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Tony Bennett was out in Manhattan on Thursday, smiling next to his wife Susan as he was pushed through Central Park in a wheelchair.
The 95-year-old Queens-born entertainer has lived most of his life in New York City and mentions a large penthouse overlooking Central Park. He moved into his apartment in Central Park South 25 years ago to be closer.
When diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016, he retired from live performances in August, ending his seven-decade career with a series of shows with Lady Gaga.
Since his retirement, Bennett has filled his time painting, cooking and seeing his family.
When he retired, he struggled to communicate and his wife of nearly 15 years, Susan Benedetto – who has adopted his original last name – conducted interviews alongside him.
But when he sang alongside Gaga, the magic returned—thanks, Benedetto said, for Gaga’s tenderness and patience.
On Thursday, Bennett and Benedetto, 55, were seen on a field trip through Central Park.
Tony Bennett, 95, was seen on Thursday being driven through Central Park, near where he has lived for more than 25 years
The singer was accompanied by his wife Susan Benedetto, 55, whom he married in 2007. She was a fan and 19, attended his concert when they first met.
Benedetto is her husband’s primary caregiver, and in August, when he retired, she said she was grateful that he still recognized her and his four children from his first two marriages.
The 95-year-old was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2016 and in February 2021 the family spoke publicly about his condition for the first time.
The musical legend looked relaxed and happy in his blue tracksuit, accompanied by an assistant and Benedetto.
It was the first time he was seen in a wheelchair.
In August, Benedetto said he still recognized her and his children — sons Danny, 68, and Dae, 67, both born of Bennett’s first marriage to Patricia Beech, which ended in 1971; and daughters Joanna, 52, and Antonia, 48, whose mother is Bennett’s second wife, actress Sandra Grant, who divorced Bennett in 1984.
Benedetto and Bennett married in 2007, in a ceremony presided over by former New York Governor Mario Cuomo.
Benedetto was a high school teacher, who was a fan of the singer.
“By 19, she had tickets to see me perform at the Masonic Temple in San Francisco and made a request to say hello backstage after the show, probably without expecting a response,” Bennett wrote in his book.
“The request was sent to me, and it tickled me that someone her age was so committed to my music.
“Not only did I agree to say hello to her backstage, but I asked her to be my date for the evening, and that’s how it all started.”
Bennett and Benedetto can be seen in May 2019, at the opening of the Statue of Liberty Museum
The couple, who married in 2007, are seen in August as they prepare to leave for their final show
When Benedetto and Bennett announced his Alzheimer’s diagnosis in February 2021, she said it had been difficult to come to terms with the five years since his condition was confirmed.
“There’s a lot about him that I miss because he’s not the old Tony anymore,” she said in the interview.
“But when he sings, he’s old Tony.”
She said he was spared some of the worst symptoms of Alzheimer’s, such as episodes of anger, anxiety and depression.
However, Benedetto – who has become his primary caretaker – told the magazine that he is “not always sure where he is or what is going on around him” and that “everyday objects as familiar as a fork or a set of house keys are utterly mysterious to it.’
He became the oldest person to release an album of new music last year and was awarded the Guinness World Record on the occasion of the event.
Bennett and Lady Gaga can be seen in August at the filming of his latest show – One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. The broadcast was broadcast in November
In August, on the occasion of the final show, Benedetto spoke with Anderson Cooper for 60 minutes.
“Every day is different,” she said.
“Tony late at night, sometimes early in the morning, he’s more alert, if I may use that word.
“So I’ll tell him, ‘Tone, you’re on 60 Minutes.’ He’s like, ‘Great.’
“I said, ‘Do you remember that show, 60 Minutes?’ He’s like, “I do.”
“But at another time he won’t know.”
Benedetto revealed that the World War II veteran “doesn’t know” he has Alzheimer’s disease.
“He recognizes me, thank God, his children, you know, we are blessed in many ways. He’s very sweet. He doesn’t know he has it,’ she said.