After being diagnosed with aphasia, Hollywood great Bruce Willis is “stepping away” from acting. Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore made the news on her Instagram account, and it was signed by Moore, Willis’ daughters, and the star’s current wife, Emma Heming.
In the announcement, Willis’ family verified reports that an aphasia diagnosis would cause him to retire from performing. The condition affects the area of the brain that processes language, producing cognitive problems such as difficulty speaking and understanding what others are saying. That’s a heartbreaking diagnosis for such a well-known actor, and it unfortunately necessitates Willis’ resignation from his acting career in order for him to focus on his health.
Willis’ family issued the following statement:
“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him. This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
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According to NIH.gov, aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to portions of the brain that are responsible for language.
For most people, these areas are on the left side of the brain. Aphasia usually occurs suddenly, often following a stroke or head injury, but it may also develop slowly, as the result of a brain tumor or a progressive neurological disease. The disorder impairs the expression and understanding of language as well as reading and writing. Aphasia may co-occur with speech disorders, such as dysarthria or apraxia of speech, which also result from brain damage.
“I’m very saddened by this news,” Larry Gordon, producer of Die Hard and its 1990 sequel, told The Hollywood Reporter. “Bruce is a good friend and was fantastic to work with on Die Hard 1 and 2. They couldn’t be harder films for an actor to make and survive. He is the consummate pro and a gutsy guy.”
Willis has starred in such blockbusters as The Fifth Element (1997), Armageddon (1998) and The Sixth Sense (1999). Willis’ other classics include The Last Boy Scout (1991), Death Becomes Her (1992) Pulp Fiction (1994) and 12 Monkeys (1995). In recent years, Willis largely starred in lower-budget films, though he did appear in Glass (2019), M. Night Shyamalan’s high-profile sequel to Unbreakable. In 2018, he was on the hot seat for The Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis. At the hilarious event, the actor took comedy jabs as well as he gave them.
If you love movies, you love #BruceWillis. He has embodied everything good about the word “entertainment” for decades. Kudos to his loving family for handling difficult news with dignity and grace.
I speak for the world when I say, “We love you, Bruce.” https://t.co/pzVFdFENW2
— James Woods (@RealJamesWoods) March 30, 2022
While we hope his health conditions quickly improve, our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Willis’ family, friends, and loved ones at this time with best wishes for a healthy recovery during his well deserved retirement.