David Cassidy, ’70s teen heartthrob, dies at age 67

Updated 6:04 PM EST, Wed November 22, 2017
David Cassidy organ failure orig vstop dlewis_00000000.jpg
PHOTO: Getty Images
David Cassidy organ failure orig vstop dlewis_00000000.jpg
Now playing
01:35
David Cassidy has died at 67
Now playing
01:52
Chadwick Boseman's widow gives tearful speech at tribute
In this Feb. 14, 2018 photo, actor Chadwick Boseman poses for a portrait in New York to promote his film, "Black Panther."  Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, has died of cancer. His representative says Boseman died Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 in Los Angeles after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
PHOTO: Victoria Will/AP
In this Feb. 14, 2018 photo, actor Chadwick Boseman poses for a portrait in New York to promote his film, "Black Panther." Boseman, who played Black icons Jackie Robinson and James Brown before finding fame as the regal Black Panther in the Marvel cinematic universe, has died of cancer. His representative says Boseman died Friday, Aug. 28, 2020 in Los Angeles after a four-year battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
Now playing
02:17
A look back at Chadwick Boseman's legacy
title: Chadwick Boseman's Howard University 2018 Commencement Speech  duration: 00:34:41  site: Youtube  author: null  published: Mon May 14 2018 10:29:12 GMT-0400 (EDT)  intervention: yes  description: Howard University alumnus Chadwick Boseman provides words of inspiration to the Class of 2018 during Howard University's 150th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12 in Washington, D.C.
PHOTO: Howard University/WHUT
title: Chadwick Boseman's Howard University 2018 Commencement Speech duration: 00:34:41 site: Youtube author: null published: Mon May 14 2018 10:29:12 GMT-0400 (EDT) intervention: yes description: Howard University alumnus Chadwick Boseman provides words of inspiration to the Class of 2018 during Howard University's 150th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 12 in Washington, D.C.
Now playing
01:19
Chadwick Boseman gives 'Wakanda' salute at Howard graduation (2018)
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 16:  James Shaw Jr. accepts award from Actor Chadwick Boseman onstage at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California.  (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
PHOTO: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc/FilmMagic
SANTA MONICA, CA - JUNE 16: James Shaw Jr. accepts award from Actor Chadwick Boseman onstage at the 2018 MTV Movie And TV Awards at Barker Hangar on June 16, 2018 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Now playing
00:55
'Black Panther' star honors Waffle House hero
PHOTO: NBC/Broadway Video
Now playing
01:34
The Black Panther plays 'Jeopardy!' on 'SNL'
Now playing
01:50
Kids see themselves in 'Black Panther' heroes
English rock group the Baker Gurvitz Army in a studio, August 1974. Left to right: Paul Gurvitz, Ginger Baker and Adrian Gurvitz. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Michael Putland/Getty Images
English rock group the Baker Gurvitz Army in a studio, August 1974. Left to right: Paul Gurvitz, Ginger Baker and Adrian Gurvitz. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:35
Legendary drummer Ginger Baker dies aged 80
PHOTO: Courtesy Grants Pass Department of Public Safety
Now playing
00:44
Actor Charles Levin found dead
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Denise Nickerson who played Violet Beauregarde in the original film attends the 40th Anniversary of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory at Jacques Torres Chocolates on October 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Cindy Ord/Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 18: Denise Nickerson who played Violet Beauregarde in the original film attends the 40th Anniversary of Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory at Jacques Torres Chocolates on October 18, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:18
'Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory' actress has died
SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, followed by her brother, Tony Rodham, stop at Casa Bella Italian Restaurant in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Friday evening April 22, 2016. Hillary Clinton's father was born in Scranton, and she has family in the area. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PHOTO: The Washington Post/Getty Images
SCRANTON, PENNSYLVANIA - Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, followed by her brother, Tony Rodham, stop at Casa Bella Italian Restaurant in Scranton, Pennsylvania on Friday evening April 22, 2016. Hillary Clinton's father was born in Scranton, and she has family in the area. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Now playing
00:30
Hillary Clinton's brother Tony Rodham dead at 65
GULFPORT, MS - JUNE 22:  U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) looks on during a campaign rally at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on June 22, 2014 in Gulfport, Mississippi.  Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Chris McDaniel, a Mississippi state senator, is locked in a tight runoff race with incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) who failed to win the nomination in the primary election.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
GULFPORT, MS - JUNE 22: U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) looks on during a campaign rally at Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport on June 22, 2014 in Gulfport, Mississippi. Tea Party-backed Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Chris McDaniel, a Mississippi state senator, is locked in a tight runoff race with incumbent U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) who failed to win the nomination in the primary election. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:22
Longtime US Senator Thad Cochran dies at 81
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr just before his retirement in 1972.
PHOTO: Vernon Biever/AP
Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr just before his retirement in 1972.
Now playing
01:00
Legendary quarterback Bart Starr passes away at 85
Niki Lauda celebrates after the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 16, 2017 in Northampton, England.
PHOTO: Dan Mullan/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images
Niki Lauda celebrates after the Formula One Grand Prix of Great Britain at Silverstone on July 16, 2017 in Northampton, England.
Now playing
01:58
​​Niki Lauda: Three-time F1 champ dies aged 70​
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05:  Actor Tim Conway arrives at the Paley Center for Media and TV Land salute of "The Bob Newhart Show" at the Paley Center for Media on September 5, 2007 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Michael Buckner/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 05: Actor Tim Conway arrives at the Paley Center for Media and TV Land salute of "The Bob Newhart Show" at the Paley Center for Media on September 5, 2007 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:07
Tim Conway of 'The Carol Burnett Show' dead at 85
(CNN) —  

