NEW YORK — Bruce Willis will retire from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that causes the ability to understand or express speech is lost, his family said Wednesday.
In a statement posted on Willis’s Instagram page, the 67-year-old actor’s family announced that Willis was recently diagnosed with aphasia and that it is affecting his cognitive abilities.
“As a result, and with great consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” the statement read, signed by Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five children, Rumer. , Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.
“We are going through this as a strong family unit and wanted to bring in his fans because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him,” they said. “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do that.”
There are many possible causes of aphasia. It often occurs after a stroke or head injury, but can also develop gradually due to a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes degenerative damage, such as Alzheimer’s disease. It is mainly treated with speech therapy and the learning of non-verbal communication tools.
Willis’ family has not disclosed what caused his aphasia. Representatives of the actor did not want to comment.
News of Willis, one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors, immediately spread online as fans reacted. His four-decade career has amassed more than $5 billion in box office worldwide,
Willis had worked steadily and often. Known for films like “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “The Sixth Sense,” Willis has produced straight-to-video thrillers in recent years. Last year, he starred in no fewer than eight films. Most came and went quietly, including titles like ‘Cosmic Sin’, ‘Out of Death’ and ‘Deadlock’.
Most recently, Willis starred in February’s “Gasoline Alley” and “A Day to Die,” which were released in early March. Willis has already made at least six films set to be released in 2022 and 2023, including “Die Like Lovers,” “Corrective Measures” and “The Wrong Place.”