David Cassidy (born April 12, 1950, in Englewood, New Jersey) is an American actor and musician who starred in the television series The Partridge Family from 1970 to 1974. He is the son of Irish Catholic actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward, who was of English Protestant descent.
Prior to The Partridge Family, Cassidy appeared on Marcus Welby, M.D., The Mod Squad, Bonanza, and Ironside. When he started working on The Partridge Family nobody knew that he could sing, until Cassidy himself brought it up. He then took over the lead vocals for The Partridge Family recordings and quickly became a teen idol. On The Partridge Family he played Keith Partridge, son of Shirley Partridge, who was played by Shirley Jones, Cassidy's real-life stepmother.
There were ten Partridge Family albums and several solo albums produced during the run of the show. At his peak, Cassidy was one of the world's highest paid live entertainers. Yet, out of the approximate USD $500 million that The Partridge Family made internationally, he was allegedly paid only $15,000. It was later claimed Cassidy's fan club set the all-time record for the most paid up members of any fan club at any one time. Cassidy's 1994 autobiography "C'mon Get Happy; Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus" provides a concise and honest account of most aspects of his pop fame including contracts, money and his devoted female following.
Rebelling against squeaky-clean Keith, Cassidy shocked his young fans by posing nude in the May 11, 1972, Rolling Stone for Annie Leibovitz.
A 14 year-old fan, Bernadette Whelan, died of heart failure on May 30, 1974 (from a hereditary condition) aggravated while attending a May 26 show at London's White City Stadium; a shaken Cassidy later faced the press. The ill-fated show was the penultimate date on a world tour. By this point Cassidy had already decided to quit both touring and Partridge Family. He released three critically well-received albums on RCA between 1975 and 1977. He also starred in an episode of Police Story, and received an Emmy nomination. Due to the success of the episode, NBC created a show based on it called David Cassidy: Man Under Cover. The show was not a hit and was cancelled after one season.
Cassidy has appeared in several Broadway musicals, including a version of Little Johnny Jones (played in the movies by James Cagney) and the original version of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat , Time on London's West End and Blood Brothers opposite half-brother Shaun Cassidy and Petula Clark - among others. In 1996, he took over from Michael Crawford in the Las Vegas show, EFX; turning it around with his complete re-write into one of Las Vegas's favorite hit shows - only retiring after injuring his foot during a performance. He also created another show called The Rat Pack is Back, in which he made guest appearances as Bobby Darin. The show ran very successfully. In 2000, he wrote and appeared in the Las Vegas show At The Copa with Sheena Easton as both the young and old versions of the lead character.
In January, 2005 he visited the morning-show host for Chicago, Illinois oldies station WJMK-FM for a week, enjoying many entertaining call-in conversations with fans - one of which won lunch with Cassidy.
His first wife was actress Kay Lenz whom he married in 1977, divorced in 1982. David's second was South African sports woman Meryl Tanz, whom he married in 1984. Cassidy married his third wife on March 30, 1991, with whom he has a son, Beau; he has a daughter, Katherine, from a previous relationship. As "Katie Cassidy", Katherine had one Cd-single, "I Think I Love You" on Artemis Records (released on July 16, 2002), the same song that was a #1 hit for her father in the fall of 1970.