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Bruce Willis Retiring From Acting After Being Diagnosed with Aphasia

Bruce Willis is set to retire from acting following his diagnosis with aphasia, a language disorder that impacts a person’s cognitive skills and ability to express and understand written and spoken language. The performer’s family members, including his wife Emma Heming, ex-wife Demi Moore and their oldest daughter Rumer, revealed the news by posting a joint statement on Instagram this morning.

In the announcement, the actor’s family shared: “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. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is 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,” the Willis family’s statement continues. “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 joint statement then concludes with the affectionate send-off: “Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn.”

Such media outlets as Variety have reached out to Willis’ representative for further comment. However, his team has not provided any additional comments besides his family’s social media statement.

Willis’ acting career started in the early 1980s with uncredited roles in such films as Sidney Lumet’s The Verdict. He gained further acclaim later in the decade for his starring role opposite Cybill Shepherd on the ABC comedy-drama series, Moonlighting. His big screen career was launched in large part following his performance as John McClane in the 1988 action movie, Die Hard, which marked his first major film franchise.

Across his four-decade acting career, Willis’ movies have grossed over $5 billion worldwide. He’s been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards, and won one for Moonlighting. He has also been nominated for three Emmy Awards, and earned one for the ABC show and another for his guest starring role on Friends in 2000.

Throughout his career, the performer has also starred in such blockbuster movies as The Fifth Element (1997), Armageddon (1998) and The Sixth Sense (1999). The actor’s other classic films include The Last Boy Scout (1991), Death Becomes Her (1992) Pulp Fiction (1994) and 12 Monkeys (1995).

In recent years, Willis’ career has shifted, as he has mainly starred in lower-budget films that have primarily been distributed On Demand and Digital. He has at least a half-dozen projects that are either completed or in post-production that have not yet been released.

Check out more of Karen Benardello’s articles.

Karen Benardello
Karen Benardello
As a life-long fan of films and television shows, and an endless passion for writing, Karen Benardello decided to combine the two for a career. She graduated from New York's LIU Post with a B.F.A in Journalism, Print and Electronic in 2008. Karen has since been working in the press in New York City, including interviewing film and television casts and crews, writing movie and television news articles and reviewing films and televisions series. Some of her highlights include attending such local events as the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and New York Comic-Con, as well as traveling across North America to attend such festivals as the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Toronto International Film Festival. She has been a member of the Women Film Critics Circle since 2012, and the New York Film Critics Online since 2019.


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