One of the stars of the popular 1970s ABC musical comedy series “The Partridge Family” revealed that he’s battling dementia. Actor and musician David Cassidy, who starred as Keith Partridge on the show and became one of the major pop idols of the seventies, made the revelation Monday, announcing that he will retire from performing this year.
Cassidy, 66, said in an interview with People that he has come to terms with the disease.
“Cassidy, who watched his grandfather battle the disease and witnessed his mother ‘disappear’ into dementia until she died at age 89, tells People of his diagnosis: ‘I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,’” the publication reports.
Recalling his mother’s struggle with the condition, Cassidy told the magazine: “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.”
He commented on his decision to end his touring career, saying: “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.”
The report notes that Cassidy performed over the weekend in Agoura Hills, Calif., and “repeatedly struggled to remember lyrics to songs he had been singing for nearly 50 years.”
Cassidy had a number of solo hits in the ’70s, including “Cherish,” “How Can I Be Sure” and “Rock Me Baby,” along with his hits with the Partridge Family, notably “I Think I Love You,” a No. 1 hit on the U.S. singles charts in 1970.
Here’s a clip from “The Partridge Family” …