David Cassidy, the 66-year-old singer known for his role as teen heartthrob Keith Partridge on the Partridge Family, announced yesterday that he suffers from dementia.
A video released days before his announcement showed Cassidy slurring his words, struggling to remember lyrics to his songs, and falling from the stage during a live performance in Agoura Hills, California. The former teen icon has battled alcohol abuse for decades. Many assumed his actions were related to heavy drinking, but the reality is much worse.
In an interview with People magazine, Cassidy revealed that the condition runs in his family. Both his grandfather and mother, Evelyn Ward, suffered from the debilitating disease. “I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” Cassidy told the magazine. “To watch someone who raised you, who was so vibrant, to watch them lose their mind and disappear is arguably the most painful thing I’ve ever experienced,” he said in a 2012 interview with CNN.
After hearing the news, Cassidy’s Partridge Family co-star Danny Bonadce tweeted the following message,
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.
— Danny Bonaduce (@TheDoochMan) February 21, 2017
Cassidy also announced that he will stop touring to help put his life in order. “I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions. I want to love. I want to enjoy life,” he told People magazine.