“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,” the family said in a statement to Us. “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.”
The singer and actor was rushed to the hospital in mid-November and was placed in an induced coma after his kidneys and liver failed. A source told Us on Saturday, November 18, that the Partridge Family star was “in and out of consciousness” while his son, Beau, ex-wife Sue and half-brother Patrick Cassidy remained by his bedside.
The source said that Cassidy was “hoping and waiting for a liver transplant,” but his condition worsened and he was placed on a breathing tube.
The son of singer and actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward, Cassidy rose to stardom in the 1970s, starring as Keith Partridge on the beloved musical sitcom about a single mom and her five children who form a rock ‘n’ roll band.
After singing on 10 Partridge Family albums, he launched his own hugely successful solo career and toured the world, scoring Grammy nominations, hits like “Cherish” and “How Can I Be Sure,” and selling more than 30 million albums. At one point his official fan club membership was larger than that of the Beatles and Elvis Presley.
He was nominated for an Emmy for his guest role in an episode of Police Story and went on to star in his own TV series, David Cassidy: Man Undercover, about a cop who poses as a high school student to infiltrate a high school drug ring. He scored another Emmy nomination, as Best Dramatic Actor in 1979, but the show — which went on to inspire the plot for 21 Jump Street — was canceled after one season.
By the 1980s Cassidy was broke, but he continued recording and performing, starring on Broadway in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and later in Blood Brothers with half-brother Shaun Cassidy.
“I’m an optimist,” he said. “I mean, you have to be with my career.”
In 1996 he replaced Michael Crawford in the Las Vegas show EFX, which became the most successful production in Sin City, and went on to co-star with Patrick in the 2009 ABC Family sitcom Ruby & the Rockits, which was produced by Shaun and featured Cassidy’s other half-brother, Ryan, as the set designer. It marked the first time that all four siblings worked together and “it couldn’t have been more fun,” Cassidy said.
Two years later he was a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice and he persuaded his daughter, actress Katie Cassidy, to make an appearance on the show.
The former teen idol was open about his battle with substance abuse and was arrested several times for DUI, ending up in court-order rehab in 2014 after his third arrest.
Earlier this year the “Last Kiss” singer announced that he was living with dementia after he forgot the words to one of his hits, slurred his words and almost fell off the stage during a concert.
Cassidy was married three times and leaves behind two children, Beau and Katie.
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