Hollywood star Bruce Willis “steps” out of his career over a recent diagnosis of aphasia, athat affects a person’s ability to communicate, his family said Wednesday.
“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, we wanted to share as a family that our beloved Bruce has had health problems and was recently diagnosed with aphasia, which affects his cognitive abilities,” his family wrote in a post on his daughter Rumer’s Instagram. account. “As a result, and with great care, Bruce is stepping away 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 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, just like you do to him.”
The message is signed by Willis’ current wife, Emma Heming Willis, as well as ex-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 City cop John McClane in the “Die Hard” movies, although his acting career spanned decades and spanned “Pulp Fiction,” “The Sixth Sense,” and the television series. “Moonlight.” He has won more than 20 awards, including a Golden Globe for “Moonlighting” and a Primetime Emmy each for “Moonlighting” and his appearance on “Friends,” according to his IMDB profile.
He was married to Moore for 13 years before their divorce in 2000, and had three children. He is now married to Heming Willis, with whom he has two children.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage in the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. The condition “leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others,” Johns Hopkins said, noting that the severity of the condition 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 functioning, are affected.
Johns Hopkins said there are multiple causes for aphasia, including stroke, head injury, brain tumor, infection or dementia. It’s not clear which of those factors caused Willis to develop the condition.
It’s possible for people with aphasia to make a full recovery, and speech therapy can help people restore some speech and language functions, Johns Hopkins said — but most will have some form of aphasia permanently.