Very sad news about the great Bruce Willis, who is stepping away from acting following an aphasia diagnosis. Aphasia is a brain condition that affects a person’s ability to talk and understand speech. The actor’s ex-wife Demi Moore made the announcement on Instagram.
“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,” said Moore’s post. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
Willis made his name as one of cinema’s great action stars, a blue collar everyman who could always deliver the steely goods when called upon. But over the course of his long career, he has shown great skill at adapting his gift for drama, comedy, pathos and even horror. He was a revelation in The Sixth Sense, selling the film’s twist ending beautifully. He was sweet in movies like The Kid and Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, stone cold in Rian Johnson’s Looper and Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, and even romantic in movies like The Story of Us.
But yipee-kai-yay, much of his legacy can be traced back to Die Hard, where he created a new model for American action movies by which pretty much every subsequent one must be measured. Every guy who thinks he could handle a domestic terrorist situation by himself thinks so because he saw John McClane do it. That’s Willis’ appeal. Guys like Stallone, Schwarzenegger and Seagal were larger than life, too big to be relatable. But if you squint a little, you can almost believe you’re Willis.
Willis would become a fixture of American action from then forward, giving flesh and blood stakes to preposterous adventures like The Fifth Element, Armageddon, Unbreakable and The Expendables. In recent years, rumors of Willis’ ailing mental health had circulated in Hollywood, along with speculation that he was working as much as possible with the time he had left.
“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,” Moore’s post continued. “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up,’ and together we plan to do just that.”
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