Joanna Cassidy is a well-known actress who has starred in films such as Blade Runner, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and Six Feet Under. But is she related to David Cassidy, the late singer and actor who rose to fame as a teen idol in the 1970s? The answer is yes, but not in the way you might think.
Joanna Cassidy’s Family Background
Joanna Cassidy was born as Joanna Virginia Caskey on August 2, 1945, in Haddonfield, New Jersey, the U.S to Virginia and Joe Caskey. She grew up in a creative environment as the daughter and granddaughter of artists. She majored in art at Syracuse University, where she met and married Kennard C. Kobrin, a doctor in residency, in 1964. They moved to San Francisco, where they had two children, Naomi and Daniel. They divorced in 1974.
Joanna Cassidy’s Hollywood Career
Joanna Cassidy started her acting career as a fashion model and landed her first film role in Bullitt (1968), starring Steve McQueen. She went on to appear in various TV shows and movies, such as The Outfit (1973), Stay Hungry (1976), Our Winning Season (1978), and The Fourth Protocol (1987). She gained recognition for her roles as the replicant Zhora Salome in Blade Runner (1982), the journalist Claire in Under Fire (1983), and the cartoon character Dolores in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). She also won a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Jo Jo White, the director of a talk show hosted by Dabney Coleman, in the sitcom Buffalo Bill (1983-1984).
Joanna Cassidy continued to work steadily in both film and television throughout the 1990s and 2000s, appearing in projects such as Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991), Vampire in Brooklyn (1995), Ghosts of Mars (2001), The Package (1989), Where the Heart Is (1990), Body of Proof (2011-2013), Call Me Fitz (2010-2013), and Six Feet Under (2001-2005), for which she received Emmy and Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for her role as Margaret Chenowith.
Joanna Cassidy’s Connection to David Cassidy
Joanna Cassidy is not related to David Cassidy by blood or by marriage. However, she is his daughter by adoption. David Cassidy was born on April 12, 1950, in New York City, to actors Jack Cassidy and Evelyn Ward. He had three half-brothers from his father’s second marriage to actress Shirley Jones: Shaun, Patrick, and Ryan. He also had a daughter, Katie Cassidy, from a relationship with model Sherry Williams.
Sherry Williams gave birth to Katie Cassidy on November 25, 1986, but she did not tell David Cassidy that he was the father until Katie was three years old. David Cassidy had little contact with Katie during her childhood, as he was struggling with alcoholism and financial problems. He also did not want to interfere with Katie’s relationship with her stepfather, Richard Benedon, who raised her as his own.
However, Katie had another stepfather before Richard Benedon: Joanna Cassidy. Joanna Cassidy married Sherry Williams in 1983, when Katie was still an infant. She adopted Katie legally and gave her the surname Cassidy. Joanna Cassidy and Sherry Williams divorced in 1988, but Joanna remained close to Katie and supported her acting career.
According to an interview with People magazine in 2009, Joanna Cassidy said that she still considers Katie her daughter and that they have a “wonderful” relationship. She also said that she respects David Cassidy as Katie’s biological father and that she hopes they can have a “healthy” bond.
David Cassidy died on November 21, 2017, at the age of 67, from organ failure caused by dementia and alcohol abuse. He left most of his estate to his son Beau Cassidy, whom he had with his third wife Sue Shifrin. He excluded Katie from his will, stating that he had no relationship with her.
However, Katie expressed her love and gratitude for David on social media after his death. She also revealed that they had reconciled before he passed away. She wrote on Twitter: “Words can’t express the solace our family’s received from all the love & support during this trying time. My father’s last words were ‘So much wasted time’. This will be a daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute…thank you.”
Joanna Cassidy is related to David Cassidy by adoption only. She is the former wife of Sherry Williams, the mother of Katie Cassidy, who is David Cassidy’s biological daughter. Joanna Cassidy adopted Katie when she married Sherry in 1983 and remained her mother after their divorce in 1988. Joanna Cassidy and Katie Cassidy have a loving and supportive relationship, while David Cassidy and Katie Cassidy had a complicated and distant one. David Cassidy died in 2017, leaving behind a legacy of music and acting, as well as a family that he struggled to connect with.