Da Doo Ron Ron
Shaun Cassidy first gained fame as singer and actor before making transformation to writing and producing in early 1990s. A major teen idol in the late 1970s, Cassidy scored his first pop hit in Europe with “ Morning Girl” (1976) but it was not until the release of a cover the Crystals' 1963 classic, “ Da Doo Ron Ron,” that his international success transported into the United States. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 1977. He went on to produce three more hit singles with “That's Rock 'n' Roll” (1977, #3 US), “Hey Deanie” (1978, #7 US) and “Do You Believe in Magic” (1978, #31). Cassidy doubled his success on the small screen thanks to his performances as Joe Hardy on the ABC series “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” (1977-1979) and Dave Stoller in “Breaking Away” (1980-1981). He was nominated for a 1980 Young Artist Award for his portrayal of Roger Meyers on the TV film “Like Normal People” (ABC, 1979). However, his teen idol status showed an indication of declining in early 1980s.
Following a string of failed album, Cassidy decided to put his music career on the back burner in 1980, and he spent most of the 1980s and early 1990s on his stage career. He performed with David Cassidy on the production of “Blood Brothers” (1993) on Broadway, which marked his Broadway debut as well as his last acting credits. Cassidy has since become known for his writing and producing efforts. He created, wrote and produced television shows such as “American Gothic” (1995), “Roar” (1997), “Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family” (2000), “Invasion” (2005) and “Ruby & the Rockits” (2009). In addition, he wrote/produced episodic television not of his own creation like “The Agency” (2001), “Cold Case” (2003) and “The Mountain” (2004).
Cassidy is the father of seven children. He has four children with current wife Tracey Lynne Turner, one child with his second wife Susan Diol (together from 1995-2003) and two children first wife Ann Pennington (together from 1979 to 1993). Cassidy is a vegetarian.
Son of Actors
Childhood and Family:
Shaun Paul Cassidy was born on September 27, 1958, in Los Angeles, California, to celebrity parents Oscar winning actress Shirley Jones and Tony award winning actor Jack Cassidy. His parents divorced later divorced in 1974, after a 18 year of marriage. Shaun has an older half brother, David Cassidy (actor, singer, musician; born April 12, 1950), from his father's earlier marriage to actress Evelyn Ward, and two younger brothers, Patrick Cassidy (actor; born January 4, 1962) and Ryan Cassidy. He was raised in Los Angeles and New York City in an Irish-American household and graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1976, the same school attended by Angelina Jolie, Michael Klesic, Nicolas Cage, David Schwimmer, and Lenny Kravitz. Although he performed with his mother in summer productions during his pre-teen/teen years, Shaun was deterred from a show business life by both parents and was encouraged to focus on his education.
Shaun has been married three times. He married first wife model Ann Pennington (born in 1950) on December 1, 1979, but they later divorced on July 4, 1993. The marriage produced two children, Caitlin Ann Cassidy (born November 25, 1981) and John (Jake) Pennington Cassidy (II) (born February 27, 1985). He then married actress Susan Diol (born May 25, 1962) on May 7, 1955, but the marriage deteriorated on March 1, 2003. The couple share a daughter, Juliet Jones Diol Cassidy, (born March 19, 1998). Shaun currently is married to Tracey Lynne Turner, a producer whom he married on August 28, 2004. They have four children: Caleb (born on March 3, 2005), Roan (born on September 23, 2006), Lila (born on December 13, 2008) and Mairin (born on June 25, 2011).
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries
Shaun Cassidy began as a singer at a young age. He formed his first band, Every Mothers Dream, when he was 11 years old and sang in a punk band called The Longfellow when he was 14. However, his musical career was cut short when his parents wanted him to concentrate on his schooling. Cassidy had his first acting exposure when he starred with his mother in a summer stock stage musical production of “On A Clear Day You Can See Forever,” where he played the role of James Preston.
After graduating from high school, Cassidy decided to resume his singing career and make some records in Germany. He signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records in 1975 and released his self titled debut album, “Shaun Cassidy,” in 1976 in Europe and Australia, where he scored a hit with “Morning Girl.” The same year, he also made his professional acting debut as Christopher Wentworth Hewlitt on the short independent film “ Born of Water,” opposite James Almanzar and Janit Baldwin.
Cassidy's singing career enjoyed a huge boost in 1977 with the release of a cover of version of The Crystals' song, “Da Doo Ron Ron.” The song became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 on July 16, 1977 and subsequently launched his career as a pop musician and teen idol in the US. He followed it up with the hit single “That's Rock 'n' Roll” (1977), which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and went gold in the US.
