Former teenage heartthrob David Cassidy is battling dementia, PEOPLE reports.
The 66-year-old actor/singer — best known for his role as Keith Partridge on the 1970s hit series “The Partridge Family” — revealed in a recent interview with PEOPLE that he is fighting the devastating memory loss 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.”
Of his mother’s struggles, Cassidy recalls: “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.”
Now that he’s come to terms with his condition, Cassidy has made the decision to stop touring as a musician to concentrate on his health and happiness. “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.”
Cassidy’s decision to stop touring follows an unfortunate performance this past weekend at a show in Agoura Hills, California, where he appeared to be drunk and apparently struggled to remember lyrics to songs he had been singing for 50 years.
During his heyday in the early seventies, many girls had David Cassidy posters all over their rooms and swooned to smash hits like, “I think I Love You.”