David Cassidy’s turn as Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family made him into a teen sensation and later, a rock star.
At the height of his popularity, he was earning millions as touring singer, boasted a fan club that some say was larger than the Beatles’, and engaged in his share of romantic liaisons.
As an actor on a hit show and musician, Cassidy was constantly in the public eye and sometimes had dalliances with women who were also in show business. But there was one person who once captured his heart.
David Cassidy admitted he had difficulty connecting with women
Coping with the fame from being on The Partridge Family wasn’t always easy for Cassidy. In his 1994 autobiography, C’mon, Get Happy: Fear and Loathing on the Partridge Family Bus, he wrote about having to maintain an image for young fans. Cassidy said he had to hide himself, his sexuality, and his personal life.
While the book also went into graphic detail about his many sexual encounters with women, he admitted something was missing for him. So, he started seeing a psychiatrist while working on the show.
“I wanted help in dealing with the stresses that were too great for me. I was particularly bothered by my inability to form lasting friendships with women,” he shared. Cassidy also mused about discussing his sex life with guy friends and co-star Susan Dey, whom described as the only woman he viewed as a confidante and close friend.
He often thought the women he hooked up with were “one-shot deals” or actors looking for an opportunity. Cassidy said he began looking for more.
David Cassidy fell hard for Meredith Baxter
Fans probably remember Meredith Baxter best from her role as Elyse Keaton on Family Ties. Years before that, she did a guest spot on The Partridge Family where she first met David Cassidy.
“Of all the actresses I dated, there was only one I fell for or thought I had,” he wrote. “Only one I really wanted to have a lasting relationship with. Meredith Baxter. She was a few years older than I was when she made a guest appearance on The Partridge Family and we began dating,” Cassidy recalled.
She just divorced her first husband, Robert Lewis Bush, and had two children. “I really carried a serious torch for her. I never told anybody about it except Susan Dey, Shirley, and a couple of other friends,” Cassidy shared. He called Baxter beautiful, warm, and intelligent, and said she was kind of a hippie.
They kept their relationship a secret to keep the tabloids at bay, but his work schedule meant long periods apart.
A kidnapping threat ended the relationship
Cassidy was often surrounded by throngs of fans at his concerts, and outside of that environment, he was a still a target. Kidnapping threats were common, but one month into his relationship with Baxter, the FBI scooped him up to thwart a kidnapping/ransom attempt.
The police and FBI kept him secure in a hotel for weeks, and the only contact he had with anyone on the outside was when he went to work. Cassidy tried to get back with Baxter after things died down, but she already moved on with someone else: David Birney.
She and Birney were taping a show in the same studio as Cassidy, so he saw them each day. “It broke my heart,” Cassidy wrote. He eventually got over her and she married Birney. Cassidy got married three times before his death in 2017.
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