Bruce Willis is “stepping away” from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, which leads to the loss of ability to understand or express speech, his family said in a statement posted to social media.
“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,” read 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 67-year-old film star is best known for playing John McClane in the iconic Die Hard franchise. The original 1988 film made Willis a film and action star after he was mainly known as a comedic TV actor, specifically in the series Moonlighting (1985-89).
Willis has starred in such blockbusters as The Fifth Element (1997), Armageddon (1998), and The Sixth Sense (1999). Willis’ other classics include The Last Boy Scout (1991), Death Becomes Her (1992) Pulp Fiction (1994), and 12 Monkeys (1995).
“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. Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn.”
Willis was immediately trending on social media as the news broke, as fans were sharing their disbelief and sadness over the development.