Stars pay tribute to their ‘first love’ David Cassidy

Singer and TV presenter Coleen Nolan has told of how she “absolutely idolised” David Cassidy as she paid tribute to the teen heartthrob, who has died aged 67.

Cassidy was rushed to hospital last week and died on Tuesday surrounded by loved ones, with his family saying he had passed away “with joy in his heart” and “free from the pain that had gripped him for so long”.

Nolan said she and her sisters, who formed pop group The Nolans in the 1970s, were huge fans of Cassidy and went to see him perform back in the day.

She told ITV’s Lorraine: “I absolutely idolised him when we were kids, it was him and the Osmonds for us, and Linda was obsessed with Donny Osmond and Bernie was obsessed with David Cassidy, so there was always that battle.

“We went to see him in concert at the Manchester Arena in the day, and it was just incredible. It’s just tragic the way he ended up.”

Dozens of other stars in Hollywood and in the UK shared on social media how actor and musician Cassidy, who shot to fame in hit sitcom The Partridge Family, had touched their lives.

Actor and comic Dawn French shared a picture of a younger Cassidy on Twitter, along with the words: “I cherished you.”

Newsreader Kay Burley said that Cassidy was her “first love”, and stand-up comic Jenny Eclair said he was among those who “soaked up all the tears” for teenagers in the 1970s.

Comic actor Sanjeev Bhaskar mirrored the sentiment, and said: “Sad to hear of the passing of David Cassidy. Along with Donny Osmond and Marc Bolan, adorned most teen girls’ bedroom walls in the ’70’s. Loved watching The Partridge Family as a kid.”

BBC Radio 2 presenter Tony Blackburn said: “Very sad to hear that David Cassidy has passed away. I knew him well and toured with him introducing his concerts in the 70’s and was a nice guy. R.I.P. David.”

Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston shared a memory from working together.

He wrote: “RIP David Cassidy. I directed him on an episode of #MalcolmIntheMiddle. He was such an exceptional person & talent.”

US singer and talk show host Harry Connick Jr said: “So sad to hear of the passing of david cassidy… he was always so kind to me – such a pleasure to have had him on my show… sending love and prayers to his family… R.I.P. friend.”

Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson remembered how he had spent time with Cassidy in the mid-1970s.

“I’m very sad to hear about David Cassidy,” he wrote on Twitter.

“There were times in the mid-1970s when he would come over to my house and we even started writing a song together. He was a very talented and nice person. Love & Mercy to David and his family.”

I Will Survive singer Gloria Gaynor also wrote a poignant message on the social networking site.

She said: “My thoughts and prayers are with the family and loved ones of David Cassidy … part of a musical legacy via his role as “Keith Partridge” that brought music and laughter into the homes of millions …”

Musician Marie Osmond, member of showbiz family The Osmonds, shared a photo of old magazines featuring the teen idol.

She added: “Heartbroken over the passing of #DavidCassidy. He graced the covers of teen magazines w/ my Brothers in the ’70s. My condolences to his Family.”

Director Kevin Smith posted a video of Cassidy presenting an MTV award in 1990, and spoke of how the star had been a regular feature on his TV screen during his childhood.

“I grew up in an era before even cable TV, when The Partridge Family was already in reruns,” he said.

“David Cassidy’s Keith was one of my favorite TV characters. He was legit funny AND he could sing. The man entertained me during my childhood and even years later.”

Singer Rick Springfield said: “So sorry to hear about David Cassidy’s passing. Godspeed.”

Cassidy’s nephew Jack Cassidy wrote a touching message in which he referenced the “joy” his uncle had “brought to countless millions of people”.


 

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