the Houston Astrodome in Texas over one weekend in 1972.[5] His concert in New York's Madison Square Garden sold out in one day and resulted in riots after the show.[6] His concert tours of the UK sold out and included six sellout concerts at Wembley over one weekend in 1973. In Australia in 1974, the mass hysteria was such that there were calls to have him deported from the country, especially after the madness at his 33,000 audience concert at Melbourne Cricket Ground.[7][8]

Cassidy performing in Hamburg, 1973

A turning point in his live rock concerts (while still filming The Partridge Family) was a gate stampede which killed a teenage girl. At a show in London's White City Stadium on May 26, 1974, 650 were injured in a crush at the front of the stage. Thirty were taken to the hospital, and one, 14-year-old Bernadette Whelan, died on May 30 from injuries.[9] The show was the penultimate date on a world tour. A deeply affected Cassidy faced the press, trying to make sense of what had happened. Out of respect for the family and to avoid turning the girl's funeral into a media circus, Cassidy did not attend the service. He did, however, speak to Bernadatte's parents and sent flowers. Cassidy stated at the time that this would haunt him until the day he died.[10][11][12]

Cassidy's 1994 autobiography C'mon Get Happy: Fear And Loathing On The Partridge Family Bus provides an account of most aspects of his fame, including contracts, money and his fanatical worldwide fan following.

I'm exploited by people who put me on the back of cereal boxes. I asked my housekeeper to go and buy a certain kind of cereal and when she came home, there was a huge picture of me on the back. I can't even eat breakfast without seeing my face.

--The New Musical Experience Magazine, October 1972.[13]

By this point, Cassidy had decided to quit both touring and acting in The Partridge Family, concentrating instead on recording and song-writing. International success continued, mostly in Great Britain and Germany, when he released three well-received solo albums on RCA between 1975 and 1977. Cassidy became first to have a hit with I Write The Songs, a Top 20 record in Great Britain before the song became Barry Manilow's signature tune. Cassidy's recording was produced by the song's author-composer, Bruce Johnston of The Beach Boys.

In 1978, Cassidy starred in an episode of Police Story titled "A Chance To Live," for which he received an Emmy nomination.[14] NBC created a show based on it, called David Cassidy: Man Under Cover, but it was canceled after one season. However, the format was used in a well-received Fox TV series, 21 Jump Street, with Johnny Depp in the role Cassidy had vacated.

In 1985, music success continued with the Arista release of the single The Last Kiss (#6 in the UK), with backing vocals by George Michael, which was included on the album Romance. These went gold in Europe and Australia and Cassidy supported them with a sellout tour of the UK which resulted in the Greatest Hits Live compilation of 1986. George Michael cited Cassidy as a major career influence and interviewed Cassidy for David Litchfield's prestigious Ritz Newspaper.[15]

Cassidy returned to the American Top 40 with his 1990 single "Lyin' To Myself," released on the Enigma Records label. In 1998, he had an AC hit with "No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross" from his album Old Trick, New Dog. His 2001 album Then And Now went platinum internationally and returned Cassidy to the Top 5 of the UK album charts for the first time since 1974.

Cassidy has performed in musical theatre. In 1981, he toured in a revival of a pre-Broadway production of Little Johnny Jones, a show originally produced in 1904 with music, lyrics, and book by George M. Cohan. (The show is excerpted in the biographic film Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), when James Cagney sings Give My Regards to Broadway and The Yankee Doodle Boy.) However, Cassidy received negative reviews, and he had been replaced by another former teen idol, Donny Osmond,[16] by the time the show reached Broadway.[17] Cassidy, in turn, was himself a replacement for the lead in the original 1982 Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.[18] He appeared in London's West End production of Time and returned to Broadway in Blood Brothers alongside Petula Clark and his half-brother, Shaun Cassidy. In concert performances in 1990, Cassidy hired his recalcitrant TV brother Danny Bonaduce as his warm-up act. In 1996, he replaced Michael Crawford in the Las Vegas show EFX, re-writing it into one of the Strip's favorite shows – although Cassidy was forced to resign after he injured his foot during a performance. He also created The Rat Pack is Back. in which he made guest appearances as Bobby Darin, and which ran successfully. In 2000, he wrote and appeared in the Las Vegas show At the Copa, with Sheena Easton, as both the young and old versions of the lead character, Johnny Flamingo. In 2005, Cassidy played the manager of Aaron Carter's character in the film Popstar. In 2006, as well as performing with Peter Furniss and Thomas Bowles, he made a guest appearance for BBC Children in Need performing live, then assisting Terry Wogan collecting donations from the studio audience.

