Gena Rowlands, star of The Notebook, has Alzheimer’s disease

Sadly, one of the most tragic aspects of the beloved romantic drama Diaries It seems to have become a reality. 93-year-old Gena Rowlands, who played the older version of Allie with dementia in the 2004 film, suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, according to her son Nick Cassavetes, who also directed the film.

“I had my mother play the older Allie, and we spent a lot of time talking about Alzheimer’s and wanting to be honest with it, and now, for the last five years, she’s had Alzheimer’s,” Cassavetes said. Entertainment Weekly. “She has full-blown dementia. This is so crazy — we’ve lived through it, I’ve acted through it, and now it’s on us.”

Nick Cassavetes is the son of Rowlands and actor and director John Cassavetes, the independent film pioneer best known for his starring role in Rosemary’s baby And to guide his wife in A woman under the influence. John Cassavetes also cast his mother-in-law, Lady Rowlands (her name, not her title), in some of his films, and she also suffered from Alzheimer’s disease during her final years.

“this is the last –Diaries‘, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks – was particularly difficult because I play a character with Alzheimer’s disease. ‘I went through it with my mother, and if Nick hadn’t directed the movie, I don’t think I would have cast it,’ said Gena Rowlands. Hey magazine In 2004. “It’s very difficult. “It was a difficult but wonderful film.”

In the film, an older version of Noah (James Garner) reads the love story of his younger counterparts (played by Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling) to his wife, who eventually has a moment of clarity and recognizes him. It’s doubly heartbreaking when she feels confused again and forgets about Noah. In the final moments, the couple dies in their sleep holding each other, a bittersweet and very romantic moment. We wish the Rowlands-Cassavetes family the best.

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