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. In 1956, he found out from neighbors' children that his parents had been divorced for over two years and had not told him. 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.
On January 2, 1969, Cassidy made his professional debut in the Broadway musical The Fig Leaves Are Falling. It closed after four performances but a casting director saw the show and asked Cassidy to make a screen test. In 1969, he moved to Los Angeles.
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. 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 No. 9 in the US, and began tours that featured Partridge tunes and his own hits. Though he strove to become a respected rock musician along the lines of Mick Jagger or Alice Cooper, his channel of stardom launched him into the ranks of teen idol, a brand he loathed until much later in life when he managed to come to terms with his bubblegum pop beginnings.
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, the young actor who originally played Chris. He was replaced by Brian Forster after the first season.
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.
In 1978, Cassidy starred in an episode of Police Story titled "A Chance To Live," for which he received an Emmy nomination. 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.
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, by the time the show reached Broadway. Cassidy, in turn, was himself a replacement for the lead in the original 1982 Broadway production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. 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.
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 married in 1984. Tanz, a successful horse breeder, introduced Cassidy to thoroughbred horse racing. This marriage ended in 1988.
On November 25th, 1986, after 15 years of an on and off relationship with high fashion model Sherry Williams, she gave birth to David's only daughter, Katherine Evelyn Cassidy (Katie), now a successful film actress. Sherry raised their daughter with her husband of 20 years, the physician Richard Benedon in Calabasas, California, where they currently reside.
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.
Cassidy was arrested in Florida for DUI on November 3rd, 2010. Cassidy continues his stint in rehab, which was the result of his dependency on pain medication, after his injury during EFX in Las Vegas.
Well David, I'm sure half of America is asking that very same question with Obama.
David Cassidy remains one of the biggest teen idols in the history of teen idols, perhaps matched by only Justin Bieber.
This work is released under CC 3.0 BY-SA - Creative Commons