David Cassidy And Susan Dey: Inside An Unrequited Love On ‘The Partridge Family’ Bus

Partridge Family stars

David Cassidy’s heartbreaking health crisis has fans looking back on his life—and his many romances. Cassidy, who shot to superstardom on the 1970s sitcom The Partridge Family, is fighting for his life in a Florida hospital and the prognosis is grim. David is in critical condition with multiple organ failure and is currently in the ICU with a breathing tube, according to CNN.

In happier times, David Cassidy was married to actress Kay Lenz from 1977 to 1982, then had a brief marriage to Meryl Tanz in 1984. His marriage to Tanz was followed by a long marriage to Sue Shifrin from 1991 to 2016, which resulted in the birth of their son, Beau. Cassidy also had a daughter, future Arrow star Katie Cassidy, with girlfriend Sherry Williams in 1986.

In addition to his marriages, David Cassidy was a groupie magnet who also had high-profile dalliances with everyone from Gina Lollobrigida to Meredith Baxter during his heydey as a teen idol. But one romantic relationship that never came to fruition was a romance between David Cassidy and his Partridge Family co-star Susan Dey. According to Entertainment Weekly, in his 1994 memoir C’mon Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, David Cassidy admitted that he rejected a smitten Susan Dey because she “lacked the slutty aspect of a female” that he desired.

Susan Dey’s crush on David Cassidy was painfully unrequited. In her 2013 self-titled memoir, David Cassidy’s stepmom and co-star Shirley Jones confirmed that the actress who played Laurie Partridge “had a great big crush on David, and he didn’t reciprocate her feelings.” According to Parade, Jones revealed that David saw Susan as “the sister he had never had.” But Dey’s crush on her TV brother was hardcore, despite the fact that he regularly hooked up with female fans and groupies as his Partridge Family fame skyrocketed him to superstar status.

“Throughout the series, Susan Dey continued to be crazy about David, but he didn’t handle her emotions for him particularly well or sensitively,” Jones wrote.

“She wouldn’t listen to my advice to stay away from David, and I found myself warning her over and over against getting involved with him.”

Partridge Family Cast

In his book, David Cassidy admitted that he was never attracted to Susan Dey but that she was so determined to get him in bed he finally gave in. Cassidy admitted he regretted it later.

“I find a certain sluttiness very attractive in a woman, and Susan just didn’t have it,” David wrote. “She was sweetness and innocence, a good girl, and I couldn’t think of her as anything but my sister.”

David Cassidy was last seen in public with Susan Dey in 1990, 16 years after The Partridge Family wrapped its four-season run. The former co-stars teamed up to present The Viewers’ Choice award at the MTV Video Music Awards, where they engaged in a playful back and forth banter. Dey was a major TV star on the NBC legal drama L.A. Law at the time, while David was continuing with his solo career.

Ten years later, David Cassidy revealed he had lost contact with Susa Dey, most likely due to his 1994 tell-all in which he spilled details about their ill-fated one night stand.

“I haven’t spoken to her since we did the MTV Awards together eight, nine years ago,” Cassidy said at the time, according to the Desert News.

While David said he tried to extend an olive branch by writing Susan a conciliatory letter after his book came out, he never heard back from her.

“I never heard a response, and I don’t know why,” David said. Cassidy also questioned why Susan refused to participate in any type of reunions or interviews regarding The Partridge Family.

“I really feel badly that Susan Dey, for whatever her own personal reasons, can’t embrace the fact that she was 16, 17 years old, and millions of people loved her for that,” David said. “You don’t have to prove that you’re so serious. We know you’re serious. In life, be thankful. I don’t know, just be gracious enough to acknowledge it to the rest of the world.”

Susan Dey has not spoken out on David Cassidy’s failing health. The former co-stars’ TV brother, Danny Bonaduce, has asked fans to pray for the Partridge Family superstar.

You can see David Cassidy and Susan Dey working together on The Partridge Family below.

[Featured Image by ABC Television Network/Public Domain/Wikimedia Commons]