If you’re still harboring a crush on the late David Cassidy, don’t be ashamed — it’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 40 years since “The Partridge Family” went off the air.
The fictional family stole America’s heart in the early 1970s, and breakout star Cassidy is still known as one of TV’s all-time biggest heartthrobs. But similarly beloved were his fellow cast members, including his real-life stepmother, Shirley Jones.
Jones, now 85, has actively tried to maintain a close relationship with her on-screen kids, despite some pretty major difficulties. She’s openly discussed challenges with Cassidy, who struggled with alcohol abuse over the years, saying he refused to communicate with the family.
Cassidy tried to clean himself up, but it was a lifelong battle that continued until his death. He continued performing for his dedicated fans until 2017, when he told fans about a private battle with dementia. He passed away in November 2017. Months after his death, audio footage seemingly confirmed that Cassidy, in fact, did not have dementia: “I have a liver disease,” he told a producer. “There is no sign of me having dementia at this stage of my life. It was complete alcohol poisoning. The fact is, I lied about my drinking.”
While his relationship with Jones suffered over the years, Cassidy remained close to “Partridge” brother Danny Bonaduce. Their friendship survived all of the drama and difficulties that can come from the transition from child star to famous adult.
Jones was crushed when Suzanne Crough passed away in 2015 at age 52, saying at the time, “I still remember her as my young daughter on ‘The Partridge Family.’ She was the baby of the show. It’s a rude awakening that we are all mortal. How fleeting life is.”
The cast also suffered a loss in 2014 when family patriarch Dave Madden died in 2014.