Former Westchester resident, 1970s teenage heartthrob and Emmy Award-nominated actor David Cassidy is struggling with a devastating diagnosis of dementia, something that had afflicted both his grandfather and mother, Cassidy told People magazine.
Cassidy, 66, best known for his role as Keith Partridge on the TV series, “The Partridge Family,” told People that he had always feared he would get the memory-loss disease.
Cassidy, whose personal struggles in the last few years have included divorce, bankruptcy, DUI arrests and drug rehab, told People that he planned to stop touring after 2017 as a musician and to focus on his health and future happiness.
According to People, he had a hard time at a recent concert remembering the lyrics to songs he had sung for decades.
In a Feb. 7 message to fans, posted on his official website, www.davidcassidy.com , Cassidy said he would “always be eternally grateful for the love and support” they’ve shown him.
“I still love very much to play and perform live. But it’s much more difficult for me now,” he wrote.
Promising not to “vanish or disappear forever,” Cassidy said he will continue to communicate through his website and Facebook page.
“As you can imagine this has been truthfully THE MOST DIFFICULT DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE,” he added.
Cassidy said in the post that he hoped to play live, “everywhere around North America, through 2017.”
“I hope you will find a way to come and be part of my celebration," he concluded.
Cassidy, who got an Emmy nod for his appearance on “Police Story” in 1978, also was a guest star on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” in 2013.
Born in New York City, he is the son of singer/actor Jack Cassidy and actress Evelyn Ward. The actress who played his mom on “The Partridge Family” was Cassidy’s real-life stepmother, Shirley Jones. Cassidy lived for a while with Jones, his father and his step-brothers at their home in Irvington.
Jones and the elder Cassidy had three sons, Shaun, Patrick and Ryan. Jones and Cassidy divorced in 1974. She later married comic/actor Marty Ingels.
Irvington isn’t the only Westchester town with a “Partridge” connection.
Susan Dey, who played Laurie on the show, was born in Illinois but grew up in Mount Kisco and graduated from Fox Lane High School in Bedford.
Her father, Robert, was a newspaper editor in New Rochelle and later, in Mount Kisco.