Bruce Willis retires from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia

Virgin Radio

31 Mar 2022, 08:16

Credit: Getty

Credit: Getty

Bruce Willis is retiring from acting, having been diagnosed with a condition that causes difficulties with language or speech, his daughter has announced. 

In a statement posted to Instagram, Rumer Willis said that the Die Hard star has aphasia, “which is impacting his cognitive abilities”.

According to the NHS website, aphasia is usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain, and that people with aphasia often have trouble with the four main ways people understand and use language. These are reading, listening, speaking, and typing or writing.

The website explains that this “could be sometimes using the wrong sounds in a word, choosing the wrong word, or putting words together incorrectly.” It adds that “although aphasia affects a person's ability to communicate, it doesn't affect their intelligence”.

Rumer Willis’ Instagram post, which is addressed to “Bruce’s amazing supporters,” explains that “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.

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

The statement - from Willis’ wife Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and his children, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn - continues: “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. 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.”

The announcement has led to an outpouring of love and support from the actor’s friends and peers. 

Jamie Lee Curtis commented on Moore's post, saying: "Grace and guts! Love to you all!"

M. Night Shyamalan, who directed Willis in The Sixth Sense, wrote on Twitter: “All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis. I know his wonderful family is surrounding him with support and strength. He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as a kid.”

Dean Norris - Hank from Breaking Bad - wrote: “So sorry to hear the news about Bruce Willis. Worked with him on Death Wish and he was a lovely awesome badass man. Prayers for him and his family. Legend.”

Actor, producer, writer and director Seth Green wrote: “I have so much love for Bruce Willis, and am grateful for every character he’s given us. Hugs and love for the whole family- thank you for sharing him with us all.”

As well as being known for playing John McClane in the Die Hard series, the 67-year-old actor is acclaimed for his roles in Pulp Fiction and 12 Monkeys. He first came to prominence in TV series Moonlighting, alongside Cybill Shepherd, and also appeared as the grumpy father of Ross’ girlfriend in Friends. 

We wish Bruce well in his retirement.