Glen Campbell’s Family Says ‘He Still Likes to Make People Laugh’
Though country star Glen Campbell's battle with Alzheimer's disease is ongoing, despite his memory loss, his family says that he is still very much the man fans fell in love with in the 1960s -- and he still loves to make people laugh.
"He still has the same essence. He still has the same twinkle in his eye. He has the same chuckle, and he's still an entertainer," Campbell's wife Kim tells People.
The 79-year-old revealed his Alzheimer's diagnosis in June 2011 and, since then, has remained surrounded by his family and loved ones. Campbell's children from his marriage to Kim, Ashley and Shannon, visit their dad frequently, and Ashley Campbell reveals that, although her father is progressing into the late stages of the disease, he's physically doing well.
"He's happy and content and smiles most of the time. He still makes jokes and likes to play around, even though the jokes don't make any sense and it's gibberish; he still goes through the motions and it's still him," she tells Rolling Stone Country. "Like, he'll take a French fry and start smoking it like a cigar and give us all that 'joke' face. He likes to fake you out like he's handing you something, [and] when you reach out for it, he pulls it back and just laughs. He still likes to make people laugh."
And Campbell's family is doing everything in their power to keep the "Gentle on My Mind" hitmaker happy and content. Ashley Campbell says that most of the time, he's calm and happy -- and though he can't communicate or understand very well, there are two things that make him extremely happy: hugs and vanilla bean frappuccinos.
"His face lights up," she says. "I'll usually bring one when I come visit, and if he's zoning out, I'll get the straw near his mouth, he'll take a drink, and, immediately, it's like coming to life."
Shannon Campbell adds, "I like to play him his old songs. It seems like he likes to fall asleep to that."
Ashley Campbell is releasing "Remembering," a touching song in tribute to her father, as her debut single. The award-winning documentary, Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me, will make its TV debut on Sunday (June 28) at 9PM ET on CNN.
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