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For the Jefferson Airplane bass guitarist, see Jack Casady.
Jack Cassidy
Jack Cassidy circa 1960s.JPG
Cassidy, circa 1960s
Born John Joseph Edward Cassidy
(1927-03-05)March 5, 1927
Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, U.S.
Died December 12, 1976(1976-12-12) (aged 49)
West Hollywood, California, U.S.
Cause of death Thermal injuries
Occupation Singer, actor
Years active 1946–1976
Relatives Katie Cassidy (granddaughter)
Awards Tony Award (1964, She Loves Me)

John Joseph Edward "Jack" Cassidy (March 5, 1927 – December 12, 1976) was an American singer and actor of stage, film, and television.

Early life[edit]

He was born in Richmond Hill, Queens, New York, the son of Charlotte (née Koehler) and William Cassidy. His father, an engineer at the Long Island Rail Road, was of Irish descent and his mother was of German ancestry.[1]


Cassidy achieved success as a musical performer on Broadway.[2] He appeared in Alive and Kicking, Wish You Were Here, Shangri-La, Maggie Flynn, Fade Out – Fade In, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman, and She Loves Me, for which he won a Tony Award. He also received Emmy Award nominations for his television performances in He & She and The Andersonville Trial.

On television, he became a frequent guest star, appearing in such programs as The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, Gunsmoke, Bewitched, Get Smart, That Girl, Hawaii Five-O, Match Game and McCloud and three times as a murderer on Columbo, including the acclaimed "Murder By the Book" episode directed by Steven Spielberg. Because that episode was the first one of the first season, Cassidy was the first murder suspect of the series, excluding two previous pilot films.

He co-starred with Ronnie Schell in a television revival of Hellzapoppin'. Cassidy also co-starred as a killer in the movie The Eiger Sanction with Clint Eastwood and provided the voice of Bob Cratchit for the pioneering animated television special Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol.

His frequent professional persona was that of an urbane, super-confident egotist with a dramatic flair, much in the manner of Broadway actor Frank Fay. Cassidy perfected this character to such an extent that he was cast as John Barrymore in the feature film W.C. Fields and Me.

The role of the vain, shallow, buffoon-like newsman Ted Baxter on TV's The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977) was reportedly written with Cassidy in mind.[3] Although Cassidy had played a similar buffoonish character in the 1967-1968 sitcom He & She, he turned down the role, feeling that it was not right for him; the part went to Ted Knight. Cassidy later appeared as a guest star in a 1971 episode as Ted's highly competitive and equally egotistical brother, Hal.

Personal life[edit]

Marriages and children[edit]

A programme featuring Cassidy and Jones at the White House in 1957

Cassidy was married twice. His first marriage in 1946 was to actress Evelyn Ward. Together they had a son, David, who later became a teen idol. They divorced in 1956 and in the same year Cassidy married singer and actress Shirley Jones. Cassidy and Jones had three sons, Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan. Cassidy's eldest son David later starred with Jones in the musical sitcom The Partridge Family. Jones and Cassidy divorced in 1974.[4]

Mental issues[edit]

In his 1994 autobiography, C'Mon, Get Happy, Cassidy's eldest son David wrote that he became increasingly concerned about his father in the last years of his life. Cassidy suffered from bipolar disorder and was an alcoholic, who was displaying increasingly erratic behavior. In 1974, his neighbors were shocked to see him watering his front lawn naked in the middle of the afternoon.[5] Cassidy's second wife Shirley Jones described a similar incident when she found him sitting naked in a corner, reading a book. Jones said to him that they had to get ready to do a show, and he calmly looked up and said, "I know now that I'm Christ".[6] In December 1974, Cassidy was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility for 48 hours.[7] At that time, Jones found out that he had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder.[8]


David Cassidy claimed that his father was bisexual, citing attributed personal accounts and reports, both anecdotal and published, of his father's same-sex affairs, a fact neither he nor his siblings discovered until after his death.[9] In her 2013 memoir, Shirley Jones confirms that Cassidy had many same-sex affairs, including one with Cole Porter.[citation needed]


By 1976, Cassidy was living alone in a penthouse apartment in West Hollywood.

According to ex-wife Shirley Jones, on December 11, 1976, Cassidy asked her over for drinks, but she declined his invitation. He then invited actress and singer Donna Theodore out for a date. According to Theodore in a 1999 interview, which was featured in the Mysteries and Scandals episode on Cassidy, she began noticing strange mood swings in Cassidy, notably one incident in which he ran all over the nightclub to which they had gone. Feeling uncomfortable, she asked him to take her back to her house, which he did. After eating dinner alone at an Italian restaurant, Cassidy returned to his apartment alone, by which time he was drunk, as he had consumed alcohol at various bars across West Hollywood that evening. In the early morning hours of December 12, Cassidy lit a cigarette and fell asleep on his Naugahyde couch.[10] He then dropped the cigarette, which ignited the couch. The flames quickly spread throughout the apartment and the building.[4] At 6:15 a.m., the blaze was discovered by Deputy Sherriff Jon DiMatteo, who evacuated the building and entered Cassidy's apartment. A charred body was found in the doorway of the apartment. As Cassidy's car was missing,[1] his family hoped that he had traveled to Palm Springs, as he had apparently intended the following day. But[11] the body was soon identified as Cassidy's by dental records and a signet ring that he wore, bearing the Cassidy family crest.[1][12] The car had been borrowed by a friend, who later returned it. Cassidy's remains were cremated and scattered on the Pacific Ocean.[13]


Cassidy won the 1964 Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical for his role in She Loves Me and was nominated for two Emmy Awards: in 1968 for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Comedy, for He & She, and 1971 for Outstanding Single Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for the film The Andersonville Trial (1970). Cassidy was approved for a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2005, and fundraising efforts are currently underway to fund the dedication ceremony.


