David Cassidy’s brother says it was ‘terribly hard’ watching ‘Partridge Family’ star battle alcoholism

Sean Cassidy, David Cassidy’s half-brother, reflects on his relationship with the late “Family Partridge” star.

The former teen idol died in 2017 at the age of 67 due to organ failure after battling alcoholism for several years. He was the only son of Broadway actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. The patriarch married actress Shirley Jones and they shared three children: Sean, Patrick, and Ryan.

Cassidy’s younger brother admitted that it was “extremely difficult” watching the “I Think I Love You” singer struggle with alcoholism.

“I’ve seen it in every household,” the 63-year-old told Page Six in a recent interview.

David Cassidy’s Final Months: Ex-teenage idol gets frightened by his father’s death

Sean Cassidy, left, and David Cassidy during happy times.
(Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

“He had an experience with our dad that was very different from the one I had,” the performer-turned-writer noted. “He had a different mother; he had a different experience professionally. I loved and adored him and he was as funny a guy as you’ll ever meet. We did a Broadway show called ‘Blood Brothers’ together for a year and it’s been amazing working with him and it’s been great.” Very healing because we felt so connected to our father.”

The father of eight told the enforcer that his family helped him avoid the dangers of fame at an early age.

“By the time I became successful at 18, three other people in my family had already had massive success,” he explained. “My dad was an idol of Broadway athletes, my mom was an Academy Award winner at 24, and David was a pretty big pop star. I kind of watched all of this, so by the time it happened to me, it wasn’t a part of my identity that I invested in permanently or successfully at all.

The Partridge Family, which starred Cassidy and his stepmother, was broadcast from 1970 until 1974. Cassidy’s appeal faded after the show’s hiatus, though he continued to tour, record, and act over the next forty years. He has also occasionally given stage and television productions, including an Emmy-nominated performance in “A Police Story”.

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David Cassidy was one of the teen idols in the 70's.

David Cassidy was one of the teen idols in the 70’s.
(ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images)

Cassidy will endure personal and financial problems. He married and divorced three times, faced addiction, was arrested for driving under the influence, and in 2015 filed for bankruptcy. Cassidy had two children, musician Beau Cassidy and actress Katie Cassidy, and admitted they had a distant relationship.


The former teen idol contacted the producers of a documentary on A&M;  E after he fell ill and told them he had a liver disease.

The former teen idol contacted the producers of a documentary on A&M; E after he fell ill and told them he had a liver disease.
(Bobby Bank/Getty Images)

In 2018, an A&E documentary titled “David Cassidy: The Last Session” quoted the singer as saying that he was still drinking in the last years of his life. Cassidy told the producers that he got sick and learned he had a liver disease. According to him, there was no sign of dementia and it was “complete alcohol intoxication”. Cassidy admitted that he lied by telling friends and family that he had stopped drinking.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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