What a life of alcoholism did to David Cassidy

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UPDATE (Nov. 22, 2017):

David Cassidy died yesterday, November 21, 2017, at the age of 67, from organ failure. It was announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with dementia. (Source)
Below is the post that I wrote nearly four years ago, in January 2014, which has been revisited by readers because of Cassidy’s declining health and death.
I hope this post may convince alcoholics to get help and so avoid the sad and wretched end that befell Cassidy. May he rest in peace.

Remember David Cassidy who played Keith Partridge in the 1970s TV series The Partridge Family?
Born on April 12, 1950, Cassidy was blessed with boyish good looks. Although he was 20 years old when The Partridge Family began, he convincingly played a teenager on the show.
Here he is in 1978, still boyish looking at age 28:
David Cassidy in 1978
Below is David Cassidy’s mugshot, age 60, after he was arrested for DUI in Florida in Nov. 2010:
davidcassidy 1st DUI
Less than 3 years later, this is what Cassidy looked like, age 63, when he was arrested again for DUI in upstate New York in Aug. 2013:
5 months later on Jan. 10, 2014, Cassidy was once again arrested for DUI in California — his third DUI.
This is what alcohol has done to David Cassidy (see before and after below). While age leaves its mark on all of us, the before and after pics seem to be of two entirely different men.

UPDATE (Jan. 15):

In an exclusive interview with the National Enquirer, David Cassidy’s stepdad Marty Ingels, who is married to Cassidy’s stepmom Shirley Jones, said David “got off easy the last time around. On the second DUI, he got some fancy lawyer and it was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor. This third DUI, believe it or not, actually changes the status of that second one. It brings it back up to a felony. So now he’s in real hot water! A lot of the family is praying that David goes to jail because they believe it’s the only way he can save his life. I think they feel David is too far down the road to addiction and alcoholism for rehab alone to help him anymore. Jail would be a godsend. David needs at least 120 days behind bars.”
Marty says Shirley, who helped raise David after marrying his father, Jack Cassidy, in 1956, is not surprised by her stepson’s struggles with the bottle. She had lived through this kind of alcoholic behavior with Jack Cassidy, who died on Dec. 12, 1976, after passing out and dropping a lit cigarette in his Los Angeles apartment. His body was burned beyond recognition.
See also my followup post “12 horrible health effects of alcoholism,” Jan. 15, 2014.

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0 responses to “What a life of alcoholism did to David Cassidy

  1. No, it’s what David Cassidy has done to David Cassidy. There are a lot of alcoholics that refuse to let it control them. Evidently he chooses to take the easy path.

    • racefish, I think you mean to say there are many who have sought help.
      Am I correct? And trust me the path he is on is not the easy path.

      • Seeking help and staying on the program is a harder path. There are a lot of factors that can push a person back yo drinking the same as any other drug. A person has to really want to stay sober. That’s why AA works because they are there to help each other.
        My niece’s husband is an alcoholic that let it ruin his first marriage. He’s now clean, and she and the rest of the family are doing their best to support him.
        You could say it’s the same as a mental illness. Recovery isn’t possible without a willing support team to help, and that include family, friends, and professionals.

        • Seeking help and admitting to yourself and to God you have a problem is the first step. Staying in the program does take work. What I mean is by drinking to the nth degree as he apparently is, he is probably in a living hell.
          If he is a true alcoholic he probably drinks himself to blackout stage because the guilt, remorse, and shame are unbearable. Let’s add in the suicidal thoughts, Destroyed family, loss of fame, fortune.
          Yea, that sound like the easy way.
          You don’t know the true hell an alcoholic lives with daily. Don’t judge him, because who are you to judge. No one ever started out to be an alcoholic. It’s a disease. It’s treatable,and damn if the people in AA aren’t the most well adjusted people I know. They work on their problems daily. Their spirituality is the most important thing to them, Well other than sobriety. LOL
          I should know. Trust me.

