Shaun Cassidy

A major teen idol of the late '70s, actor/singer Shaun Cassidy rocketed to fame both on the pop charts and on television, much as his half-brother David Cassidy had done earlier in the decade. The son of actors Jack Cassidy and Shirley Jones, he was born in Hollywood on September 27, 1959, and formed his first band at the age of 11. After signing with Mike Curb's division of Warner Bros. in 1975, Cassidy issued his 1976 debut single, "Morning Girl," which became a major European hit and made the singer the subject of considerable fan adulation and teen magazine scrutiny. The follow-up, a cover of Eric Carmen's "That's Rock 'n' Roll," was also a success abroad, especially in Australia. Cassidy's first American release followed in early 1977: a cover of the Crystals' 1963 classic "Da Do Ron Ron," it immediately hit number one, and overnight he became a heartthrob in his native land as well as internationally. Cassidy's fame increased with the 1977 premiere of The Hardy Boys Mysteries, a weekly TV series based on the popular teen detective novels, and his self-titled debut LP went platinum. "That's Rock 'n' Roll" was also reissued for American audiences, and went gold. The 1977 follow-up, Born Late, was another success, spawning the Top Ten hit "Hey Deanie." Cassidy's fame proved short-lived, however; 1978's Under Wraps struggled to crack the Top 40, and 1979's Room Service failed to even chart. With 1980's Wasp, he recruited producer Todd Rundgren in an attempt to make a serious rock album, performing material from the likes of David Bowie, Pete Townshend, and David Byrne; however, the LP stiffed, and Cassidy's recording career was essentially finished. Television became his primary focus, and he starred in the 1980 series Breaking Away, followed several years later by a stint on the soap opera General Hospital. After starring with David Cassidy and Petula Clark in Broadway's Blood Brothers in 1993, he returned to television as the creator and producer of the 1995 program American Gothic. ~ Jason Ankeny

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