Action movie legend Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia and is stepping away from his acting career. His family announced the news on Wednesday, via an Instagram post from daughter Rumer Willis.
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Rumer posted a photo of her father wearing a bathrobe, sunglasses, and a wry smile. The caption began by thanking Willis’s fans and announcing that he’d been diagnosed with aphasia, a medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to communicate. “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,” the caption read.
The post went on to announce that due to his diagnosis, Willis would effectively be retiring from the profession of acting. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
The post continued, saying what a difficult moment this has been for the family. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” it said. “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.”
Willis’s acting career began in the 1980s. He became world famous with his role as John McClane in the 1988 action movie The Hard, which became Willis’s first major film franchise. In Willis’ four decades as an actor, his films have grossed more than $ 5 billion worldwide. Willis has not had a main role in a major motion picture in several years, instead starring in a number of direct-to-video movies. His IMDb page lists a number of projects in postproduction and two upcoming completed films.
The Instagram statement was signed by Rumer, her mother (and Willis’s ex-wife), Demi Moore, Willis’s current wife, Emma Heming, and the rest of Willis’s children. “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up,'” it concluded, “and together we plan to do just that.”
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