He’s one of the most popular stars in Hollywood, but Bruce Willis is now stepping away from his acting career after receiving a troubling diagnosis.
His family announced Wednesday the “Die Hard” star was diagnosed with aphasia, “a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate,” according to the Mayo Clinic. “It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.”
“Aphasia typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury. But it can also come on gradually from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage,” the clinic noted.
“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,” his family wrote on Instagram, adding the 67-year-old would be “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,” they noted. “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,” they concluded.
The statement was signed by Bruce’s current wife, Emma Heming, his ex-wife, Demi Moore, and his five children, Rumer, 33, Scout, 30, Tallulah, 28, Mabel, 9, and Evelyn, 7.
Willis gained national fame in the 1980s when he co-starred with Cybill Shepherd on TV’s “Moonlighting,” and then became an international sensation with his signature roles in “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction” and “The Sixth Sense.”
According to IMDB.com, Willis as several projects completed as well in post-production, including “Vendetta,” “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye” and “White Elephant.”
Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 says the Willis family “has done the wise thing and admitted the truth. … I am so glad they’ve finally done this.”
“The trouble began a few years ago when he suddenly had to be replaced in the 2015 Woody Allen movie ‘Cafe Society’ by Steve Carell. At the same time, Bruce was on Broadway in ‘Misery,’ reading his lines off cue cards or having them fed into his ear by an off stage helper.
“On the all these crappy movies of the last two or three years, it was the same thing. He appeared in one or two scenes and robotically read lines that were mouthed to him.”
The New York Post noted that during the COVID-19 pandemic, Willis’ “blended family — including Moore, 59, and Heming, 43 — have been holed up at their Idaho compound. While the arrangement felt odd to outsiders, the ‘G.I. Jane’ star said she considered Heming to be her ‘sister.'”
“Our children are sisters and yet there is no name for what our family connection is to one another,” Moore said on Instagram in March 2021.
“We are mothers united, sisters bonded on this crazy adventure of life. Emma is a beautiful mother dedicated to her family, an absolutely gorgeous woman and now she can add business entrepreneur to her resume.
“Her drive, determination and passion is uplifting and the woman that she is absolutely inspiring.”
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