Bruce Willis’ family today announced the 67-year-old Die Hard, Armageddon and Pulp Fiction star is “stepping away” from acting as a result of health issues. Chief among those is aphasia, a condition that, according to the Mayo Clinic, “that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.” It is often caused by a stroke or head injury.
Willis has about a half-dozen projects either completed or in post but not yet released, including Paradise City, which reteams him with Pulp Fiction co-star John Travolta for the first time in nearly three decades.
Producer Randall Emmett, who has also worked (much more frequently) with Willis over the years, shared his thoughts on the announcement with Deadline.
“Bruce and I have worked on over 20 films together. He is a terrific actor and legendary action star, an incredible father, and a close friend,” said Emmett. “I fully support Bruce and his family during this challenging time and admire him for his courage in battling this incredibly difficult medical condition. Bruce will always be part of our family.”
The message containing the announcement that Willis was stepping back from acting was posted to Instagram by his wife Emma Heming, ex-wife Demi Moore and daughter Rumer. It was signed by all Willis’ children and Heming.
Here is the full text:
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. 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.
Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn
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