On October 1, 1977, Cassidy resurfaced with the sophomore effort “Born Late.” The album generated two hit singles. The first “Hey Deanie” (1978), which was written by Eric Carmen, who also wrote his previous hit, “That's Rock 'n' Roll,” reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became a gold record. The next single, a remake of John Sebastian's hit, “Do You Believe in Magic” (1978), became a top forty hit on the Billboard Hot 100 (#31). The third studio album “Under Wraps” followed on July 1, 1978. The album hardly reached the Top 40 on the Billboard charts and enjoyed less commercial success that its predecessors. The single “Teen Dream” (1978) failed to make it on the Billboard Hot 100. It became an early indication that Cassidy's teen idol status was beginning to lose its force.
On the acting front, Cassidy starred along with Parker Stevenson in the ABC television series “The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries,” where they played amateur detective brothers Joe and Frank Hardy, respectively. The show ran for three seasons from January 30, 1977 until January 14, 1979. The role later brought him TV Land nominations for Favorite Crimestopper Duo (shared with Stevenson) and Favorite Teen Dream – Male.
In 1979, Cassidy made his television movie bow as Roger Meyers on the ABC drama “Like Normal People,” in which he was nominated for a 1980 Young Artist Award for Best Juvenile Actor in a TV Series or Special for his performance. The same year, on July 1, 1979, he released the fourth studio album “Room Service,” which was poorly received and did not chart on the Billboard chart. The single “Our Night” peaked at No. 80 on the Billboard Hot 100. Still in 1979, Warner Bros. released “That's Rock 'N' Roll Live,” a live album his 1979 concert tour.
On September 1, 1980, Cassidy released the fifth studio album “Wasp.” It marked his second album not to chart on the Billboard and his final studio album as well. He would make a comeback attempt to music in 1989, but proved to be unsuccessful. The single “Memory Girl” (released in Germany only) became his last hit in Europe.
Cassidy returned to series television as a regular when he assumed the role of Dave Stoller in the comedy/drama series “Breaking Away,” which was based on the 1979 film of the same name by Peter Yates. The series ran for a season from November 29, 1980 to January 10, 1981.
Throughout the remainder of the 1980s, Cassidy continued on to land roles on television. He starred as David Dischinger in the made for television film “ Breakfast with Les and Bess” (1985), opposite Mark Humphrey and Bill Kemp, played the role of Dusty Walker in the soap “General Hospital” (1987), co-starred with Willie Nelson and Richard Widmark on the western telepic “Once Upon a Texas Train” (CBS,1988) and had a supporting role as Edmund Jr. in the ABC television movie “Roots: The Gift” (1988), which marked his last on screen appearance. He landed episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” (1987), “Matlock” (1988) and “ Alfred Hitchcock Presents” (1988). However, for most part of the 1980s and early 1990s, Cassidy focused on stage acting. He appeared in productions such as “Mass Appeal,” “The Subject Was Roses,” “Diary of a Hunger Strike” (won a Dramalogue award for Best Actor) “Dangerous Music,” “ Bus Stop” and “Pass/Fail.” He made his Broadway debut in Willy Russell's “Blood Brothers” (1993), with his half-brother David Cassidy, which marked his last acting credits to date.
After music and acting, Cassidy tried his hand in writing and producing in the early 1990s. He made his debut as writer/producer with “Strays” (1991), a television horror film starring Kathleen Quinlan, Timothy Busfield and Claudia Christian. He then wrote the TV film “Midnight Run for Your Life” (1994), starring Melora Walters, Richard Herkert and Jennifer Manasseri. In 1995, Cassidy created and produced the horror series “American Gothic,” with Sam Raimi as executive producer. The show premiered on CBS on September 22, 1995, but was canceled after a single season on July 11, 1996. In 1997, he co-created and executive produced the fantasy series “Roar,” which starred Heath Ledger and Sebastian Roché. The show, however, also had a short life and was canceled after eight episodes aired. He also wrote the television series “Players” (1997) and created and executive produced “Hollyweird” (1998).
Cassidy served as executive producer on the USA Network comedy/drama series “Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family,” starring Peter Dobson and Melora Hardin. The show ran for a season of 25 episodes between March 5, 2000 and March 24, 2001. He also wrote an episode called “Just Act Normal” (2000). In 2001, he wrote three episodes of “The Agency”, a CBS television drama series that was created by Michael Frost Beckner and was executive produced by Michael Frost Beckner, Shaun Cassidy Productions and Radiant Productions in association with Universal Network Television and CBS Productions. Cassidy next executive produced four episodes of “Cold Case” (2003) and wrote and executive produced episodes of the WB short lived drama “The Mountain” (2004-2005) before creating the science fiction/drama series “Invasion,” which was produced by Shaun Cassidy Productions and Warner Bros. Television. The show ran on ABC from September 21, 2005 until May 17, 2006.
In 2009, Cassidy created and executive produced the short lived sitcom “Ruby & the Rockits,” which ran on the ABC Family from July 21, 2009 to September 22, 2009. The show starred his brothers Patrick and David, with the later also composing the theme music.