David Cassidy, the ’70s teen idol and onetime star of the family-band sitcom The Partridge Family, has died, TMZ reports. Cassidy was recently hospitalized in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida for organ failure. He was 67.
Cassidy was born in New York, the son of two actors, and raised by his grandparents in New Jersey. After making his debut in a Broadway show in 1969, Cassidy was cast as Keith Partridge, the singer of the Partridge Family, in 1970, when he was 20. Shirley Jones, Cassidy’s real-life stepmother, played his mother Shirley Partridge.
The show was an immediate sensation, and so was its music. Cassidy sang lead on “I Think I Love You,” the Partridge Family song that became a #1 hit in 1970. In 1972, he reached the Billboard top 10 with his own debut solo single “Cherish.” The Partridge Family was on the air until 1974, and in that time, Cassidy sang on 10 Partridge Family albums and released five solo albums of his own. He also toured, singing his own songs, as well as the songs from the show. But Cassidy also longed to be taken seriously as a musician, and in 1972, he appeared naked on the cover of Rolling Stone, in an Annie Leibowitz photo.
Cassidy quit touring in the mid-’70s, but he continued to have success as a recording artist for many years. George Michael sang backup on Cassidy’s 1985 single “The Last Kiss,” which went top-10 in the UK, and Cassidy was scoring adult-contemporary hits as late as 2001. Cassidy starred in stage plays through the ’80s, and for three years in the ’90s, he hosted the VH1 show 8-Track Flashback. He was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice in 2011. Over the years, Cassidy struggled with alcoholism, being arrested on DUI charges a couple of times. In recent years, he’s also suffered from dementia.
Below, watch a few videos of Cassidy at work: