Danny Bonaduce’s  mysterious illness

Danny Bonaduce became one of the most famous child actors of the 1970s. If you watched The Patridge family you must have seen the redheaded boy.

The show debuted on September 25, 1970, and it was hit and ended up turning Danny into a teen idol and had a lot of crushes too.

Getty Images

Danny’s mother, Betty, told People magazine in 1992, “We had 21-year-old girls hanging around our house all night. I was the witch who wouldn’t let them in.”

Danny who was still young at that time loved the attention and it was kinda cool having many girls wanting to see him.

Getty Images

Danny told The Age, “They’d open their shirts and have notes written on their bodies – DANNY, WE LOVE YOU’. I put my autograph on a lot of flesh.”

Danny at the age of 14 was $350,000 rich and often spent time with Micheal Jackson who was 16 years old at that time. Danny was rich and famous.

Gretchen and Danny / Getty Images

“I spent my childhood on jet planes and with mayors. I didn’t play baseball, but I did ride on an elephant. I missed out on football but I flew on the Concorde. I lucked out,” he said. 

At the end of The Patridge Family, Danny was finding it hard getting roles and after appearing in a few movies, it looked like no one was going to hire him again as the directors said he didn’t look cute or funny any longer.

Danny Bonaduce & Isabella Bonaduce / Getty Images

In the 1980s, he decided to leave Hollywood and went on to become an on-air radio personality.

He got married to a Japanese woman, Setsuko Hattori at the age of 26. Their marriage didn’t last the past three years as it’s speculated that Setsuko got married to him to be able to get a green card.


He decided to try finding love again after his divorce and got married to Gretchen Hillmer, an actress, and entrepreneur. Their marriage lasted for 16 years and they had two kids together.

Two years after divorcing Gretchen he met his present wife Amy Railsback and they got married in 2010.

Amy was the first person to discover that something was wrong with her husband.

Danny recalled, “She looked nervous, and she [said], ‘You’re not saying words, you’re not speaking English.”

Wikipedia Commons / Rob DiCaterino

“I couldn’t walk at all. I couldn’t balance, I couldn’t do anything like that,” Danny explained.

Amy immediately called an ambulance and Danny was taken to the hospital.

His situation puzzled the doctors as it was hard determining what was wrong with him. They called his situation the mystery illness.


In May 2022, Danny’s sister updated his fans on the situation saying,  “We are not being coy when we say this is a ‘mystery illness’… in layman’s terms, his balance sucks — super sucks — and all the great medical minds of Seattle are at work trying to solve this conundrum,” Celia Bonaduce wrote. “We will keep you posted.”

Today, Danny is doing better but hasn’t gotten completely healed. We wish him a quick and safe recovery.

Facebook Comments