David Cassidy, internationally known as one of the most popular teen idols of all time in his heyday, has died after suffering organ failure. He was 67.
His publicist Jo-Ann Geffen confirmed the news to "Extra," saying in a statement, "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. 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 retired from touring this year following his announcement that he had been diagnosed with dementia. He played his final gig in March.
Cassidy's final performance, in March 2017
A lanky, androgynous 20-year-old, Cassidy shot to fame playing singer Keith Partridge on "The Partridge Family" (1970-1974), with his real-life, Oscar-winning stepmom Shirley Jones in the role of his mother. He had only acted a few times before his breakthrough, but he proved to be a sensation as both an actor and as a singer, anchoring 10 successful Partridge-branded albums and five smash solo albums during the series' run.
The song that first demonstrated his appeal was "I Think I Love You," which was credited to the Partridge Family, but which actually featured only Cassidy and Jones from the series on the vocals. A #1 hit, it became one of the best-selling singles of 1970.
Cassidey hated being a teen heartthrob, preferring to be seen as a serious musician.
He racked up solo hits, including "Cherish" (1971), "Could It Be Forever" (1972) and "How Can I Be Sure" (1972), which were even more popular overseas than in his home country.
Cassidy with the whole "Partridge Family" cast
His draw as a live artist was unmatched at the time, including stadium sell-outs, but "Cassidymania" had its dark side — a London stampede that resulted in the death of one fan. Cassidy also struggled with alcohol abuse over the years.
Cassidy with his father Jack Cassidy and stepmom Shirley Jones in 1971
After quitting the series, Cassidy continued recording with some success, including the tune "I Write the Songs" (1975), later an even bigger hit for Barry Manilow. He achieved a comeback hit in the U.S. with the #14 single "Lyin' to Myself" (1990), and experienced great success on Broadway and on tour in the musical "Blood Brothers" (1993).
More recently, Cassidy had come to terms with his teen-icon roots and toured extensively until his illness forced retirement.
Cassidy was part of a dynasty of Hollywood talent. He was the son of Tony-winning actor and singer Jack Cassidy, who died in an apartment fire in 1976, and actress Evelyn Ward, who died of Alzheimer's disease in 2012. His stepmother's sons Shaun, Patrick and Ryan Cassidy are also all performers.
David & Katie in 2007
Cassidy was married and divorced three times — to actress Kay Lenz, horse breeder Meryl Tanz and songwriter Sue Shifrin.
He was the biological father of actress Katie Cassidy, with whom he had a distant relationship, and the father of actor Beau Cassidy with Shifrin, both of whom survive him.