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On February 20, former 70s heartthrob David Cassidy admitted what he'd always feared would happen; he has been battling dementia, an illness that he said plagued many of his family members.
The news came shortly following reports and video surfacing of Cassidy slurring words to songs he'd been singing for nearly five decades and appearing to stumble on stage. While there had been some concern that the actor had perhaps relapsed - he has struggled with substance abuse for years - Cassidy said that what he had really been battling was dementia.
During the same concert, Cassidy told the audience of his plans to retire. He said later that the choice to retire was really so he could focus on his own life.
“I want to focus on what I am, who I am and how I’ve been without any distractions,” he said. “I want to love. I want to enjoy life.”
It's certainly been a life filled with ups and downs. After finding meteoric success as Keith Partridge on The Partridge Family, Cassidy became a household name and a teen heartthrob. He also had the opportunity to star in the series with his stepmother, actress Shirley Jones. However, after years of seven-day weeks between work on the show and concerts, Cassidy was forced to semi-retire, completely exhausted at 24.
Two short-lived marriages followed, but by the 1980s, Cassidy was back in front of the cameras and had also become a dad for the first time to daughter Katie. He'd also done stints on Broadway and was also putting out a new studio album. Things had been looking good for the seemingly ageless star. He became a dad again when son Beau was born in 1991.
By 2010, though, Cassidy seemed to be on a downward spiral. In 2010, and twice in 2014, the actor was charged with driving under the influence. In 2015, he was charged in connection with a hit and run and his then-wife (and songwriting partner) Sue Shifrin-Cassidy filed for divorce. He also filed for bankruptcy.
In spite of the difficulties Cassidy has faced over a 50-year span, his Facebook message announcing his retirement sounded positive and filled with gratitude.
“I will always be eternally grateful for the love and support you’ve shown me,” the actor wrote.