David Cassidy’s cause of death has yet to be officially announced, but the former teen idol’s final years were marked by declining health that included a battle with alcoholism and an onset of dementia that forced him out of performing.
Cassidy died on Tuesday after spending several days in a Florida hospital battling organ failure. Based on previous reports, it appears that David Cassidy’s official cause of death will be related to the kidney failure he had been suffering, which TMZ reported more than two days ago had taken a turn for the worse. Doctors reportedly saw little hope of recovery, summoning Cassidy’s family to be by his side in the final days.
But even before his hospitalization, David Cassidy had been battling a number of serious ailments. As the International Business Times reported, Cassidy announced to fans earlier this year that he was suffering dementia. The condition left him unable to perform or even remember the words to songs he had been performing for decades, the report noted.
Cassidy would later say that part of him expected to suffer dementia, which also struck his mother, the actress Evelyn Ward.
“I was in denial,” Cassidy said (via the International Business Times), “but a part of me always knew this was coming.”
As WebMD noted, the average life expectancy after a diagnosis of dementia is 4.5 years, though people diagnosed before the age of 70 normally live a decade or longer.
In the final years of his life, David Cassidy also opened up about his struggles with alcohol. The actor and singer was arrested for DUI three times in a four-year stretch and admitted in an interview with Piers Morgan that his health was at stake.
“If I take another drink, I’m going to die, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I’m dead,” Cassidy said following his third DUI arrest. “You know, they say it’s a slippery slope…. It’s not a slippery slope. It’s from 12:00 to 6:00 on the clock and the whole face is ice. One sip, one drink, because there is no such a thing, not to an alcoholic. You have one and you’re — you’re done. I’d be done.”
Cassidy, who said his drinking started to spiral out of control in 2002, also went to several stints in rehab, but the drinking led to rifts in his family. Cassidy and wife Sue Shifrin divorced last year, and he reportedly had strained relationships with some of his children as well.
It was not immediately clear when an official cause of death for David Cassidy could be announced.
[Featured Image by Robert Mora/Getty Images]