His publicist JoAnn Geffen confirmed his death, with a statement from his family. “On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy. David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long.”
The former teen heart throb had been hospitalised for several days with organ failure. Cassidy announced his diagnosis with dementia in early 2017.
With pretty-boy good looks and a long mane of dark hair, Cassidy was one every girl’s favourite teen crush in the early 1970s and drew screaming crowds at concert appearances.
Several of his shows resulted in riots or mass hysteria, including one notable 1974 performance in Australia, which sparked calls for him to be deported from the country.
David Cassidy was part of a showbusiness family that included his father, Tony-winning actor Jack Cassidy, stepmother Shirley Jones, half-brother Shaun Cassidy and daughter, actress Katie Cassidy.
Raised in New Jersey, Cassidy moved to Los Angeles in 1969 after starring in a Broadway musical that closed after only four performances. In 1970, after signing with Universal, Cassidy took on the role of older brother Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family. Keith was the son of Shirley Partridge, who was played by Jones.
The ABC sitcom was loosely based on real-life family musical act the Cowsills, and ran from 1970 to 1974. The show became popular for its squeaky clean portrayal of life on the road as a family rock band in a brightly painted bus.
After the singles ‘I Think I Love You’ and ‘Cherish’ took off, Cassidy began working on solo albums as well. He regularly sold out stadiums, leading to commentators to coin the phrase “Cassidymania.”
At a 1974 London concert, nearly 800 people were injured in a stampede at a Cassidy concert, and one teenage girl died a few days later. He stopped touring and acting soon after, concentrating on recording, and had a hit with I Write the Songs before Barry Manilow made it part of his act.
Cassidy continued to perform in Las Vegas and tour.
He struggled with achieving his peak fame early in life, dealing with alcoholism and being arrested several times for DUIs. He filed for bankruptcy in 2015.
He is survived by half-brothers Shaun Cassidy, actors Patrick and Ryan; daughter Katie Cassidy and son, actor Beau Cassidy.
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