While there are countless child stars today, few have ever reached that uber-idol status that fills arenas for songs sung by their TV persona. Today’s teens and tweens think of “Hannah Montana”, the teen idol played by Miley Cyrus. Parents of those teens remember who did it first. David Cassidy was the superstar of the 70’s, or rather it was Keith Partridge of “The Partridge Family”.
First to answer the question of “where is he now?”, David Cassidy is still acting and singing on small tours in the US and Europe. Most recently, Cassidy has acted in “Ruby and the Rockitts”, and has had several single episode roles on television shows. In the summer of 2010 he will be on tour in California.
Even though David Cassidy has made 31 albums in total, he’ll likely always be remembered for the hits he had as Keith Partridge. At 19 years old David was cast as the 16 year old lead singer of the traveling family band with his step-mom, Shirley Jones, playing his mom on TV. Sound familiar “Hannah Montana” fans?
The show was an immediate hit due largely in part to Cassidy’s stage presence, voice, and of course, that gorgeous hair. Keith Partridge was the typical California kid of the 70’s with a single mom trying to support her family. Every member of the family was a part of the band, but it was clear from the start that frontman Keith was a star. Soon Cassidy was booking tours around the world, but as Keith Partridge.
The deluge of fame lasted four full blown years with no end in sight. Then it happened. On May 30, 1974 a crowd waiting to get in to a concert at London’s White City Stadium started to stampede. Over 650 people were injured and a 14 year old girl was pronounced dead later due to injuries sustained in the stampede.
It was gone as fast as it had come. David Cassidy was so affected by the tragedy that he quit the show, essentially ending it, and stopped all touring. At the age of 23 playing a 17 year old, Cassidy told The Spokesman Review that “they never let you grow up.” Cassidy had been slipping away from the show, doing a nude photo shoot and ultra-revealing interview admitting to drug use in Rolling Stone magazine.
Slowly he came back to acting, almost willing the death of Keith Partridge. David had his highest honor, an Emmy nomination in 1978, for a single episode on “Police Story”.
Now decades later, it appears David Cassidy has finally embraced Keith Partridge and “The Partridge Family” for the phenomenon that it was. Touring under his real name, he does still treat fans to favorites like “I Think I Love You”. You can see the “Partridge Family” video of the song here, but I warn you it will stay in your head.
The Spokesman Review: Spokane, WA August 17, 1975
The Sydney Morning Herald May 31, 1974 – Cassidy Fan Dies
David Cassidy Nominations/Awards
MSNBC: Come On Get Gabby – Former teen idol David Cassidy is telling all – in the U.K.
The Downunder David Cassidy Fan Site: Discography – David Cassidy Albums