David Cassidy, the former teen heartthrob and Keith Partridge in the ’70s musical series The Partridge Family, died on November 21 at age 67. He had been hospitalized for multiple organ failure. The last time Cassidy was in the news was his disclosure he had been diagnosed with dementia.
His break from his bubblegum pop image began with a nearly-nude Rolling Stone cover in 1972.
In 1994, Cassidy wrote his autobiography, C’mon, Get Happy … Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus. He also wrote Could It Be Forever? My Story, in 2007.
If you didn’t read his memoirs, here’s 5 things about Cassidy you most likely didn’t know.
Cassidy didn’t know his stepmother had been hired on The Partridge Family until after he was cast
Shirley Jones played Shirley Partridge, a widow with five children with whom she forms a popular act that travels on a psychedelic bus. The Oscar-winning actress and Cassidy’s stepmother, was cast as Shirley Partridge but Cassidy didn’t know she got the part until after he was cast as Keith.
“He has his own agent and didn’t even know I was set for the lead,” Jones revealed. “He [show producer] asked me how I felt about it. I said, ‘Great! I am crazy about him. He’s very talented.’ Then, he went back to David and told him, ‘Your stepmother is going to play the lead.’ How do you feel about that? And he replied, ‘I think it’s great!’”
Cassidy’s official fan club reportedly exceeded that of Elvis Presley and The Beatles
At the age of 21, Cassidy briefly became the world’s highest-paid live entertainer after launching his solo career as a singer. His official fan club was reportedly the largest in pop history exceeding that of Elvis Presley and The Beatles. At least that’s what his publicist and record company were reporting.
“In two years, David Cassidy has swept hurricane-like into the pre-pubescent lives of millions of American girls,” Rolling Stone magazine write in 1972. “Leaving: six and a half million long-playing albums and singles; 44 television programs; David Cassidy lunch boxes; David Cassidy bubble gum; David Cassidy coloring books and David Cassidy pens; not to mention several millions of teen magazines, wall stickers, love beads, posters and photo albums.”
Australian officials called for him to be deported in 1974
Cassidy toured the world and was greeted by screaming fans when he landed in Australia in 1974. He played to a crowd of 33,000 fans in Melbourne, which led to calls for him to be deported. According to Cassidy’s official website, he caused “such mass hysteria” that Australian officials “threatened to throw him out of their country as a health hazard.”
He posed (mostly) naked for Rolling Stone to break away from the wholesome character he played in The Partridge Family
In Rolling Stone magazine in 1972, Cassidy smoked pot in front of the magazine’s reporter as he watched an episode of The Partridge Family and mocked his own acting.
In his autobiography, he wrote of his prolific sex life and of rejecting Susan Dey’s advances because she lacked the “sl**ty aspect of a female that I always found so attractive.”
He lost most of his Partridge Family collectibles
Cassidy said he lost most of the memorabilia in an earthquake in 1994. ”I had the stuff in a big box that was crushed. I think even the lunch box is a goner,” Cassidy said.