Remembering David Cassidy's Life in Pictures: From The Partridge Family to Emmy Nominee

1970s teen idol passes away after organ failure

By Samantha Schnurr Nov 22, 2017 2:44 AMTags
David Cassidy, David Cassidy: A Life in PicturesEllidge/Express/Getty Images

In the wake of David Cassidy's passing, it's time to cherish the iconic career he left behind. 

The 1970s teen idol passed away Tuesday after being hospitalized for kidney and liver failure days earlier. Around the world, fans are paying tribute to the late Partridge Family star and remembering his beloved contributions to TV and music, namely his years on the iconic Partridge Family and the songs he brought to the stage. 

After landing the breakout role as Keith Partridge, the young star quickly amassed international fame as he stole the hearts of fellow teen fans and toured the world to serenade sold-out stadiums with his hits. 

A Star Is Born

David Cassidy was born on Apr. 12, 1950 to actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward in New York City. As the kid of show business parents, he was raised by his grandparents while his parents were on the road. They divorced a few years after he was born. 

A Teen Heartthrob Emerges

After a string of small TV roles at 19 and 20, the aspiring star landed the role of Keith Partridge in 1970 on The Partridge Family and quickly became a breakout star. 

David Cassidy Mania

In addition to his performance on the TV show, he became a standout singer, selling out arenas and inciting mass hysteria among the teen crowd with hits like "I Think I Love You," "Cherish" and "How Can I Be Sure." However, after the tragic 1974 death of a teenage fan, who passed away from cardiac arrest after a gate stampede at one of Cassidy's concerts triggered a pre-existing heart condition, Cassidy finished his run on The Partridge Family and turned his attention to making music. 

Wedding Bells

Cassidy wed for the first time in 1977 to fellow child star Kay Lenz. The two divorced six years later. 

Matters of the Heart

Cassidy went on to marry two more times, next to Meryl Tanz and then to Sue Shifrin. While his second marriage lasted less than two years, his third to Shifrin would go on for 23 years until 2014 when they announced their divorce

An Emmy Nod

By the late 1970s, Cassidy was acting on TV shows again, including his performance on Police Story in 1978. He was nominated for his first and only Emmy Award. 

Center Stage

By the 1980s, Cassidy, admittedly broke and in the process of rebuilding his life, toured the United Kingdom and then returned to musical theater. He performed in a tour of Little Johnny Jones, in the West End production of Time and on Broadway in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Blood Brothers


The teen idol became a father twice, first to daughter, actress Katie Cassidy, in 1986 with Sherry Williams Benedon, and again in 1991 to son Beau Cassidy with his third wife, Shifrin. 

Saying Goodbye to the Spotlight

In his later years, Cassidy continued touring and made appearances on various TV shows, including Celebrity Appearance in 2011. The period was also a rocky one for the star, as he faced three DUIs and was ordered to seek rehab in 2014. In February 2015, he filed for bankruptcy and in 2017, he revealed he was suffering from dementia and announced his impending retirement. 

An International Farewell

On Nov. 21, 2017, the '70s star passed away after being hospitalized for liver and kidney failure. 

Through three marriages, fatherhood, a second career on the stage and a string of TV roles—including one that earned him an Emmy nomination—Cassidy also had his share of personal struggles as he dealt with substance abuse, bankruptcy and the challenging aftermath of having been a teenage heartthrob. 

In February, he announced his dementia diagnosis and impending retirement. "I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I've been without any distractions," he told People at the time. "I want to love. I want to enjoy life."

Revisit his incredible Hollywood life in pictures below: 

Our thoughts are with Cassidy's loved ones during this difficult time. 

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