TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Bruce Willis is retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder caused by damage to the parts of the brain, his family announced Wednesday.
“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,” his family wrote in a joint statement shared to each of their Instagram accounts. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
Aphasia typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury, and can affect a person’s ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written, according to the Mayo Clinic.
“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” the 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.”
Willis began his career in 1980 with an uncredited role in The First Deadly Sin. He delivered his breakout performance when he played detective David Addison on the 1982 TV hit Moonlighting. He was catapulted to movie star and action hero status with the role of John McClane in the Die Hard movies. He’s been nominated for five Golden Globes, winning one, and secured two Emmys and one Emmy nomination.