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The Notebook's Gena Rowlands Diagnosed with Alzheimer's, the Same Disease Her Character Allie Had

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Actress Gena Rowlands has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, her son, director Nick Cassavetes, has revealed.

The 94-year-old legendary star portrayed the senior version of Allie in The Notebook, in a role she shared with Rachel McAdams, who portrayed Allie in her early years opposite Ryan Gosling. Nick directed his film and cast his mom in the role. Keep reading to find out more… Nick told EW, “I got my mom to play older Allie, and we spent a lot of time talking about Alzheimer’s and wanting to be authentic with it, and now, for the last five years, she’s had Alzheimer’s.

She’s in full dementia. And it’s so crazy — we lived it, she acted it, and now it’s on us.” He shared that his grandmother, Lady Rowlands, also had Alzheimer’s.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Alzheimer’s disease causes the brain to shrink and brain cells to eventually die. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia — a gradual decline in memory, thinking, behavior and social skills.

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