‘The Notebook’ Star Gets Devastating Medical Diagnosis


Gena Rowlands, a screen icon celebrated for her nearly seven-decade career and a shelf of accolades, is now facing an uphill battle.

News from her son, director and actor Nick Cassavetes, revealed that Rowlands has Alzheimer’s disease. Cassavetes recently reflected on their collaboration on ‘The Notebook,’ marking its 20th anniversary. Rowlands, now 94, delivered a memorable performance as Allie, the older version of Rachel McAdams’ character, who also dealt with dementia in the cherished romance film.

“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,” Entertainment Weekly was told by Cassavetes, whose grandmother, actress Lady Rowlands also had the disease. “She’s in full dementia. And it’s so crazy — we lived it, she acted it, and now it’s on us.”

Rowlands is renowned for her powerful performances and has garnered critical acclaim, including two Oscar nominations and an honorary Academy Award. Rowlands is best known for her collaborations with her late husband, director John Cassavetes, in films such as “A Woman Under the Influence” and “Gloria.” Her contributions to cinema have made her a legendary figure in Hollywood.

LOS ANGELES – DEC 5: Gena Rowlands, Alexandra Cassavetes, Nick Cassavetes at the Gena Rowlands Hand and Foot Print Ceremony at the TCL Chinese Theater on December 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, CA

(BREAKING: Famed Economist Predicts ‘1987 Style’ Stock Market Crash)

Back in 2004, Rowlands discussed her mom’s battle to O Magazine, saying, “This last one—The Notebook, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks—was particularly hard because I play a character who has Alzheimer’s. I went through that with my mother, and if Nick hadn’t directed the film, I don’t think I would have gone for it—it’s just too hard. It was a tough but wonderful movie.”

“As an actress, I’ve played a lot of mothers. People ask me, ‘Don’t you get sick of it?’ And I think, Why would I get sick of it? Mothers are the most powerful people in the world. They have a lot of influence on their children and try very hard to be a good influence, even though they don’t always succeed,” she said at the time. “The relationships between children and their mothers—especially sons and mothers, I think—are fascinating. You can never tell whether your kids turn out well because that’s the way they are or because you had something to do with it, or whether you hampered them. You can’t really know.”

In ‘The Notebook,’ Rowlands plays the role of the older Allie Hamilton, a woman suffering from dementia. Her character is the older version of Allie, portrayed by Rachel McAdams in her younger years. Rowlands’ performance was central to the film’s emotional impact, as it showcased the enduring love story between Allie and Noah Calhoun, played by James Garner in the older version and Ryan Gosling in the younger. The film, adapted from Nicholas Sparks’ novel, is celebrated for its touching narrative and Rowlands’ heartfelt portrayal of a woman grappling with memory loss while clinging to the love of her life.

Her son says now, “We go to reshoots, and now it’s one of those things where mama’s pissed and I had asked her, ‘Can you do it, mom?’ She goes, ‘I can do anything.’” True to her word, on the very first take, he explained, “I promise you, on my father’s life, this is true: Teardrops came flying out of her eyes when she saw [Garner], and she burst into tears. And I was like, okay, well, we got that… It’s the one time I was in trouble on set.”

Reflecting on their work together, Cassavetes is proud of the film he and his mother created, noting that it “holds up pretty good” after 20 years. “It’s always a shock to hear that as much time has gone by as it has, but it makes sense. I’m just happy that it exists,” he said. “It seems to have worked and I’m very proud of it.”

VOTE: Do YOU Stand With Harrison Butker Against The Woke Mob?

Read More

Like it? Share with your friends!

Scoop Diggins