Legendary singer Tony Bennett made a rare appearance in Central Park on Thursday, where he was seen for the first time using a wheelchair beside his wife, Susan Benedetto.
The 95-year-old “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” crooner, who has publicly battled Alzheimer’s disease since 2016, appeared to be relaxed and in good spirits, sporting a blue tracksuit and escorted by an aide near some of the park’s many horses and carriages.
No stranger in paradise, the Queens-born entertainer, who has lived in a sun-drenched, penthouse apartment overlooking Central Park for 25 years, was seen walking without a wheelchair in April with Benedetto, 55, on Easter Sunday, taking selfies with fans – who recognized the star even with a face mask on.
On Wednesday, the “Stranger in Paradise” singer proudly expressed his support for Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, smiling in a purple plaid shirt alongside Benedetto and holding up a sign that read #EndAlz in a post shared with his 170,000 fans on Twitter.
“Susan and I are going purple with the @alzassociation to raise awareness for a disease that is impacting our family and many of yours. We hope you join us and #GoPurple, ”the musician shared.
Bennett retired from live performances in 2021, canceling rescheduled shows delayed in 2020 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. He went out on a high note, closing the curtain on a seven-decade career with a series of performances alongside pop icon Lady Gaga. The duo performed their emotional last show together – billed as “One Last Time: An Evening With Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga” – last August at Radio City Music Hall, featuring mega-hits like “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
“This was a difficult decision for us to make, as he is a capable performer. One, however, that was made by doctors’ orders, “his son Danny Bennett told Variety last August of his father’s final live show.
Bennett was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the disease resulting in progressive memory loss and decreased mental function, in 2016. However, it was not until 2018 that his family realized his battle with the mind-stealing disease was causing his health to decline, while he was recording the album “Love for Sale” – which includes iconic ballads like “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “You’re the Top” – with Lady Gaga over a two-year span, AARP reported.
A representative for Bennett did not immediately return The Post’s request for comment.