Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting at age 67 after being diagnosed with aphasia, a brain condition that inhibits a person’s ability to understand language and speak.
The Die Hard star’s family shared a joint statement to Instagram early on Wednesday morning AEDT.
“Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” the statement read.
“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.
“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 statement was shared by Willis’ wife Emma Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and his children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.
View this post on Instagram
Happy Birthday, Bruce! Thankful for our blended family 🤍 pic.twitter.com/CZ8Gm2Zsrh
— Demi Moore (@justdemi) March 20, 2022
Tributes have flowed from others in the industry.
Some who commented on Moore’s Instagram posted included Jamie Lee Curtis who said: “Grace and guts! Love to you all!”
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 ❤️❤️ https://t.co/ct0HE1Ti2N
— Seth Green (@SethGreen) March 30, 2022
Terribly Sad news. I’m just happy Bruce has such an awesome support system. Great guy great actor great family. winning combination for 🙏🏼🙏🏼❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/1e1QlKgbVz
— Kirstie Alley (@kirstiealley) March 30, 2022
Aphasia can also hinder reading, typing and writing.
The condition is commonly caused by stroke or head trauma but can also arise due to brain tumours or degenerative diseases.
Willis reportedly had cognitive issues and used an ear piece on recent film sets.
Willis rose to fame for his role as John McClane in the Die Hard films. He has one Golden Globe and two Emmys.
He had been especially active in recent years and appeared in eight movies in 2021. He has acted in 11 more movies released in 2022 or due to be released soon.