Former Partridge Family star David Cassidy died Tuesday at the age of 67, leaving behind a legacy as one of the most notable young singers and actors of the 1970s. This came nine months after he announced his retirement from performing and admitted suffering from dementia, and less than a week after CNN and other publications reported he was hospitalized with organ failure. With his passing, tributes have been coming in for the onetime teen heartthrob, including several coming from his contemporaries in the entertainment industry.
As noted by the Daily Mail, one of the more notable tributes came from Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson, who recalled spending time in the 1970s working on music with David Cassidy. In his tribute, Wilson referenced the title of one of his late ’80s songs, which was also used as the title of his 2014 biopic — “Love & Mercy.”
“There were times in the mid-1970s when he would come over to my house and we even started writing a song together. He was a very talented and nice person. Love & Mercy to David and his family.”
Marie Osmond, who, like Cassidy, enjoyed her most successful years in the 1970s as a teen idol, honored David by posting photos of old teen magazine covers from that decade, with Cassidy prominently featured alongside Marie’s brothers.
Heartbroken over the passing of #DavidCassidy. He graced the covers of teen magazines w/ my Brothers in the ‘70s. My condolences to his Family. ???????? #RIP #PartridgeFamily #DavidsHitSong #70sIcon #IWokeUpInLoveThisMorning pic.twitter.com/EUJXr8YBwb— Marie Osmond (@marieosmond) November 22, 2017
Director Kevin Smith, who gained fame in the 1990s for films such as Clerks and Mallrats, issued a tribute to David Cassidy after news of his death broke, taking to Twitter and posting a video of David and his Partridge Family co-star Susan Dey presenting the People’s Choice Award at the 1990 MTV Video Music Awards. He also related the story of how he looked up to Cassidy and his television character, Keith Partridge, during his childhood years.
“I grew up in an era before even cable TV, when The Partridge Family was already in reruns. David Cassidy’s Keith was one of my favorite TV characters. He was legit funny AND he could sing. The man entertained me during my childhood and even years later.”
As noted by Variety, prime time rival Maureen McCormick, who played Marcia Brady on The Brady Bunch, also expressed her sadness on social media upon hearing of David Cassidy’s death. She described him as a “kind and sweet” man and admitted to having “dreamt of being a Partridge” despite the fact she was one of the main stars on The Partridge Family’s rival show.
My heart is hurting. You were an amazing tv daddy! Proud and honored to have worked with one of the best. Love and Prayers #DavidCassidy— Alexa PenaVega (@alexavega) November 22, 2017
Binge watching #RubyAndTheRockits ... Such a special show. ????— Alexa PenaVega (@alexavega) November 22, 2017
RIP David Cassidy.— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) November 22, 2017
Teen superstar, troubled adult & lovely but very complex man.
This was my heart-rending interview with him in 2014 about his lengthy battle with alcohol addiction. He says it all, with courage, honesty & humour. https://t.co/uOHIo1EoK3 pic.twitter.com/D7MRV2HSPs
Although David Cassidy was best known to teens and children of the 1970s as one of the lead stars of The Partridge Family, he remained active in entertainment for years after the popular TV show was canceled. In 2009, he starred alongside younger half-brother Patrick Cassidy in the sitcom Ruby & the Rockits, playing the role of a former rock musician still yearning for his glory days as a teen idol. Alexa PenaVega (then known by her maiden name, Alexa Vega) played the role of David’s daughter Ruby, and in a short but touching tribute, she remembered Cassidy as an “amazing TV daddy” and “one of the best” in the business.
Like many celebrities forced into the spotlight at a young age, David Cassidy struggled with substance abuse for large chunks of his adult life. As recalled by CBS News, Cassidy admitted to using drugs in a 1972 interview with Rolling Stone, and battled a drinking problem in his later years, saying in a 2014 interview with British presenter Piers Morgan that he was an alcoholic. It was those imperfections that Morgan focused on in his tribute to the late singer and actor, which included a video link to the aforementioned interview.
David Cassidy is survived by his stepmother Shirley Jones, his half-brothers Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan, and children Katie and Beau. Funeral arrangements have yet to be announced as of this writing.
[Featured Image by Rick Diamond/Getty Images]