John Joseph Edward Cassidy
March 5, 1927
|Died||December 12, 1976 (aged 49)|
|Cause of death||House fire|
|Occupation||Actor, singer, director|
|Children||4; David, Shaun, Patrick, Ryan|
|Relatives||Katie Cassidy (granddaughter)|
|Awards||Tony Award, Grammy Award (1964, She Loves Me)|
John Joseph Edward Cassidy, known as "Jack", (March 5, 1927 – December 12, 1976) was an American actor, singer and director known for his work in the theatre, television and films. He received multiple Tony Award nominations and a win as well as a Grammy Award for his work on the Broadway production of the musical She Loves Me. He also received two Primetime Emmy Award nominations. He was the father of teen idols David Cassidy and Shaun Cassidy.
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.
Cassidy achieved success as a musical performer on Broadway. 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, Cannon, Match Game and McCloud and three times as a murderer on Columbo, in the episodes "Murder By the Book" (directed by not yet famous Steven Spielberg, with teleplay by a young Steven Bochco), "Publish or Perish" (1974) and "Now You See Him..." (1976). Jack Cassidy also appeared on Barnaby Jones; episode titled "Murder in the Doll's House (03/25/1973).
He co-starred with Ronnie Schell in a television revival of Hellzapoppin'. Cassidy also co-starred as an informer 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 an urbane, witty, confident egotist with a dramatic flair, much in the manner of Broadway actor Frank Fay. Cassidy perfected this character to the 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. Cassidy had played a similar buffoonish character in the 1967–1968 sitcom He & She, but 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.
Marriages and children
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. Son Shaun also became a teen idol in the late 1970s, starring in The Hardy Boys series, and producing four top-40 records. Jones and Cassidy divorced in 1975.
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. The elder Cassidy, who suffered from bipolar disorder and alcoholism, 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. Cassidy's second wife, Shirley Jones, described a similar incident when she found him sitting naked in a corner of their house, 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". In December 1974, Cassidy was hospitalized in a psychiatric facility for 48 hours. At that time, Jones found out that he had been previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
David Cassidy said his father was bisexual, citing personal accounts and reports, both anecdotal and published, of his father's same-sex affairs, something neither he nor his siblings knew until after their father's death. In her 2013 memoir, Shirley Jones wrote that Cassidy had many same-sex affairs, including one with Cole Porter.
By 1976, Cassidy was living alone in a penthouse apartment in West Hollywood.
According to ex-wife Shirley Jones, Cassidy asked her over for drinks on December 11, 1976, but she declined. He then invited actress and singer Donna Theodore out for a date, who also declined. 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 maniacally ran around the nightclub they were visiting. Feeling uncomfortable, she ended the date and asked him to take her back home, which he did. After eating dinner alone at a restaurant, the Brownstone Bistro on Pico Blvd. in West L.A., Cassidy returned to his apartment alone and drunk, having consumed alcohol at various bars across West Hollywood earlier that evening. He had reportedly been seen drinking at one point with actress Nanette Fabray.
In the early morning hours of December 12, 1976, Cassidy lit a cigarette and fell asleep on his Naugahyde couch. Asleep, he dropped the cigarette, igniting the couch. The flames spread throughout the apartment and building. At 6:15 a.m., the blaze was discovered by Deputy Sheriff John DiMatteo, who evacuated the building, and entered Cassidy's apartment. A smoking, charred corpse was found in the doorway of the apartment. As Cassidy's car was missing, his family hoped that he had traveled to Palm Springs, as he had intended to do the following day. But the corpse was soon identified by his dental records and signet ring that he wore, bearing the Cassidy family crest. His car had been borrowed by a friend, who returned it afterwards. Cassidy's remains were cremated and scattered into the Pacific Ocean.