David Cassidy, who came to fame as a ‘70s teen heartthrob and lead singer on “The Partridge Family,” has died, according to his publicist Jo-Ann Geffen. He was 67.

The singer-actor had recently been admitted to the intensive care unit of a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area hospital. Cassidy was in critical condition and suffering from organ failure before his death Tuesday, Geffen said.

“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,” she said.

Cassidy’s nephew, Jack Cassidy, tweeted about his uncle’s death, saying “I can’t help but thank God for the joy that he brought to countless millions of people.”

David Cassidy was born into the entertainment industry that made him a star.

His father was famed actor and singer Jack Cassidy, and his mother was actress Evelyn Ward.

After his parents split in 1956, the elder Cassidy married actress and singer Shirley Jones the same year.

Cassidy moved in with his father, Jones and his three half-brothers after getting his high school diploma in 1968. His father helped him launch his career as an actor and musician.

“Long before he played my son on ‘The Partridge Family,’ David Cassidy was my stepson in real life. As a little boy, his sweet sensitivity and wicked sense of humor were already on display, and I will treasure the years we spent working and growing together,” Shirley Jones said in a statement. Thank you for the enormous outpouring of affection you have offered our family at this difficult time.”

One of his half-brothers, Shaun Cassidy, tweeted about his memories.

“When I was a little boy and my big brother would come to visit, the first call of business would be a punishing pillow fight. During the battle, he would regale me with hysterical stories of our father, often culminating in his taking a giant leap off my top bunk. I tried to catch him of course. I always tried to catch him. But I never could. Now, I will carry him, along with all of the funny/sad/extraordinary days we shared, none more filled with love than these last few at his side,” Shaun Cassidy wrote.

Danny Bonaduce, who played Cassidy’s little brother on “The Partidge Family,” described his death as a “huge loss.”

David Cassidy’s early work included appearances on “Ironside,” “Marcus Welby, M.D.,” “Adam-12” and “Bonanza.”

In 1970, Cassidy began playing the role of Keith Partridge on the musical sitcom “The Partridge Family.” His stepmother, Jones, portrayed his mother, a widow with five children.

The popular ABC series ran for four years and also had a successful run in syndication.

The show also spurred several pop hits.

The single “I Think I Love You,” featuring Cassidy on lead vocals, hit No. 1 on the Billboard charts in 1970 and sold more than 5 million copies. The songs “Doesn’t Somebody Want To Be Wanted” and “I’ll Meet You Halfway” also cracked the top 10 the next year.

The group was nominated for a best new artist Grammy.

Cassidy later launched a solo career, recording a dozen studio albums and six compilation albums.

After ‘The Partridge Family’

He continued to work in television after “The Partridge Family” ended, performing in theater productions and briefly landing his own show, “David Cassidy - Man Undercover,” which lasted a season.

Cassidy fared better in Las Vegas. He starred as the leading man of MGM Grand’s “EFX” in 1996 and developed a show titled “At the Copa,” which he co-starred in with Sheena Easton in 2000.

Cassidy released his autobiography, “Could It Be Forever? My Story,” in 2007, writing about the pitfalls of fame and his failed first two marriages.

He had a daughter, Katie Cassidy, in 1986, from a relationship with Sherry Williams Benedon, and a son, Beau, with third wife Sue Shifrin, in 1991.

Cassidy hit some low points and ended up in rehab in 2014 after his third arrest for driving under the influence.

That same year Shifrin filed for divorce.

In 2017, Cassidy revealed that he was in the early stages of dementia, the same disease his mother and grandfather suffered from.

“To watch someone who raised you lose their mind and disappear is arguably the most painful thing I have ever experienced,” Cassidy told CNN in a 2012 interview.

As for a career highlight Cassidy remembered fondly, he described the roar of a crowd that included his family at a 1972 performance at Madison Square Garden.

“It was so emotional for me. I was so blessed to have that moment with them,” he told CNN in 2014. “It’s the highlight of my life.”

Celebrity reaction

Those who worked with Cassidy in the entertainment business shared their memories and condolences on social media.

Musician Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys said he and Cassidy once started writing a song together. “He was a very talented and nice person. Love & Mercy to David and his family.”

Actress Marlee Matlin tweeted, “To me and millions of us you were forever young.”

Interviewer Larry King said, “Like his father Jack he had great talent, and a complicated life. Condolences to his wonderful family.”