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'70s Heartthrob David Cassidy headlines UC Boulevard Bash

Friday, August 8, 2008

By Richard O Jones
Staff Writer

Although he came from a show- business family, the son of character actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward, David Cassidy said he was never pressured into following their footsteps, but he always knew he would.

"They were pretty involved in their own careers, so it was never expected of me," he said. "But I saw Dad on Broadway when I was 3 years old and I never thought of anything else."

Indeed, he said he remembers getting in the limo after his father's performance in "Wish You Were Here" and announcing his career plans to his parents.

"And they both said, almost simultaneously, 'As soon as you're out of high school,' " he said.

And he was true to that, doing his first auditions at the L.A. Theatre Company during his senior year and getting his first job in New York after he graduated.

He'd always been interested in music, as well, so when he was cast as the oldest son in a family band, he approached the producers about being involved in the musical side of "The Partridge Family."

"We were all cast as actors and during the pilot we lip-synched to someone else singing," he said. "Fortunately, the producers thought I was pretty good, so I got more involved in the musical side and worked with some of the greatest musicians and players Hollywood for five years."

After "The Partridge Family," Cassidy returned to television from time to time, and is currently working on a semi-autobiographical situation comedy pilot with his half-brothers Shaun and Patrick Cassidy, but the one constant has been music, and he still performs enough to keep a band busy in a show that he calls "a musical journey through my life."

Cassidy is also an avid horseman, raising and training race horses on a farm in upstate New York during the summers.

He said he "occasionally bumps into" his former Partridge family members. Shirley Jones is his stepmother (divorced from Jack Cassidy in 1974, and he died in 1976), so he stays in touch with her.

"None of us have seen Susan (Dey, Laurie Partridge) for a number of years," he said, "and Danny ... "

Cassidy seemed to sigh a lot when talking about Danny Bonaduce, whose post-Partridge career has been plagued by assorted scandals and miscues.

"I feel sorry for him, really," Cassidy said. "I have tried to reach out to him on a number of occasions."

But Cassidy said he has fond memories and great feelings of the Partidge experience.

"We shared something remarkable," he said. "I love that legacy and will continue to protect it.

"Anytime you have a career that lasts three decades, you realize nothing is constantly ascending," he said. "I've been fortunate enough to have a bunch of peaks, and so I accept the valleys."

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