Actor Jack Cassidy, by his own design, defied mere definition from the day he was born in Richmond Hills, New York in 1927 until his tragic death in 1976. An actor, singer, writer, designer – the consummate showman with a irrefutable creative entity – his life never followed a simple path nor did it ever lead quite where expected. Yet, in the end his impact on the entertainment community had been unmistakable – and unfortunately somewhat forgettable. Jack got lots of work during the golden age of television; life had also been enriched with his marriage to dancer-choreographer Evelyn Ward in 1948 . They had met while working on a show together. Their wedding was attended by the biggest stars in Hollywood… Marlon Brando, Jimmy Stewart, Liz Taylor and Richard Widmark to name of few… It twas’ a celebrity gossip publicist’s dream! In 1950 they had their first and only child… David…
Evelyn & Jack Cassidy.. Mother Evelyn & David Cassidy
What seemed like a fairy-tale story turned out to become very dark. The truth was that Jack Cassidy had many demons gyrating in his life.. Marked with alcoholism, a untreated bi-polar disorder and some secret same sex love interests… which included American composer Cole Porter. Blessed with matinee idol looks and a rich, baritone voice, he was a leading man of choice for high-profile musicals; including a European tour of “Oklahoma!” which cast him opposite a young and beautiful actress… her name was Shirley Jones. The pair soon fell in love and after divorcing Ward, Cassidy asked Jones to marry him between acts of a 1956 production of “The Beggar’s Opera”. Their first son, Shaun, was born in 1958, shortly before Cassidy reprised his leading roll in “Wish You Were Here” for a 1959 production co-starring his wife, Shirley Jones.
The Cassidy Family
The couple would produce three sons, Shaun, Patrick and Ryan, all of whom would pursue entertainment careers to varying degrees of success in the 1970s and beyond. Jack Cassidy, the glossily handsome actor and singer whom she described in passages of her autobiography as her first lover and a ‘sexual Svengali,‘. Even during their marriage, Jack had set up various menage a trois scenarios with male and female participants… Cassidy’s impressive endowment mixed with Jones’ own ‘highly sexed’ nature made orgasms a breeze. His extramarital sexual encounters left her unfazed and apparently tolerant of his philandering.
Jack Cassidy, Shirley Jones & David Cassidy…. Shaun & David Cassidy
In December of 1976 Jack Cassidy went out alone to dinner and visited some gay bars in West Hollywood.. where he frequently rendezvoused. When he arrived home, he was too drunk to make it to is bedroom and so he crashed on his living room couch… He Lights a cigarette and falls asleep while smoking… yes, the penthouse of his W. Hollywood apartment went ablaze and he was burnt beyond recognition. The police couldn’t find his car parked in the garage and it was quietly returned the following day by a male friend of Jack’s. The L.A. County Sheriff’s office were unable to link this mysterious man to Cassidy’s whereabouts or death. It was his dental records and a family ring that confirmed his death… He was cremated and had his ashes thrown into the Pacific Ocean… The story was that Cassidy had specially said in his will.. that no money or property would be given to his sons or Shirley! The got Bubkas!..
Cassidy’s Burnt Penthouse… Death Certificate
His eldest son, David became a teen idol from the T.V. show .. The Partridge Family… Ricky Nelson changed his name to “Rick” while The Monkees wanted to be taken serious. Once again the power of television premiered David Cassidy with his step-mother, Shirley Jones… He received so much fan mail that the post office in Hollywood had to annex an adjoining building just to sort through them.
The Partridge Family… David Cassidy Frenzy
The Partridge Family had four very successful seasons on the ABC Television Network… It later became a big hit in Great Britain….The first single, “I Think I Love You” became a juggernaut! It went #1 across the globe. The song was sung by David Cassidy and step-mom Shirley Jones..They were nominated for a Grammy in 1971 for best “New Artist”.
He married three times in all, but none lasted longer than his third. His three ex-wives were Kay Lenz, Meryl Tanz, and Sue Shifrinm (married for 23 years) . David Cassidy’s kids are named Katie who became a N.Y. super model and Beau became a studio musician. The main reason his third marriage (to Shifrinmn) failed was his constant drinking…prescription medication abuse for his depression took a toll on his health. He had been arrested three times for driving under the influence. Arrested again for leaving the scene after an accident when he collided with a car in Florida. Cassidy was sentenced to two years of probation and his license was suspended for five years. David’s legal team’s game plan was to convince the court that the former teen pin-up idol was driven by poor decisions because of an ongoing dispute over Partridge Family profits. According to reports, David was facing a potential year in jail due to his prior convictions!
With his last arrest in Los Angeles, the CA. Highway Patrol found a empty bottle of bourbon and pain pills under the passenger seat of his white Mercedes. aimed he had a single glass of wine and had taken the painkiller drug hydrocone for back spasms. Due to his legal and health issues (Diagnosed to have dementia) touring became difficult and in 2015 with his eminent divorce with Sue Shifrinm he declared bankruptcy. The Florida court claimed that Cassidy was over $10 million in debt… Cassidy listed his assets as his Fort Lauderdale mansion, worth three million dollars, two lots in the Bahamas which he purchased for $387,000 each, a couple of nice cars, some cash, and $94,000 owed in his legal victory against Sony for unpaid royalties from The Partridge Family.
David Cassidy’s Arrest Photo
Cassidy announced early in 2017 that he could not tour anymore and just wanted to “enjoy life”. Once a teen sensation four decades ago he grappled with several health conditions. His suffering from dementia worsened his organ functions. …. his kidneys stopped and he was in need of a liver transplant but it was all too late. At age 67, David Cassidy passed peacefully this his family around him… Like his father, he left no money to his ex-wives or children….. all that was left were memories and debt…