        • you are 100% correct, never easy to stay clean without support and YOU have to want it bad as well

    • racefish,
      I’m frankly baffled by the hostile tone of your comment. This post is about “a life of alcoholism” destroying Cassidy — that is, what his alcohol drinking has done to him. In no way have I suggested or implied that he isn’t responsible.
      What you’re referring to are nonpracticing alcoholics (since we’re told one never stops being an “alcoholic” even in recovery).

      • Why are you baffled? It’s not “hostile” at all unless you’re saying putting the responsibility back on his shoulders is “hostile”. What I get out of your statement is “Poor guy, alcohol has done this to him”. What I’m saying is he’s let it happen. There are ways to get out of it but he’s doing neither.
        Of course you can look at him and see the damage. It’s no different with crack or meth. It’s an addiction that has a way of “recovery”. Recovery in no way is a cure.
        As I’ve said, it’s like a mental illness. I work with mentally ill people all the time. My son is mentally ill. You can preach to people all the time about the evils of alcohol, drugs, whatever. Unless they come to a realization they need help, there’s no way to help them. Sometimes as I’ve seen in many cases, the person has to hit rock bottom before that realization hits home. He has to make the decision on his own to seek the help. Pity will not get him into treatment.
        One other thing I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but a support system must be in place to help these people. Family and friends must be involved with the process. Behind every recovered alcoholic, clean addict, mentally ill person, there are a number of people encouraging them to stay the course. Peer groups such as AA can’t do it alone.
        So, “Hostile”? No, I’m stating the hard facts.

        • racefish, where the heck do you get “poor guy, alcohol did this to him” out of the Dr, comment and post?
          This is the caption above the pic.
          This is what alcohol has done to David Cassidy: end of story.
          She is saying bad stuff, not poor David.
          Why don’t you answer my question about the easy life he choose. You are judging a sick man with a disease. Several I’m sure.
          Alcohol lends itself to mental disease. .
          Yes he caused it, now he’s stuck. There is help. It is up to him and no one else.
          Many theories about alcoholism. Some say you’re born with it. How come one guy can drink 20 beers and be fine and another drink 2 and his life is ruined? You do come across as hostile when discussing the subject.
          It’s just not that cut and dry to me

        • Where on earth did you get the strange notion that I said “poor Cassidy, it’s not your fault”? Good grief. I dare you to SHOW ME the words I wrote that said so either directly or implied. It is *YOU* who drew that conclusion. Why, I have no idea.
          I did this post because I was stunned when I saw Cassidy’s mug shots. My post is meant as a warning about what alcoholism does to our bodies.
          I don’t appreciate your presumptiousness and your rudeness.

        • So many alcoholics and addicts have nobody left, and nowhere to go, before their recovery begins. Many are abandoned by their families, friends, and what many would consider to be a potential support system. All they may have are their new friends in the rooms, if they find the rooms. There are more in early recovery without familiar support systems than there are with them. It is only after considerable clean time do some re-enter their lives, if they do at all. “Behind every recovered alcoholic” is so far from the truth. Those that you know are the lucky ones.
          Alcoholism and other addictions are often symptoms of other behavior issues. When the fame and fortune of being a teenage heartthrob dries up, and you’re left with yourself, many don’t like what they see. Becoming a lounge singer, or however he may see himself, could be his own perceived fall from grace, and alcohol is an escape! If you know his family and friends, give them a call……sounds like he could use them.

          • Well said, Robert!

          • Robert, You’re so right about the support system. Depending where people decide to get off the ladder may determine how much family is left standing. Many have lost all when going into the rooms. It is only after some time in the rooms will they maybe start to put their families back

    • Addiction is not a choice. It is a disease. To use alcohol or drugs at first is a choice, then for some people it becomes an addiction. Addiction is sneaky, powerful and relentless & it doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, famous or the guy down the street. No addict ever thought it would happen to him/her. You don’t have to give him your sympathy, but just as a fellow human being, you can spare some compassion.