He co-starred alongside his brother Patrick in a 2009 ABC Family short-lived comedy series titled Ruby & The Rockits, a show created by his brother Shaun.[19]

The BBC telecast an episode of The One Show with Cassidy as guest on April 11, 2011. During the broadcast he got into an argument with an English horse racing commentator named Brough Scott.[20] Nancy Sinatra had this to say on her family's website later that day: "Cassidy is a real jerk who never cleared rights to the Sinatra name for his Sinatra show and he deserves his karma for breaking copyright laws. The proof of the pudding is he didn't give a damn about those poor horses or show any respect to Mr. Scott. I believe he respects nothing and nobody, especially my father."[21]

Personal life

Cassidy's first wife was actress Kay Lenz, whom he married in 1977 and divorced in 1982. His second wife was wealthy South African sportswoman Meryl Tanz, whom he briefly married in 1984. Meryl was a very successful horse breeder who brought David into her life revolving around thoroughbred horse racing. This began David's love of the track. This marriage ended in 1985.

On November 25, 1986, after 15 years of an on and off relationship with high fashion model, Sherry Williams, she gave birth to David's only daughter, now a successful film actress, Katherine Evelyn Cassidy (Katie). Sherry raised their daughter Katie, with her husband of 20 years, a physician, Richard Benedon in Calabasas, California, where they currently reside.

David has one son, Beau Devin Cassidy, born February 8, 1991, to Sue Shifrin. Cassidy and Shifrin married on March 30, 1991, after the birth of their son. Beau is currently pursuing a music career and resides in Boston. This is David's third marriage and he currently resides in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. having a stable horse business, while Sue (this her second marriage) resides in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, living alone while attempting to pursue her songwriting career and working for a cosmetics firm.

Cassidy has written a memoir that was published in the UK in March 2007. Could It Be Forever? My Story gives details of his personal life.[22]

Cassidy was arrested in Florida for DUI on November 3, 2010.[23] David continues his stint in re-hab, which was the result of his dependency on pain medication, after his injury during EFX in Las Vegas.

Mentions in other media

The novel I Think I Love You, written by Allison Pearson and published in 2010, examines the life of a David Cassidy fan from her teenage years to adulthood.

Discography (solo)

The following listings are sourced from the performer's fan site.[24]


  • "Cherish" (1971 US#9)
  • "Could It Be Forever" (1972 US#37 UK#2)
  • "How Can I Be Sure" (1972 US#25 UK#1)
  • "Rock Me Baby" (1972 US#38 UK#11)
  • "I Am a Clown" / "Some Kind of Summer" (1973 UK#3)
  • "Daydream" (1973)
  • "Daydreamer" / "The Puppy Song" (1973 UK#1)
  • "If I Didn't Care" (1974 UK#9)
  • "Please Please Me" (1974 UK#16)
  • "I Write the Songs" / "Get It Up for Love" (1975 UK#11)
  • "Darlin'" (1975 UK#16)
  • "Tomorrow" (1976)
  • "Breakin' Down Again" (1976)
  • "Gettin' It in the Streets" (1976)
  • "Saying Goodbye Ain't Easy (We'll Have to Go Away)" (1977)
  • "Hurt So Bad" (1979)
  • "The Last Kiss" (1985 UK#6)
  • "Romance (Let Your Heart Go)" (1985 UK#54)
  • "Someone" (1985)
  • "Live EP" (1986)
  • "Lyin' to Myself" (1990 US#27)
  • "For All the Lonely" (1992)
  • "I Think I Love You (new version)" (1998)
  • "No Bridge I Wouldn't Cross" (1998 US#21 (AC))[25]


Musical albums

  • Blood Brothers (1995)
  • EFX (1997)

