At the height of his fame, David Cassidy — who tops TV Guide's 25 Greatest Teen Idols list — was the world's highest-paid entertainer, with a bigger fan club than Elvis or the Beatles.

"My experience was very similar to what John, Paul, George and Ringo went through, only it was intensified by television," says Cassidy, 54. Every Friday night in the early '70s, nearly all teens watching television tuned in to The Partridge Family. Just a few months after the show first aired in 1970,, his most famous song, "I Think I Love You," already hit No. 1 on the pop charts.

Although Cassidy's popularity spawned a merchandising empire — which included books, games, Colorforms and miniature guitars — he himself saw little profit. "I got a huge shock when I saw David Cassidy girls' underwear," he says. "In those days, they never ran anything by me."

At one time, he possessed only six lunch boxes from his heyday. But the loyal female fans who still flock to his concerts around the globe have changed that: "They send me things," he says. "Now I've got a closet full of stuff."

For more memorable dish about TV's 25 Greatest Teen Idols, visit and read the Jan. 23 issue of TV Guide magazine.