  2. The difference in the two mug shots is incredible. Can just the drinking ravage his body to that degree in just 5 months? I wonder if there is something else going on in his body.

    • swampygirl, I think the 2 pics on bottom are same pic. It is a little confusing with the dates. So no it is not 3 months difference. But there is a big difference in the 3 year photos.

  3. Really. Let’s account for age in the “ravaged” photo and consider hollywood “make-up” in the “boyish-good-looks” photo.
    I lost my boyish-good-looks years ago sans alcohol.

  4. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this excellent post. I agree that there might be a tendency towards alcoholism in individuals. However, I also maintain that this problem maintains a choice that involves the efficacy of one’s free will. This means, of course, that David Cassidy has the option to amend his life and help himself and others. Remember, that those around him most probably have been abused and hurt by his choice to remain attached to alcohol. Drugs and alcohol are merely another way that Satan tempts humankind to destroy themselves which is his goal.
    I think Dr. Eowyn has pointed out the results of his choice by setting forth certain pictures that may demonstrate the horrible effects of alcohol on the body, mind, heart and soul. No one has been judged; but this much needed disclosure should sober everyone.

    • joan, I wouldn’t say there was a tendency toward alcoholism, maybe over indulgence since we do seem to be a rather gluttonous lot. LOL
      Alcoholism is a disease. As I said no one starts out and says
      “when I grow up I want to be like those bums by the fire there”. It does I guess have something to do with free will, but as you say once satan and booze get their hooks into you it’s almost I guess like you’ve given up your free will.
      It’s after you have become a train wreck is when some,somehow find their Free will again and admit the problem and ask for help.
      It’s no secret that God or to be PC in AA they say “Your Higher Power”
      is so important in your recovery.
      I guess after satan has had you the only way out is thru our Lord.
      The good Dr. has definitely showed the ravages of alcohol.

  5. I used to have a serious drinking problem….not to the point of missing work or effecting anyone but myself (no family for me to hurt). But I drank to get wasted and did a lot of drunk driving. I am one of the lucky ones and I had my prayers answered and was finally delivered from this stronghold. Of course I prayed for years and years but then one day, the desire simply disappeared. I consider it a miraculous answer to prayer. I think if I had not been in sin in other areas, my healing would not have taken so long.
    I tried AA and I liked the support but I had a real issue with their creed about all paths leading to God. I of course totally understood the rationale behind it…..wanting to include and help everyone of all beliefs. However in my mind, I just kept thinking, that ultimately, what good is it to deliver the flesh of something if you are at the same time leading the soul down the wrong path? Anyway, I found it impossible to sit through hearing that every time I went there. I’m sure many Christians have been helped by AA and have not been led away from the Lord but I considered that to be deception which as is the case with all deceptions, they are usually hidden beneath a large amount of positive aspects. IMHO I also seem to remember that one of the AA founders may have been an atheist or agnostic which would also account for the way this organization was set up.

    • swampy,
      It takes courage to admit you had a serious drinking problem. 😀

      • Thank you Dr. E. but I don’t consider what I said to be courageous at all. This is actually one of my testimonies. I DO regret my past but I am so pleased to be an overcomer and want everyone to know that when you have God in your life all things are possible 🙂

        • know you have friends here swampgirl. 🙂
          love ya, sister!

          • Thank you Surfercajun……. back at ‘ya with the love and more of the same to everyone associated with this site. I am so blessed to be a part of such a great group of truth seekers/patriots and believers. God is good in oh so many ways.

