David Cassidy Has Died, Aged 67

 

 

Seventies teen icon David Cassidy has died aged 67 after suffering from acute liver and kidney failure, his family have confirmed.

The music and TV legend had been in a medically induced coma for the last week after being taken to hospital in Florida as his health continued to deteriorate.

The pop idol had been battling dementia in his final months after suffering from years of alcohol abuse.

The Partridge Family 

“On behalf of the entire Cassidy family, it is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our father, our uncle, and our dear brother, David Cassidy,” his publicist said in a statement 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.”

Cassidy rocketed to fame in the 1970 musical sitcom The Partridge Family.

He had always been destined for stardom growing up as part of a large showbiz family in New York.

The singer and actor passed away on Tuesday.

His father was Tony-winning actor Jack Cassidy while his mother was actress Evelyn Ward.

As his parents were touring regularly he was largely raised by his maternal grandparents.

But in 1956 at the age of six, he was left devastated when he found out through neighbours his mum and dad had split two years earlier.

His father, who shaped Cassidy’s early career, went to marry Shirley Jones who would play his mum in The Partridge Family.

After finding instant fame at the age of 20 in the hit US show he branched out as a solo artist, with hits including Cherish and Daydreamer, attracting millions of teenage girls as his fans.

Ten albums by The Partridge Family and five solo albums were produced during the four years the series was on air, with most selling more than a million copies each.

Out of the approximate $500 million (£378 million) that The Partridge Family and David Cassidy merchandising earned during the 1970’s, the star was allegedly only paid around $15,000 (£11,350).

Internationally, Cassidy’s solo career eclipsed the already phenomenal success of the show.

Despite his poor earning from the series he quickly became the world’s highest paid live entertainer, and his official fan club was the largest in pop history exceeding that of Elvis Presley and The Beatles.

He also starred in the short-lived television series David Cassidy – Man Undercover and went on to make a string of guest appearances in other shows such as the Love Boat.

At the height of his fame he married actress Kay Lenz in 1977 but divorced four years later, and a second marriage to horse breeder Meryl Tanz was also short-lived.

In 1986 he had a daughter, Katie, with girlfriend Sherry Williams.

His third wife, songwriter Sue Shifrin, mother of his 26-year-old son Beau, filed for divorce in 2014, after 23 years of marriage.

But despite his success on screen, away from the cameras Cassidy battled with addiction, brushes with the law and money troubles.

In 2008, he publicly admitted he had an alcohol problem.

Two years later he was arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in Florida.

In 2013 the performer was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction in Schodack, New York, asking the officer “What’s new pussycat?”

After performing poorly on a field sobriety test, Cassidy was subjected to an alcohol breath test, returning a blood alcohol level of 0.10%, which is above the New York legal limit of 0.08% and he was arrested again.

The mug shot of the fallen star gained headlines around the world.

Cassidy was subsequently charged, taken to jail, and released several hours later on $2,500 bail.

However, the star failed to learn his lesson as he continued to suffer alcohol abuse.

Cassidy was arrested on suspicion of DUI in California in January 2014, after he made an illegal right turn against a red light.

He was held overnight in jail and later ordered to go to inpatient rehabilitation and was put on probation for five years.

The dad-of-two was then charged in May 2015 with leaving the scene of a car accident, expired tags, improper lane change, and driving on a suspended license while close to his home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

With his finances all but blown and with his third divorce finalised Cassidy filed for bankruptcy that year and his mansion in Florida was auctioned off.

At the time it led to a bizarre appearance on This Morning via satellite link from the US with Eamonn Holmes and his wife Ruth Langsford.

Looking worse for drink, Cassidy clashed with the presenters at one point becoming offended by Holme’s line of questioning as he asked the former actor if the sale of his mansion meant he could now pay off his debts.

In reply he hit back, asking: “Are you trying to rubbish me?”

He added: “When you declare bankruptcy in this country, it’s something you do in order to reorganise what you have, your assets, so I’m not going to discuss that.”

When Langsford remarked the star had been through a lot, he replied testily: “Yes, I have and I still have fantastic assets.”

The uncomfortable chat continued when she then asked if he was glad to have the support of his fans after such a difficult journey.

“Don’t interrupt me,” Cassidy snapped back, telling her to “wait” nine times in a row when she voiced her agreement with him.

His battle with the bottle caused him huge problems in his personal life.

He had a strained and often complicated relationship with his children talking about his troubled life with his kids when he announced he was battling dementia earlier this year.

Speaking about his actress daughter, Katie, who appeared in Gossip Girl and Arrow, he said: “I’ve never had a relationship with her.

“I wasn’t her father. I was her biological father but I didn’t raise her.

“She has a completely different life.”

Admitting he was not in contact with Katie he said despite their estrangement he was “proud of her”.

He added: “She’s very talented. It’s hard for me to even accept how old she is now, like 30.”

At the time he again admitted his struggles with alcohol abuse had affected his personal relationships, but Cassidy said he still “very much” had a relationship with his only son, Beau, who was by his bedside when he died.

In March this year as he continued to suffer alcohol abuse, the former teen heartthrob announced his battle with dementia which was well known to run in his family.

Cassidy had watched his grandfather battle the disease and witnessed his mother “disappear” into dementia until she died at age 89.

He said: “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming.”

After coming to terms with his condition, Cassidy said he made the decision to stop touring after forgetting his words at a concert.

He said he wanted to concentrate on his health and happiness.

“I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions,” Cassidy said. “I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”

However last week his health deteriorated and he was rushed to hospital hoping a liver donor could be found as he was placed in an induced coma.

But no suitable match could be found he passed away on Tuesday.

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