|1961||Look in Any Window||Gareth Lowell|
|1962||The Chapman Report||Ted Dyson|
|1970||The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County||Roger Hand|
|1971||Bunny O'Hare||Lieutenant Greeley|
|1975||The Eiger Sanction||Miles Mellough|
|1976||W.C. Fields and Me||John Barrymore|
|1977||The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover||Damon Runyon|
|1957||The United States Steel Hour||Performer||Episode: Shadow of Evil|
|1957||Lux Video Theatre||Denis/Dr. Steele||2 episodes|
|1958||Richard Diamond, Private Detective||Danny Fortune||Episode: The Percentage Takers|
|1958||Gunsmoke||Marcus France||Episode: The Gentleman|
|1960||The Chevy Mystery Show||David Townsend||Episode: Femme Fatale|
|1961||Hawaiian Eye||Maurice Clifford||Episode: Concert in Hawaii|
|1961||Maverick||Roger Cushman||Episode: The Art Lovers|
|1961||Alfred Hitchcock Presents'||Mark Lansing||Episode: The Pearl Necklace|
|1961||General Electric Theater||Alan Richards||Episode: Sis Bowls 'Em Over|
|1961||Lock-Up||Vincent Gibson||Episode: Two Wrongs|
|1961||Wagon Train||Dan Palmer||Episode: The Nancy Palmer Story|
|1962||Surfside 6||Val Morton||Episode: Who is Sylvia?|
|1962||Everglades||Ron Fairburn||Episode: Black Honeymoon|
|1962||FBI Code 98||Walter Macklin||Episode: Television Movie|
|1962||77 Sunset Strip||Dick Arnador||Episode: The Bridal Trail Caper|
|1961–62||Bronco||Edward Miller||2 episodes|
|1962||The Dick Powell Show||Roth||Episode: The Big Day|
|1962||Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol||Bob Cratchit (voice)||Television Movie|
|1962||Hennesey||Chaplain||Episode: I Thee Wed|
|1963||The Wide Country||Jerry Manning||Episode: The Judas Ghost|
|1964||Mr. Broadway||Allan||Episode: The He-She Chemistry|
|1964||Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo||voice||Television Movie|
|1965||The Lucy Show||Prof. Zoorkin||Episode: Lucy and the Undercover Agent|
|1965||The Alfred Hitchcock Hour||Arthur Mannix||Episode: The Photographer and the Undertaker|
|1967–68||He & She||Oscar North||26 episodes|
|1967||Coronet Blue||Spangler||Episode: A Charade for Murder|
|1967||The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.||Rock Mussin||Episode: The Carpathian Caper Affair|
|1967||I Spy||Nick Fleming||Episode: The Trouble with Temple|
|1968||Get Smart||Mr. Bob||Episode: The Return of the Ancient Mariner|
|1968–70||Bewitched||Various Roles||2 episodes|
|1969||That Girl||Marty Hines||2 episodes|
|1970||The Governor & J.J.||Mark Ellison||Episode: The Making of the Governor|
|1970||Matt Lincoln||Doug Conway||Episode: Nina|
|1970||George M!||Jeremiah "Jerry" Cohan||Television Movie|
|1970||The Andersonville Trial||Otis Baker||Television Movie|
|1970–72||Love, American Style||Performer||3 episodes|
|1971||Sarge||John Michael O'Flaherty||Episode: The Eleven O'Clock War|
|1971||Bonanza||Kevin O'Casey||Episode: Cassie|
|1971||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||Hal Baxter||Episode: Cover Boy|
|1971||Alias Smith and Jones||Harry Wagener||Episode: How to Rob a Bank in One Hard Lesson|
|1971||Columbo||Ken Franklin||Episode: Murder by the Book|
|1971||The Powder Room||Performer||Television Movie|
|1971||Night Gallery||Marius Davis||Segment: The Last Laurel|
|1971||The Mod Squad||Perry Lerriko||Episode: Kicks Incorporated|
|1972||Mission: Impossible||Orin Kerr||Episode: Casino|
|1972||Your Money or Your Wife||Josh Darwin||Television Movie|
|1972||Banyon||Grey Gloves||Episode: Dead End|
|1973||Orson Welles Great Mysteries||Pennington||Episode: For Sale - Silence|
|1973||Barnaby Jones||Craig Woodridge||Episode: Murder in the Doll's House|
|1973||A Time for Love||Tom Pierson||Television Movie|
|1974||Fools, Female and Fun||Danny Holliday||Television Movie|
|1974||The Phantom of Hollywood||Otto Vonner/Karl Vonner||Television Movie|
|1974||Great Performances||Paul Sears||Episode: June Moon|
|1974||Columbo||Riley Greenleaf||Episode: Publish or Perish|
|1974||Cannon||General James O'Hara||Episode: Photo Finish|
|1975||Hawaii Five-O||Orrin Morwood||Episode: How to Steal a Submarine|
|1975||Matt Helm||Buckman||Episode: Murder on Ice|
|1975||Knuckle||Patrick Delafield||Television Movie|
|1975||Death Among Friends||Chico Donovan||Television Movie|
|1976||Columbo||The Great Santini||Episode: Now You See Him...|
|1977||McCloud||Lord Charles Bridges||Episode: London Bridges|