    • swampygirl, thank you for being so courageous. Can you explain what you mean about AA? How would Christians be led away from the Lord?
      Thanks, Steve

    • Swampy, sorry but I could not wait for a response. I don’t want someone reading this and getting the wrong idea and not seeking help because of what you wrote.
      You almost make AA seem like a Cult, You said.
      “I’m sure many Christians have been helped by AA and have not been led away from the Lord but I considered that to be deception which as is the case with all deceptions, they are usually hidden beneath a large amount of positive aspects. ”
      Umm, What AA did you go to? Wow you really missed the point. The point is it’s all inclusive so it’s often referred to as a persons “Higher Power” because many people have a hard time dealing with “faith” I mean at this point in their lives they are pretty low and most are pretty sure “God” would never let this happen to them. Of course this is totally irrational thinking, but the point is if you start “fire and Brimstone” with people they are going right out of the room.
      AA is well aware of the Agnostic and Atheist. It takes great pains in not scaring them out. It will slowly try to help them find something that they can find to call “A power greater than themselves”
      People have to rediscover their own faith.
      They have tried many times to quit and can’t so they have to find help and that help is their “Higher power.”
      What happens is slowly, but surely “higher Power” get’s replaced with “God”
      Their “God” No one else’s. There is absolutely no preaching, or converting or whatever going on. Many people find their way back to their Churches
      or Synagogues or whatever.
      You are correct in that one of the founders (Bill W.) was an agnostic. And when they started figuring out the program the key to it’s success was helping people find a spirituality along with sobriety.

      • Steve, I did not mean to upset you. I know that many are helped by AA. I will not go into anymore about deception. But in a nutshell, what is missing from this organization is the name of Jesus and the fact that HE and HE alone is the only way to the true God and this is what the Bible tell us. God also tells us in the Bible “that there shall be no other Gods before me”. When you have someone saying to you that “your higher power” is whoever you want them to be, then you are saying that “all paths lead to God”. and that the sky is the limit. This is not Biblical, this is a new age concept. This idea also promotes the new thought process that is now gaining momentum in our society that….”there are no absolutes”.

        • Well said, swampygirl! It has always bothered me that the AA appeals to a vague generic “higher power.” Good grief. Satan too is a “higher power” because angels, even the fallen ones, have powers we mortal humans don’t have.

        • So no Jews need apply. Hmm, nice Christian attitude,
          Didn’t know people with a drinking problem went there to find Jesus. Always thought they went to a Church for that.

          • This was at swampygirl so as not to confuse the matter. Somehow I can’t edit my own comment.

          • Steve, I recognize misplaced anger when I hear it and I also know when someone has blown something totally out of proportion. You can have this one…I am not a good Christian and AA is a wonderful organization. I hope hearing this puts you in a happier mood. I will not be responding to anymore of your anger.

  6. I recently read where yeast overgrowth in a persons body can lead to drinking problems the same as it causes sugar addictions. Since sugar feeds the yeast cells, the more the yeast grows and needs more and more sugar to survive, which causes the person to crave sugar (carbohydrates).

    • I should have added that this could be an important link in why a person could become addicted to alcohol and aiding in one’s sobriety, if they have a drinking problem.

