Singer Shaun Cassidy was born on Sept. 27, 1958 in Los Angeles, California. He formed his first band when he was 11. In 1976, his father died tragically in a fire. His career kept moving forward and he had his first U.S. hit in 1977 and landed a role on <
Singer, actor, writer, producer. Born on September 27, 1958, in Los Angeles, California. A teen heartthrob during the 1970s, Shaun Cassidy has built a second career for himself behind the cameras. He was born into a show business family - his father Jack Cassidy and his mother Shirley Jones both had successful singing and acting careers.
Following his parents' footsteps, Cassidy became a singer at a young age. He started his first band when he was 11 and signed a record deal in 1975. The following year, Cassidy had a hit in Europe with "Morning Girl." His next single, "That's Rock 'n' Roll" was another hit overseas. Soon he was on his way to stardom as a teen idol - much like the success that his older half-brother David Cassidy had enjoyed earlier in the decade.
That same year, however, Cassidy's life was struck by tragedy. His father died in a fire at his Hollywood apartment on December 12, 1976. (His parents had divorced in 1975.) "The biggest disappointment in my life was that my father never got to hear me perform," Cassidy later told People magazine.
With 1977's "Da Do Ron Ron," Cassidy scored his first U.S. hit and developed quite a following with young teenage girls. He also landed a leading role on the television show The Hardy Boys Mysteries opposite Parker Stevenson. The two actors played Joe and Frank Hardy, the two teenage sons of an investigator who often acted as junior detectives themselves.
Teen Heartthrob Status
During this time, Cassidy became a huge pop star. His first two albums - Shaun Cassidy and Born Late - sold more than 5 million copies. His likeness appeared on countless other products, such as lunch boxes and posters, generating even more income for this teenage performer. At his concerts, Cassidy was often mobbed by adoring fans. He seemed to be able to keep all of this success in perspective despite his young age. "I've been around show business a long time and I know it's ephemeral. It's Disneyland. It's not the real world," he told People magazine in 1978.
By the end of the decade, Cassidy's music career was on the decline. He worked with producer Todd Rundgren on 1980's Wasp, which was his attempt at more serious rock sound. For the recording, Cassidy sang several cover versions of hits by other artists, such as David Bowie's "Rebel Rebel." The music buying public, however, was not interested.
The Hardy Boys Mysteries was cancelled in 1979, but Cassidy quickly returned with Breaking Away, a sitcom based on the 1979 hit film about a cycling fanatic and his friends. Unfortunately, the series only lasted for one season before being canceled in 1981. Cassidy took a break from acting and singing for several years, returning later in the decade for a stint on the soap opera General Hospital. He also performed in numerous stage productions and made his Broadway debut in Blood Brothers in 1993 alongside half-brother David Cassidy.
Working Behind the Camera
By this time, however, Cassidy was more focused on working behind the camera. He sold a series idea to CBS in 1990, but the show was never produced. The following year, Cassidy wrote and co-produced the 1991 television movie Strays, a dark tale about some cats that were not quite what they seemed. Cassidy continued along this dark path to help create American Gothic. This horror series premiered in 1995 and starred Gary Cole as an evil sheriff in the small town. The show was canceled after one season.
Continuing to work in television, Cassidy has served as an executive producer on Cold Case, The Mountain, and Invasion. He is currently developing a new series for the Fox Network entitled Inseparable, and will co-star with his brother, David in the sitcom Ruby and the Rockits in 2009.
Cassidy has been married to Tracey Lynn Turner since 2004. The couple has two sons, Caleb and Roan. He also has two children from his first marriage to Ann Pennington - Caitlin and Jake - and a daughter named Juliet from his second marriage to actress Susan Diol.
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