David Cassidy, 70s teen idol and star of the musical sitcom The Partridge Family, has just revealed he is suffering from dementia. The 66-year-old actor and singer revealed the battle with the illness to PEOPLE.
Cassidy’s grandfather was stricken with the illness and he witnessed his mother Evelyn Ward (pictured above) slowly succumb to dementia until her death at the age of 89. “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” Cassidy told PEOPLE.
Recounting his mother’s battle with the illness, Cassidy said, “In the end, the only way I knew she recognized me is with one single tear that would drop from her eye every time I walked into the room. … I feared I would end up that way.”
The revelation of the illness comes just a week after a California concert where Cassidy struggled to remember lyrics to songs he had been singing for decades. He has now made the decision to completely stop touring and concentrate on his own health and happiness. “I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions,” told the magazine. “I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”
Danny Bonaduce, Cassidy’s Partridge Family co-star and current radio host on CBS Radio’s KZOK in Seattle, took to Twitter, saying, “David Cassidy once had a bigger fan club than Elvis & the Beatles. If you’re a fan, now is a great time to send him your love & best wishes.”