  7. I love you guys as you all are in a class all by yourselves! 🙂

  8. Interesting, Miche… your comment about Candida and Alcohol and a possible link between the two.
    I have always felt that there is some medical reason for alcoholism. AA can say that alcoholism is a disease all they want … but until there is an actual link to something medical that is causing the problem and explains why one person has a problem and another does not … I think many people will look upon alcoholics in a judgmental way… which is a shame and does not help the person suffering with an alcohol problem.
    Although judging others might have a medical link also – who knows – and that might be why certain persons always seem to be driven by an uncontrollable compulsion to judge others’ behaviors all the time … rather than assume there might be an underlying reason that makes the other person unable to live up to their standards … (and not that the other person is lazy or rebellious or has no will power, or whatever, as the underlying cause). But that is getting off topic.
    Back to the topic of Miche’s mention of candida and alcohol being linked somehow …
    ***A little known fact is that in the last 10 years of AA founder Bill Wilson’s life he was writing about using Niacin as a treatment for Alcoholism…
    He wrote 3 pamphlets on the topic. And even said (when asked shortly before his death == what one thing he would like to be most remembered for in the history books) Bill Wilson said that it would be for his promotion of the B-3 Therapy, not the creation of Alcoholics Anonymous. (Ernest Kurtz, Not-God: A history of Alcoholics Anonymous (Hazeldon Press 1979) P. 137-38.
    … Bill Wilson was speaking of it helping with depression but …
    ***** Niacin is good for treating candida …
    … without knowing it … Bill Wilson may have been treating a CANDIDA problem he had (whose SYMPTOMS are depression and often alcohol addiction).
    (note: I’m not yelling when I type in caps it’s just that I have no way to type in bold or italic, so it will stand out, so I have to settle for using caps, I guess)
    I have read that most alcoholics and addicts are suffering from Post Taumatic Stress Syndrome.
    ***Stress leads to candida …
    Joanne J
    PS: I do not drink … never have … BUT I have had a candida problem (along with a mercury poisoning problem) … and ever since the two my life has been a mess. i own a house on the water that has been flooded several times over the years. I think mold exposure years ago (and each time since the initial flooding event) may have been the first thing to start all this. Hurricane Sandy brought around 6 foot high flood waters inside the main level of my house (it leaves a ring on the walls like water in a bathtub).
    There is a lot of wisdom in the old Indian saying ‘Do not judge a man till you’ve walked two moons (a mile) in his moccasins’. If you have not lived through something sometimes you can never imagine (as hard as you might try) what someone else is really going through. If I had not personally been through what I have been through I would have NEVER imagined what it was really like.

    I am also taking for stress …
    AnuMed-Int Vitamin D3 (apply to skin – not internal)
    ***Stress causes problems with Vit D
    (cortisol and Vit D) …
    Your body cannot use calcium if you are deficient in Vitamin D. And you need calcium for your body to use magnesium. So even if you are getting them in your diet (and/or supplementing with these two). IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH VIT D you will not benefit from the calcium or magnesium you are taking.
    I was not getting much benefit from pills or liquid Vit D … topical seems to be working better for me. (The only reason I tried it was the local health food store had it in the 50% off clearance section — what luck for me).
    Vitamin B complex is also important (B6 and B12 etc.) You need MORE of these when you are stressed. And they are water soluable vitamins so you need them everyday.
    You get thrown into a chronic fight or flight syndrome and cannot handle life because of that — when you have chronic stress. It is a never ending cycle AND THE HEALTH ISSUES HAVE TO BE ADDRESSED IF YOUR LIFE WILL EVER BE NORMAL AGAIN.
    I am also taking Probiotics and Vitamin C to help with candida.
    PROBIOTICS also help with candida and stress…
    And also OmegaAstin topicaly … it is a capsule and meant to be taken internally but I cut open a capsule and spread it on my skin and leave it on for about 15 minutes (it is a bright orange color so I am afraid it might stain my skin if I leave it on much longer than that). And after 10-15 minutes i wipe it off with a baby wipe. My body seems to really need that right now for whatever reason.
    If you have an alcoholism problem I am guessing there is also a problem of chronic stress!!!!!! Do not overlook this if you want to fully heal.
    So, Miche, if there is a link between candida and alcoholism … then if any alcoholics (or relatives or friends that want to be helpful) read this … maybe there are some medical/health issues that need to be looked at for long term success to really be achieved.
    Also there are usually dehydration issues with alcoholism. And dehydration causes a lot of medical problems.
    ***NOTE: NON FLUSHING NIACIN (Nicotinamide) is NOT good for the LIVER when taken in large amounts … so taking that to avoid the flushing is NOT a good idea if you are an alcoholic.
    Anyway … that’s just what has been helping my candida problem recently … maybe someone else will benefit from reading this if I take the time to share the info.

