In Memoriam: David Cassidy (1950 – 2017)

(Washington Post) David Cassidy, an actor and singer who became a teeny-bopper heartthrob in the early 1970s, starring as shaggy-haired guitarist Keith Partridge on the musical sitcom “The Partridge Family,” died Nov. 21 at a hospital near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 67.

His publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen, told the Associated Press on Saturday that he was hospitalized with liver and kidney failure. Mr. Cassidy announced earlier this year that he was suffering from dementia and would stop touring.

At the height of his popularity, Mr. Cassidy commanded a rabid fan base that drew comparisons to those of Elvis Presley and the Beatles, with the New York Times reporting that after a 21-year-old Mr. Cassidy’s gallbladder was removed in 1971, fans called for the singer’s gallstones to be covered in bronze and sold alongside clippings of his hair.

Mr. Cassidy’s entrails remained off the market, but for several years his likeness was emblazoned on posters, push-out cards, coloring books and lunchboxes, as the band he led on television — the Partridge Family, a true family outfit that featured his stepmother Shirley Jones — became one of the decade’s defining pop music acts, beloved by a mostly female audience and derided by critics who heard only bubble-gum blandness.

Cassidy announced on February 20, 2017, that he is living with non-Alzheimer’s dementia, the condition that his mother suffered from at the end of her life. He retired from performing in early 2017 when the condition became noticeable during a performance in which he forgot lyrics and otherwise struggled.

On November 18, 2017, it was announced that Cassidy had been hospitalized suffering from liver and kidney failure, and was critically ill in a medically induced coma. He was out of the coma two days later, but remained in critical but stable condition, with doctors hoping to keep him stable until a liver becomes available for transplant. Cassidy passed away the following day, aged 67 years.

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