|1977||Benny and Barney: Las Vegas Undercover||Jules Rosen||Television Movie|
|1977||The Feather and Father Gang||Bishop||Episode: The Judas Bug|
Source: Playbill Vault 
|1943||Something for the Boys||chorus||Alvin Theatre|
|1946||Around the World||chorus||Adelphi Theatre|
|1947||Music in My Heart||chorus|
|1948||Small Wonder||ensemble||Coronet Theatre|
|1948||Inside U.S.A.||chorus||Majestic Theatre|
|1950||Alive and Kicking||ensemble||Winter Garden Theatre|
|1952||South Pacific||Richard West||Majestic Theatre|
|1952||Wish You Were Here||Chick Miller||Imperial Theatre|
|1954||Sandhog||Johnny O'Sullivan||Phoenix Theatre|
|1956||Shangri-La||Charles Mallinson||Winter Garden Theatre|
|1957||The Beggar's Opera||MacHeath||New York City Center|
|1963||She Loves Me||Steven Kodaly||Eugene O'Neill Theatre|
|1964||Fade Out – Fade In||Byron Prong||Mark Hellinger Theatre|
|1966||It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman||Max Mencken||Alvin Theatre|
|1968||Maggie Flynn||Phineas Flynn||ANTA Theatre|
|1969||The Mundy Scheme||Mick Moloney||Royale Theatre|
|1973||Sondheim: A Musical Tribute||Performer||Concert, Shubert Theater|
|1975||Murder Among Friends||Palmer Forrester||Biltmore Theatre|
|1958||Wonderful Town||Robert Baker||Brussels World's Fair, Belgium|
|London, United Kingdom|
|1959||Wish You Were Here||Chick Miller||Dallas, Texas|
|1959||Epitaph for George Dillon||George Dillon||Los Angeles, California|
|1965||Mary, Mary||Dirk Winsten||National tour|
|1967||Wait Until Dark||Roat||National tour|
|1972||The Marriage Band||Performer||Las Vegas, Nevada; National tour|
Awards and Nominations
|1964||Grammy Awards||Best Musical Theater Album||She Loves Me||Won|||
|1964||Tony Awards||Best Featured Actor in a Musical||Won|||
|1965||Fade Out - Fade In||Nominated|
|1966||Best Actor in Musical||It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's Superman||Nominated|
|1968||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy||He & She||Nominated|||
|1971||Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series||The Andersonville Trial||Nominated|
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. As of July 2018, he is not listed in their on-line database.
Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy albums
- Speaking of Love (1957) Columbia Records
- Brigadoon (1957) Columbia Records
- With Love from Hollywood (1958) Columbia
- Marriage Type Love (1959) RCA Records
- Maggie Flynn (1968) RCA Records
- Showtunes (1995) Sony Music Entertainment
- Essential Masters (2011) Master Classics Records
- Marriage Type Love (2014) Columbia Masterworks Records
- Guest appearances
- "Jack Cassidy, Actor, Dies at 49 In Fire at Los Angeles Apartment". The New York Times. December 13, 1976. Retrieved May 31, 2009.
- "Actor Jack Cassidy Dies In Blaze". Beaver County Times. December 13, 1976. pp. B-16.
- "Jack Cassidy Broadway Credits". Playbill. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
- "Jack Cassidy". TVGuide.com. TV Guide. Retrieved 24 January 2020.
- 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.
- "Cover Boy".
- Donnelley, Paul (2003). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries. Music Sales Group. p. 144. ISBN 0-711-99512-5.
- Cassidy, David; Deffaa, Chip (1994). C'Mon, Get Happy... Warner Books. p. 214. ISBN 0-446-39531-5.
- 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.
- Cassidy 1994 pp. 204-205
- Jones 1990 p. 52
- McGlone, Jackie (March 24, 2007). "Still a daydreamer". The Scotsman. Retrieved July 6, 2008.
- Jones, Shirley (2013). Shirley Jones: A Memoir. New York: Gallery Books. p. 96. ISBN 978-1-4767-2595-6.
- Jones, Shirley (2013). Shirley Jones: A Memoir. Simon and Schuster. pp. 229–230. ISBN 978-1-476-72595-6.
- Karanikas Harvey, Diana; Harvey, Jackson (1996). Dead Before Their Time. MetroBooks. p. 104. ISBN 1-567-99284-6.
- Jones 2013 p.229
- Petrucelli, Alan W. (2009). Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous. Perigee Trade. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-0-399-53527-7.
- "Jack Cassidy - Awards". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- "Jack Cassidy Vault". Playbill.com. Retrieved 20 March 2020.
- Clarke, David (May 12, 2014). "BWW CD Reviews: Shirley Jones and Jack Cassidy's MARRIAGE TYPE LOVE is Sweet Nostalgia". BroadwayWorld.com.