Singer-actor Steve Lawrence, who produced hit singles both solo and with his late wife and musical partner Eydie Gormé, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
"There have been a number of rumors and some press reaching out to me," the Brooklyn-born Lawrence, 83, said in a statement to Newsday through his representative, Howard Bragman, "and I feel it's important that I tell my own truth: I have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and it's in the early stages."
He said of the disease — the most common form of dementia, affecting roughly five million Americans — that, "I am being treated with medications under the supervision of some of the finest doctors in the field. Fortunately, they have managed to slow down this horrific process. I'm living my life, going out in public and trying to spend as much time as possible with my family and friends while I am still able to engage and enjoy."
The Grammy and Emmy Award winner, who scored a Tony nomination for playing Sammy Glick in the 1964 Broadway musical "What Makes Sammy Run?" said: "I want my beloved fans to know that in spite of this bittersweet moment, what I don't want is pity or sympathy — I have lived and am living a wonderful, joyous life filled with love, support and amazing moments."
Lawrence said of "my beloved Eydie," whom he wed in 1957 and who died in 2013, that, "I had one of the great loves of all time," and added that his career "has always been there for me as a source of joy and fulfillment." He said his fans "have shown immeasurable love and support in ways I only could have imagined."
He concluded by imploring well-wishers "to find the joy every day, because what I feel is gratitude, love and hope — nothing more and nothing less, and I hope you can find the same."