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Notebook Star Gena Rowlands Faces Personal Alzheimer’s Battle

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Clear Facts

  • Gena Rowlands, veteran actress notably seen as the older Allie in “The Notebook,” has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, as disclosed by her son.
  • Interestingly, Rowlands’ character in “The Notebook” also suffered from the same condition, dementia.
  • In a poignant personal connection, Rowlands’ mother, Lady Rowlands, also battled Alzheimer’s disease, which had a profound influence on Rowlands’ portrayal of Allie in the film.

Gena Rowlands, the iconic actress celebrated for her role as Allie in the classic love story “The Notebook,” is now facing her own battle with Alzheimer’s disease. This news came to light when her son, Nick Cassavetes, whom she has frequently collaborated with, shared it in a recent interview.

Rowlands has adorned the silver screen for nearly seven decades, showcasing an impressive body of work. She has worked closely with her son, actor and director Nick Cassavetes on several occasions, including their notable collaboration on “The Notebook.”

Nick Cassavetes shared,

“I convinced my mom to play older Allie, and we devoted a substantial amount of time discussing Alzheimer’s to ensure we portrayed it authentically. Now, for the last five years, she’s experienced Alzheimer’s. She’s in full dementia. It’s surreal — we discussed it, she enacted it, and now we are living it.”

In a somewhat ironic twist, the character Rowlands portrayed in “The Notebook” also battled with dementia. This role offered a profound portrayal of the impacts of the disease on individuals and their family members.

Rowlands’ family has previously been affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Her mother, Lady Rowlands, also suffered from the condition.

In a past discussion, Rowlands openly discussed her mother’s illness and the influence it had on her acceptance of the role of Allie.

“This last project – The Notebook, adapted from the novel by Nicholas Sparks – was especially difficult since I was playing a character with Alzheimer’s,” she admitted. “I experienced this with my mother, and I don’t think I would have accepted it if Nick hadn’t directed the film, it’s just too challenging. Despite this, it was a remarkable movie.”

Over her illustrious career, the “A Woman Under The Influence” and “Gloria” actress has been recognized with numerous awards, including an honorary Academy Award and two Oscars. Despite her diagnosis, Rowlands’ contribution to the world of cinema remains profound and unforgettable.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. James Ludwig

    July 2, 2024 at 6:55 pm

    Very good actress. I remember her as the mother in the Aids movie ‘a early frost’. Always a strong character in any role she played.

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