David Cassidy, who found fame as an actor and the lead singer on the 1970’s television program The Partridge Family, has died at the age of 67, according to his publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen. Cassidy had recently been admitted to a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida suffering from organ failure prior to his death on Tuesday.
“David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long. Thank you for the abundance and support you have shown him these many years,” Geffen said. Jack Cassidy, David’s nephew, tweeted “I can’t help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people.”
My uncle David Cassidy has sadly passed away tonight… & in the process of mourning I can't help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people! I don't think I'm alone in saying that we will all miss him. God Speed!
— Jack Cassidy (@jackgcassidy) November 22, 2017
David Cassidy was the son of actor and singer Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. His career began with appearances on Ironside, Marcus Welby, M.D., Adam-12, and Bonanza, but his big break came in 1970 when he landed the role of Keith Partridge on the musical sitcom The Partridge Family, in which his real-life step-mother, Shirley Jones, played the widowed mother to him and his four onscreen siblings.
The Partridge Family ran for four seasons and spawned a successful pop career for the entire cast, but for Cassidy in particular. Their hit single I Think I Love You featured Cassidy on lead vocals and reached number one on the Billboard charts, selling five million copies. The songs Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted and I’ll Meet You Halfway also helped earn the group a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.
Cassidy later tried to make a name for himself as a solo artist, recording 12 studio albums. In reality, however, he fared significantly better as a Las Vegas performer, starring in MGM Grand’s EFX in 1996 and later co-starring alongside Sheena Easton in the show At the Copa in 2000. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for Cassidy, as he made evident in his 2007 autobiography, Could It Be Forever? My Story.
Cassidy had three failed marriages and ended up in rehab after his third DUI in 2014, the same year his third wife, Sue Shifrin, filed for divorce. Earlier this year, Cassidy revealed he was in the early stages of dementia, the same illness that afflicted both his mother and grandmother. “To watch someone who raised you lose their mind and disappear is arguably the most painful thing I have ever experienced,” Cassidy said in a 2012 interview. But what about the highlight of his life? He claims it was the roar of a crowd that included his family at a 1972 performance at Madison Square Garden.