Bruce Willis Is ‘Stepping Away’ from Acting Following Aphasia Diagnosis

Willis' family revealed that he was recently diagnosed with aphasia, which is caused by brain damage and impacts the ability to communicate.
Actor Bruce Willis poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film 'Glass', in London, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Bruce Willis
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Big-screen icon Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting following a recent diagnosis of aphasia, a brain condition that impacts cognitive abilities and speech. Willis’ eldest daughter, Rumer Willis, made the announcement on Instagram on Tuesday, sharing a joint statement from his family about Willis’ condition. Aphasia is caused by brain damage, and affects an individual’s ability to communicate.

“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,” Rumer Willis wrote in the statement. “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 continued, “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.”

Rumer Willis concluded, “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that. Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn.”

The “Die Hard,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Sixth Sense” star was recently seen in at least eight action movies released in 2021 and has a handful of films currently in post-production. Titles from last year include “American Siege,” “Fortress,” “Deadlock,” “Apex,” “Survive the Game,” “Out of Death,” “Midnight in the Switchgrass,” and “Cosmic Sin.”

Upcoming are films including “Vendetta,” “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye,” “The Wrong Places,” and “Die Like Lovers,” among more.

Though never Oscar-nominated, beloved actor Willis has two Primetime Emmy Award wins for his guest role on “Friends” and his recurring role on “Moonlighting.” Willis also received a Golden Globe award in 1987 for his turn on “Moonlighting.”

Willis’ “Pulp Fiction” co-stars John Travolta, Uma Thurman, and Samuel L. Jackson recently staged a “Pulp Fiction” reunion, timed to the film’s 28th anniversary, on the Oscars stage this past Sunday.

IndieWire has reached out to Bruce Willis’ representatives for further comment.


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