Bruce Willis stepping away from acting after aphasia diagnosis: 'A really challenging time'

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Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting due to health issues, his daughter Rumer Willis has announced on social media.

The "Die Hard" and "Pulp Fiction" actor "has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities," Rumer Willis wrote on Instagram Wednesday in a joint statement from his family.

The post continued: "As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him."

According to Johns Hopkins, aphasia is described as a "language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension." It often hinders a person's ability to communicate and talk with others.

Bruce Willis' family announced in a joint statement that the actor would be stepping away from his career after being diagnosed with aphasia.
Bruce Willis' family announced in a joint statement that the actor would be stepping away from his career after being diagnosed with aphasia.

"This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support," the family's statement added. "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."

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Willis' ex-wife Demi Moore, who remains close to Willis and his wife Emma Heming Willis, posted the same message to her Instagram account.

The actor, 67, recently had a birthday and Moore dedicated a post to him with a photo of the two writing: "Happy birthday, Bruce! Thankful for our blended family."

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The actress and Willis divorced almost 20 years ago and share three children together: Rumer, 33, Scout, 30, and Tallulah, 28. Bruce and Emma Willis share two children together: Mabel, 9, and Evelyn, 7.

Willis is one of Hollywood’s most beloved actors with his four-decade career amassing more than $5 billion in box office worldwide.

His iconic characters include boxer Butch Coolidge in Quentin Tarantino's "Pulp Fiction," action-seeking police detective John McClane in the "Die Hard" movie series and the not-so-alive child psychologist in thriller "The Sixth Sense."

Willis had been working steadily and frequently. He has shot numerous action thrillers that are expected out in 2022, including “Gasoline Alley,” “A Day to Die” and “Fortress: Sniper’s Eye.”

News of his diagnosis immediately spread online as fans and industry colleagues reacted.

Kevin Smith, who worked with Willis in 2010 comedy "Cop Out," said the news was "really heartbreaking" and voiced regrets for comments he previously made about the actor.

"He loved to act and sing and the loss of that has to be devastating for him," he tweeted Wednesday and apologized to Willis' family for "petty complaints from 2010." At the time, Smith said "it was difficult" and "soul crushing" to work with Willis in a podcast with Marc Maron.

Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan shared his love for the actor: "He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as kid."

Actor Seth Green wrote, "I have so much love for Bruce Willis, and am grateful for every character he’s given us."

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Bruce Willis diagnosed with aphasia, is 'stepping away' from acting