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David_CassidyDavid Cassidy, the 66-year-old singer and actor, has announced that he is battling dementia.

Cassidy came to fame with his role as Keith Partridge in the hit ’70s TV show “The Partridge Family,” playing the eldest of five children. He began touring the world as a singer and had hit songs such as “I Think I Love You.” At the time, his fan club was bigger than Elvis and the Beatles. Teenage girls flocked to his concerts screaming.

He continued to perform for half a century. Over the past weekend, however, Cassidy was performing in California when he struggled to remember lyrics to his songs.

The star told People magazine that dementia runs in his family and it has effected both his grandfather and his mother.

“I was in denial, but a part of me always knew this was coming,” he said to People, regarding the disease.

Cassidy’s mother, Actress Evelyn Ward, died in 2012 at the age of 89 after suffering from Alzheimer’s-related dementia. He was very outspoken about his mother’s battle with dementia.

“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.
Cassidy said his diagnosis means he will take a step back from touring. He wants to focus on himself and family without any distractions.
“I want to focus on what I am … I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”
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