After a concert in Agoura Hills, California this past weekend, during which he struggled to remember the lyrics to songs he’s been singing for 50 years, actor/singer David Cassidy revealed he’s struggling with the onset of dementia.
The 1970s teen heartthrob, now 66 years-old, told People Magazine the memory loss disease runs in his family, his mother, Broadway star Evelyn Ward, died at age 89 in 2013 from Alzheimer’s-related dementia, and he had a sinking feeling it would strike him as well.
“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he told People.
Concerning watching his mother “disappear” into dementia, 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.”
Cassidy said he has finally accepted his condition and has decided to stop touring as a musician.
“I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions,” he says. “I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”
During the Agoura Hills show, The Partridge Family star told the crowd, “I love being able to come back to the place that, despite the fact I wasn’t born here, for the most part this is my home,” he said while trying to find his word. “And this is where I became a television star, a rock and roll star.”
He also revealed to his die-hard fans during the concert that he was retiring.
Cassidy has made quite a few headlines over the last several years as People also points out:
In November 2010, he was charged with a DUI and was subsequently charged with the same offense in August 2013 and January 2014. A month after his third arrest, his wife, Sue Shifrin-Cassidy, filed for divorce. In February 2015, the actor filed for bankruptcy and was charged following his hit-and-run eight months later in October 2015.
The ’70s teen heartthrob has also battled substance abuse issues, including a stint in rehab in 2014.
Last month, Cassidy made an appearance on The Doctors (below) where he talked about his addiction issues and a hereditary eye condition, but made no mention of the dementia: