American actress Kay Lenz has been in the acting business for more than four decades. She began her acting career as a 14-year old, making a cameo appearance in the Christian television drama series, This is the Life, and has gone on to appear in many on-screen works, especially television shows, earning two Primetime Emmy Awards and a number of nominations from different prestigious film bodies, including a Golden Globe Award, Saturn Award, and CableACE Award.
Apart from her popularity as an actress, Kay is also known for being the first wife of late American actor, singer, songwriter, and guitarist, David Cassidy, who passed on at the age of 67 on November 21, 2017.
Kay Lenz Bio
Born as Kay Ann Lenz on March 4, 1953, in Los Angeles, California, the actress is the daughter of Ted Lenz (father) and Kay Miller Lenz (mother). Her father was a producer and commentator while her mother was a model and radio engineer.
Having developed a passion for acting as a child, Kay Lenz set out to make it a reality and at the age of 14, she made her first appearance in three episodes of This Is the Life. She went on to appear in other TV shows such as the situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show which aired on CBS and the coming-of-age comedy film American Graffiti, billed under the stage name Kay Ann Kemper.
In 1973, Kay Lenz landed the starring role of Edith Alice Breezerman in the romantic drama film Breezy and her superb performance thereof earned her the long-awaited breakthrough as she was nominated for Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer-Female. In 1974, she portrayed the character of Lettie in the eighteenth episode of the nineteenth season of Gunsmoke. She also appeared in The ABC Afternoon Playbreak as Dorie for which she earned a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Special. Also in the same year, the actress was seen in an episode each of Nakia and McCloud.
The following year, Kay Lenz played guest role on Petrocelli and also played the lead role of Jerri Kane Hummer in the American-Canadian action film White Line Fever, sequel to being cast as Kate Jordache in the miniseries Rich Man, Poor Man in 1976, for which she was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie. Still in 1976, the talented actress also appeared in one episode of Jigsaw John and in the movies Moving Violation and The Great Scout & Cathouse Thursday.
She repeated her role for the sequel, Rich Man, Poor Man Book II in 1977 and in 1978 through 1980, Kay played the roles of Linda Ramsey, Sarah Goodwin, and Leah Bergson in the movies Mean Dog Blues, The Initiation of Sarah, and The Passage respectively. She also appeared on television in three episodes of How The West Was Won and on the TV film, Escape.
Since the 1980s, Kay Lenz has made appearances in many television series and movies some of which are Magnum P.I., Murder She Wrote, Hunter, House, Mr. Belvedere, Midnight Caller (for which she won an Emmy Award in 1989), Death Wish 4: The Crackdown, Reasonable Doubts, The Tick, Lois & Clark, Falling From Grace, Touched by an Angel, Shame II: The Secret Cover Me, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, NCIS, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Bones.
Inside The Family Life of David Cassidy’s Ex-Wife
Kay Lenz has been married once, to David Cassidy who was popular for his role as Keith Partridge in the 1970s musical sitcom, The Partridge Family. They met in 1977 during an arranged date and fell for each other on the spot. Barely two months after dating, they got married on the 3rd of April 1977.
A few years down the line, the couple’s relationship fell apart and while they were separated in 1983, David told PEOPLE that Kay had her own life and he had different needs. Their marital woes were attributed to David’s drug abuse but Kay said that it was not the last straw that broke the camel’s back. They eventually got divorced in 1981 and had no kid together.
Unlike David who was soon engaged and later remarried to horse breeder Meryl Ann Tanz and subsequently to Sue Shifrin, the actress has never been reported to have gone into a relationship with anyone else.
Unfortunately, David Cassidy’s addiction to alcohol led to a liver and kidney failure which took his life on November 21, 2017, at the age of 67.