Hollywood star Bruce Willis ‘retires’ from career due to recently diagnosed aphasia, athat affects a person’s ability to communicate, his family said on Wednesday.
“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, we wanted to share as a family that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and was recently diagnosed with aphasia which is affecting his cognitive abilities,” his family wrote in a post on his daughter Rumer’s Instagram account. “As a result, and with much deliberation, Bruce is stepping down from the career that has meant so much to him.”
“This is a truly challenging time for our family and we are so grateful for your continued love, compassion and support,” his family added. “We’re going through this as a strong family unit and wanted to include his fans because we know how much he means to you, just as you do to him.”
The post was signed by Willis’ current wife, Emma Heming Willis, as well as former wife, actress Demi Moore, and his children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn. Demi, Scout and Tallulah all posted the same message on their own Instagram pages.
Willis, 67, is best known for his starring role as New York police officer John McClane in the “Die Hard” films, although his acting career has spanned decades and has spanned “Pulp Fiction,” “The Sixth Sense,” and the television series “Undeclared Work.” According to his IMDB profile, he has won more than 20 awards, including a Golden Globe for “Moonlighting” and a Primetime Emmy each for “Moonlighting” and his performance on “Friends.”
He was married to Moore for 13 years before their divorce in 2000 and they had three children. Today he is married to Heming Willis, with whom he has two children.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage to the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. The disorder “leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others,” Johns Hopkins said, noting that the severity of the disorder depends on which parts of the brain are affected. According to the American Speech-Language Hearing Association, a diagnosis of aphasia does not necessarily mean that cognitive skills such as memory or executive function are impaired.
Johns Hopkins said there are multiple causes of aphasia, including stroke, head injury, brain tumor, infection, or dementia. It’s not clear which, if any, of these factors led to Willis developing the disorder.
It’s possible for people with aphasia to make a full recovery, and speech therapy can help people restore some speech and language function, Johns Hopkins said — but most will retain some form of aphasia permanently.