Shaun Cassidy is an American singer, producer, writer and actor, born on 27 September 1958, in Los Angeles, California USA. He’s probably best known from appearing in TV series “The Hardy Boys Mysteries” and for his number-one single “Da Doo Ron Ron”.
Shaun Paul Cassidy is the son of actors Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones. Shaun has two younger brothers named Patrick and Ryan. Famous actor and musician David Cassidy -born from his father’s first marriage to Evelyn Ward – was his older half-brother.
Due to his parent’s profession Shaun grew up in Los Angeles and New York, attending Solebury School for his primary education, and then Beverly Hills High School until his matriculation.
Shaun Cassidy is 57 today. He is the former teen idol who starred in the television series The Hardy Boys Mysteries and…
Music – Rise to Fame
Shaun Cassidy signed his first recording contract with Warner Bros. Records while still in his teens. This was the first step to start recording music, which led to the release of his first, self-titled album in 1977.
The solo work reached multi-platinum, and its single “Da Doo Ron Ron” – originally recorded by girl group The Crystals in the 1950s – charted number one and won him a nomination as Best New Artist for the Grammy Awards. The album’s second single was entitled “That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll” and charted at number-three in US, earning him international fame due to its success in Europe and Australia.
Despite his recent huge fame and his successful live tour through the US, suddenly becoming a teen celebrity didn’t change Shaun’s humble nature: ‘The idea of being any kind of an idol is kind of embarrassing. My self-worth was never rooted in that.’
The same year Cassidy’s second album, “Born Late” was released, and unlike his first album, this one showcased many songs co-written by him. Written by Eric Carmen, its single “Hey Deanie” charted at number-seven, while the second one entitled “Do You Believe in Magic?” – originally recorded by rock band The Lovin’ Spoonful in the 1960s – didn’t have the same success, hitting number 31 on Billboard.
Despite this, the album was eventually certified platinum, though it received mixed critiques: ‘a few old Beatlemaniacs are murmuring that Shaun isn’t so bad–he likes the music more than David ever did, his covers show some feeling, and “Hey Deanie” actually rocks.
All of which is true. And all of which is still pretty lame. In 1978 Cassidy’s third album, “Under Wraps” peaked at number 33 on Billboard, and its only charting single “Our Night” was number 80 on lists. Although the album is not considered a commercial failure, it meant a dramatic change from his previous works, and signaled Cassidy’s momentum and appeal as a teen celebrity was ending.
The song “It’s Like Heaven” includes Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson songwriting, who had previously collaborated in various songs of Shaun’s half-brother David.
In July 1979 Cassidy released his fourth album entitled “Room Service”, though its only single, “You’re Usin’ Me” didn’t chart at all on Billboard’s 200, which meant Cassidy’s biggest and first commercial failure.
Ralph Heibutzki reviewed this work on All Music and pointed out its mistakes: ‘The real issue is a lack of distinctive material for Cassidy to call his own. He and Lloyd wrote or co-wrote all but one song – “The Letter” – so they definitely have to shoulder the blame. Cassidy might have had better luck if he’d stuck to his stripped-down guns on “Fallin’ Into You” or “Break for the Street,” whose crisp delivery and guitar work make them the best moments here.’
“Wasp” – the fifth and last studio album of Cassidy, released in 1980 – showcased covers of songs such as “Rebel Rebel” by David Bowie, and “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” by Ian Hunter. Searching for a way to reinvent his sound and career, this pop-oriented album was produced by Todd Rundgren.
Although the single “Memory Girl” became a hit in Europe, Cassidy’s efforts to create a commercially successful album were ineffective as “Wasp” was his second album in a row failing to chart in the US, and marking the end of his career as a singer.
Shaun Cassidy’s debut as an actor was as Christopher Wentworth Hewlitt in 1976’s movie “Born of Water”. Following this role – and shortly after the release of his first studio album – Cassidy was cast as Joe Hardy, the starring role in 1977’s TV series “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries”, increasing his fame as a teen idol.
In 1979 he was cast as Roger Meyer in the drama TV movie “Like Normal People” and a year later he obtained his second recurrent role, as Dave Stoller in “Breaking Away”.
At the start of the 1980s Cassidy’s musical career had sunk considerably, thus he decided to stay away from playing characters on TV, and decided to focus on Broadway instead, starring in “Mass Appeal”, a national tour along Milo O’Shea. He also acted in “Bus Stop” – which debuted in London – and in the one-year run of “Blood Brothers” in which he acted as his half-brother David’s counterpart.
However, the feud on stage was just for acting as Cassidy told People: ‘We don’t have traditional sibling rivalry, but we’re close. We shared a mutual experience that is kind of unique, we compared notes. But I had an advantage: I saw him go through it.’
In 1985 Cassidy returned to TV when he played David Dischinger’s character in an episode of “American Playhouse”. Next he appeared as Chad Singer in “Murder, She Wrote”, made a brief appearance in “Hospital General” in 1987, then in movie “Once upon a Texas Train” and in “Matlock”. Cassidy’s last acting appearance was in 1995, in the short film “Your Studio and You”.
Producer and Screenwriter
Cassidy successfully transitioned from a pop singer and actor to a screenwriter in the early 1990s, when he wrote the pilot for “American Gothic”. Although the series was canceled after only a season on air, its was well received by critics and obtained a passionate review in The New York Times: ‘The most original new show of the season’.
Cassidy continued working on his writing skills, and in 1997 created the series “Roar” starring Heath Ledger, which was followed in the same year by “Players” starring Ice-T.
In 2005 Bela Bajaria of Universal Television praised Cassidy on his work, and confirmed the network’s decision to hire him as the creator and executive producer of the drama-horror series “Invasion”: ‘(he) is a talented creator and a skilled showrunner. With his vast experience in the entertainment business, he understands all angles of making a TV show. He is also a strong supervisor to other writers, and we are excited to have a deal with him’.
Where Is He Today?
Although years have passed since his last TV appearance, Shaun Cassidy is still actively working behind cameras.
Nowadays he’s the producer and main writer of the series “New Amsterdam” premiered in 2018.
Marriage and Children
Cassidy married for the first time in 1979 to model Ann Pennington, with whom he had two children: Caitlin born in 1981 and Jake born in 1985. He was also Pennington’s daughter Jessica’s step-father. The marriage ended in 1993.
In 1995 Cassidy married Susan Diol, with who he had a daughter Juliet in 1998. Eight years into the marriage, they filed for divorce. In 2004 Cassidy married Tracey Lynne Turner, with whom he has four children: Caleb, Roan, Lila and Mairin. Nowadays the couple is still happily married and lives in California.
Nice date. But how was the conversation? https://t.co/fhApvBgwuP
— Shaun Cassidy (@shaunpcassidy) June 13, 2020
As a result of his successful career as singer, actor, producer and screenwriter, Shaun Cassidy has an estimated net worth of over $20 million, as of mid-2020.
Shaun Cassidy is a man of white ethnicity, who has blond-brownish hair and green eyes. His weight is unknown, but he’s 5ft 11ins (1.80m) tall.
His contract with Warner Bros. Records was signed in 1977, only a year after his high school matriculation.
As a tribute to his half-brother David, who died on 21 November 2017 of liver failure, Shaun Cassidy warmly remembered him with a photo of them together posted on his Twitter account: ‘I tried to catch him of course. I always tried to catch him. But I never could. Now, I will carry him, along with all of the funny/sad/extraordinary days we shared, none more filled with love than these last few at his side.’
David Cassidy’s music memorabilia was left to his brothers –including Shaun- as part of his last will.