Source: Playbill Vault [14]







Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy albums

Guest appearances


  1. ^ a b c "Actor Jack Cassidy Dies In Blaze". Beaver County Times. December 13, 1976. pp. B–16. 
  2. ^ "Jack Cassidy Broadway Credits". Playbill. Retrieved July 15, 2015. 
  3. ^ Cassidy, David; Deffaa, Chip (1994). C'mon, Get Happy ... Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus. New York: Warner Books. p. 50. ISBN 0-446-39531-5. 
  4. ^ a b Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Music Sales Group. p. 144. ISBN 0-711-99512-5. 
  5. ^ Cassidy, David; Deffaa, Chip (1994). C'Mon, Get Happy... Warner Books. p. 214. ISBN 0-446-39531-5. 
  6. ^ Jones, Shirley; Ingels, Marty; Herskowitz, Mickey (1990). Shirley & Marty: An Unlikely Love Story. New York: William Morrow & Company. p. 49. ISBN 0-688-08457-5. 
  7. ^ Cassidy 1994 pp. 204-205
  8. ^ Jones 1990 p. 52
  9. ^ McGlone, Jackie (March 24, 2007). "Still a daydreamer". The Scotsman. Retrieved July 6, 2008. 
  10. ^ Jones, Shirley (2013). Shirley Jones: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster. pp. 229–230. ISBN 1-476-72595-0. 
  11. ^ Karanikas Harvey, Diana; Harvey, Jackson (1996). Dead Before Their Time. MetroBooks. p. 104. ISBN 1-567-99284-6. 
  12. ^ Jones 2013 p.229
  13. ^ Petrucelli, Alan W. (2009). Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous. Perigee Trade. pp. 38–39. ISBN 0-399-53527-6. 
  14. ^ "Jack Cassidy Broadway Credits" playbillvault, accessed July 15, 2015
  15. ^ a b Clarke, David (May 12, 2014). "BWW CD Reviews: Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy's MARRIAGE TYPE LOVE is Sweet Nostalgia". BroadwayWorld.com. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Cassidy — Please support Wikipedia.
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144406 videos foundNext > 

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This is a tribute to talented television/movie actress and singer Shirley Jones. Brigadoon was written in 1947 by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Shirley ...

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Feminist TV skit from the 1970s.

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2801 news items

Winona Post

Winona Post
Wed, 20 Apr 2016 08:56:15 -0700

More than 300 people came out to support Jack Cassidy, the 2-year-old son of Saint Mary's University women's soccer coach Neil Cassidy, by participating in the Jogging For Jack Superhero 5K on the Saint Mary's Winona campus on April 10. The Cassidy ...
Sentinel & Enterprise
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 20:56:15 -0700

"Jack Cassidy also played great. As we get more years playing lacrosse, the program will grow. Right now, I have one player that played youth lacrosse." The Spartans would not let it get any closer, as Banks took the nice feed from Jamison McCartney at ...


Thu, 28 Apr 2016 11:33:45 -0700

Laquon Treadwell Is Ready for the NFL Spotlight. The humble 20-year-old Ole Miss star and likely first-round NFL draft pick returns to an adoring hometown. By Jack Cassidy. Published yesterday at 1:35 p.m. ...


Thu, 07 Apr 2016 16:48:45 -0700

When 2-year-old Jack Cassidy from Rochester was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, he was far from letting that get him down. Instead, he used his superhero alter-ego to get him through. Recommended for you. Todd Richard Logan UPDATE: Douglas ...

New York Theatre Guide

New York Theatre Guide
Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:37:30 -0700

The original 1963 Broadway production starred Barbara Cook, Daniel Massey and Jack Cassidy and ran 301 performances. Performed to celebrate the Roundabout's 50th anniversary, the company also revived the last Broadway outing in 1993.

Hunts Post

Hunts Post
Fri, 29 Apr 2016 07:03:45 -0700

“Rick (manager Marheineke) and Cass (number two Jack Cassidy) had an idea of where they wanted to get to when they took over and they've done a great job. “They set us the target of hitting the play-offs this season and we've done that. We've already ...

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette
Thu, 14 Apr 2016 15:36:23 -0700

Cassidy's musical influences are complex “I was always into the blues, rock and pop but since my parents (Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward) were in the theater I grew up with Gershwin and Cole Porter and the great songwriters. I always have that imprinted ...

Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette
Fri, 15 Apr 2016 10:37:30 -0700

David comes from a line of famous entertainers, including his father, the late actor Jack Cassidy, and his brother, actor/singer Shaun Cassidy. His step-mother was Shirley Jones, who played Shirley Partridge, the matriarch of The Partridge Family.

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