Theater News

Maureen McGovern Announces Diagnosis With Symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease

McGovern has been diagnosed with posterior cortical atrophy and has stopped performing.

Maureen McGovern
Maureen McGovern
(© David Gordon)

Grammy-nominated recording artist and Broadway vet Maureen McGovern has revealed a diagnosis of posterior cortical atrophy with symptoms of Alzheimer's and/or dementia.

As a result, the singer has effectively retired from performing. "What I do, or what I am still able to accomplish, has changed," she said in a video posted to her official Facebook page. "I can no longer travel or perform in live concerts. In fact, I can no longer drive — how's that for a kick in the butt?" A transcript of the full video can be accessed here.

McGovern made her Broadway debut in the 1981 revival of The Pirates of Penzance, taking on the role of Mabel. She joined the cast of Nine in 1982 as Luisa, and also played Polly Peachum in the 1989 revival of 3 Penny Opera. Her most recent Broadway appearance was as Marmee in the 2005 musical Little Women, for which she earned a Drama Desk Award nomination. She toured in Little Women and The King and I (as Anna in 1998). In recent years, she has been a regular presence at venues like 54 Below and Birdland.

She is perhaps best known for covering two Oscar-winning songs for popular disaster movies: "The Morning After" from The Poseidon Adventure and "We May Never Love Like This Again" from The Towering Inferno. McGovern's Grammy nominations came for Best New Artist in 1973 and her 1998 album The Pleasure of His Company.