Discography (The Partridge Family)

Feature film filmography


  1. ^ David Cassidy : Celebrity Apprentice 2011 Contestant
  2. ^ Cassidy, David; Deffaa, Chip (1994). C'mon, Get Happy ... Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus. New York: Warner Books. p. 1. ISBN 0-446-39531-5. 
  3. ^ C'mon, Get Happy, p. 4
  4. ^ a b C'mon, Get Happy, p. 43
  5. ^ "The 'new' David Cassidy steps out". 16 August 1975. http://www.news.google.com/newspapers?id=ydgRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=a-0DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6929,863578&dq=david+cassidy&realname=The_'new'_David_Cassidy_steps_out. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  6. ^ Heckman, Don (12 March 1972). "CASSIDY IS FOCUS OF NEW POP TREND; "Partridge Family" Star Puts Sensuality Into Singing". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F10716FC3F5E127A93C0A81788D85F468785F9&realname=CASSIDY_IS_FOCUS_OF_NEW_POP_TREND. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  7. ^ "More Control Urged At Future Pop Concerts". 13 March 1974. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=BJ0QAAAAIBAJ&sjid=xZADAAAAIBAJ&pg=4741,3108448&dq=david+cassidy+concert&realname=More_Control_Urged_At_Future_Pop_Concerts. Retrieved 3 August 2009. [dead link]
  8. ^ "David Cassidy Is A Health Hazard". 13 March 1974. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=tEAQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=w5ADAAAAIBAJ&pg=6711,8285917&dq=david+cassidy&realname=David_Cassidy_Is_A_Health_Hazard. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  9. ^ C'mon, Get Happy, p. 188-190
  10. ^ "Cassidy Concert, Girl 14 Dies". 30 May 1974. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yjUQAAAAIBAJ&sjid=244DAAAAIBAJ&pg=7198,3795659&dq=david+cassidy+concert&realname=Cassidy_Concert_Girl_14_Dies. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Cassidy Fan Dies". 31 May 1974. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=TlEVAAAAIBAJ&sjid=a-UDAAAAIBAJ&pg=1810,10309348&dq=bernadette+whelan&realname=Cassidy_Fan_Dies. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  12. ^ "Crushed To Death At A David Cassidy Concert". London. 23 May 1999. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/crushed-to-death-at-a-david-cassidy-concert-1095281.html&realname=Crushed_To_Death_At_A_David_Cassidy_Concert. Retrieved 3 August 2009. [dead link]
  13. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 243. CN 5585. 
  14. ^ Awards for "Police Story" (1973), IMDB.com
  15. ^ Litchfield, David (1985–). "David Cassidy by George Michael". Ritz Newspaper No. 100 (Bailey & Litchfield): pp. 16–19. "The interview between DAVID and GEORGE first took place over lunch at Pier 31 Restaurant, at which they both got rather inebriated..." 
  16. ^ C'mon, Get Happy, p. 221
  17. ^ The Broadway League (1982-03-21). "''Little Johnny Jones'' (1982 revival) at IBDB". Ibdb.com. http://ibdb.com/production.php?id=4164. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  18. ^ "''Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat'' cast replacements at IBDB". Ibdb.com. http://ibdb.com/productionreplacements.asp?ID=4158. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  19. ^ Cassidy Brothers Comedy Among New ABC Family Shows NY Times, February 1, 2009
  20. ^ Post by "Leanne" to sinatrafamily.com
  21. ^ Post by Nancy Sinatra to sinatrafamily.com
  22. ^ Walls, Jeannette. "Britney Spears has whole rehab wing to herself - TODAY Entertainment - TODAYshow.com". MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17031911/. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  23. ^ Martinez, Edecio. (2010-11-04) David Cassidy Arrested: "Partridge Family" Star Accused of Drunk Driving in Fla. – Crimesider. CBS News. Retrieved on 2011-03-27.
  24. ^ "David Cassidy Discography US and UK". Davidcassidyfansite.com. 2010-07-12. http://davidcassidyfansite.com/DiscographyPages/DCAlbums.html. Retrieved 2010-10-14. 
  25. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 97. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links


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