  9. Sharon Goins-Eberhardt

    I really enjoyed reading this post and I love all the things that everyone has said…I would just like to add my two cents: Yes Bill W was an agnostic. He and the Oxford group (amongst others) figured out that almost all people who are prone to addiction had a few things in common…one of them being their concept of God and a lack of power in their lives so they realized that calling God a Higher Power would allow a person to trade in their old views of God for some that were more palatable allowing them to become humble enough to admit that they have a problem and get the help they needed. This is all with the understanding that Higher Power would turn to God eventually because there is no higher power than GOD. This idea that they had is base upon the same precepts as Christianity basically. In order for God to be in our lives, we have to admit that we are sinners (powerless) and realized that HE (Higher Power) is the only one that can save us. I think the concept of AA is genius which is why it has helped so many people. I just want to share my opinion. Thanks 🙂

  10. 39 yrs sober for the grace of god and AA. folks alcoholism plays with ones mind- a disease of denial. i knew david before he progressed big time. i was in touch a couple of months ago. folks trust me, i have no pity on him, but yet i love the guy. he s a terrific guy, n trust me,,its very very hard for world wide celebrities to get sober. why ? many many reasons. the older i get,the less i judge. so i ask you all ,don’t judge, don’t feel sorry but have compassion and hope 1 day he gets it. i plan on reaching out to him this 2015 winter. life will go on weather david gets it or not but lets wish him the best rather than many many opinions. if ? you can trust me- I’m an expert on active alcoholism and long term recovery

  11. I can see torment david cassidy went through
    My stepdad was as bad
    But david turned t drugs..as well
    Deterierated his profile celebrity status
    He ended up looking as his dad was the same as jack?
    3 wifes .owing milliions..he turned out t have paraniod physoprenia… personality disorder
    And hallucinations..with voices from dads temper
    .. it could been so different… as child star
    Was two much for him ..after keith partridge
    And his singing carreer ?
    He weed on ladies.. had sex… at 18.. did rude acromonius things…it was the drugs
    He does look 70 ..now ?
    He lost his looks.. not looking after hiself?
    Went bankrupt?

  12. The issue of addiction aside, Cassidy seemed to have everything going for him. I recall his years as a teen idol (even my older female cousins were wild over him) so he had opportunities available us ordinary guys could only dream. Shows us Hollywood is an illusion, it banks on youth and good looks until it uses those qualities up and does nothing to improve the inner man with its tainted philosophies and hedonistic goals. I can feel sympathy for the man. In spite of his success in his career he failed at life.

  13. This post has been rediscovered in recent days because of the rapidly declining health of David Cassidy, who died yesterday at the age of 67 from organ failure. It was announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with dementia. May he rest in peace.

  14. This is very sad…I have very fond memories of David Cassidy. My older sister and I had pictures of him plastered on our bedroom walls. He was so handsome and talented. When the internet came along in the mid 90s, there was a big 70s revival going on. Radio stations were having “Seventies Saturday Night” every weekend, the clothes came back in style, and it was a lot of fun to see websites showing t.v. shows and commercials from that time period. David Cassidy was one of the first guys on my list of stars from that era to look up and see all the old photos that others had collected. I still thought he was very handsome in all those old photos. Ah, what memories, what memories.
    Rest in peace, David. I pray you found the Lord before you died. 💙

  15. God bless the soul of David Cassidy. He must have been so sad with his life leading to alcohol. Perhaps very unhappy and feeling unfulfilled with his marital partners and divorces. It took the toll on his life. May God guide his soul and give him the happiness he so deserved. This earth was not meant to be for a God gifted musical artist like David. He was si talented in his craft but so unhappy with his personal life on drinks. RIP Sweet Angel. Lived and loved your music in the 70s. Beautiful memories that will live on like Karen Carpenter.

    • The little I knew about DC was that he was a good normal guy as we played Golf at a local venue a half dozen times . By Gods grace I was led to the FELLOWSHIP of AA & I broke my anonymity to him after all his DWI & pleaded he join me either in FtLaudOr nyc .His answer was always, I have a new lady companion n all is terrific 65 now , I’m more open than ever realizing AA isnt the only way to recover but I assure you, it’s the best way .Lets allow him to RIP .To those that pompously Judge him , be my guest as it says much more about you than DC.
      Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

  16. What does it mean ‘rest in peace?’ Should be more like a question “I wonder if he is in peace?”


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