Action star legend Bruce Willis has announced that he will be retiring from acting after it was announced the 67-year-old had been diagnosed with aphasia – a condition that interrupts the language abilities such as speech and listening.
Willis’ family released a joint statement across their social media accounts, saying “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.”
According to a report in the Los Angeles Times, concerns over Willis’ health had been circling for a while. Cast and crew members of films that the veteran Hollywood actor was working on stated that Willis was struggling to remember dialogue and appeared confused over where he was. There was also an incident involving a gun in rehearsal for his film Hard To Kill where Willis allegedly fired blanks at the wrong cue twice. Producers have denied this but fellow crew and cast have confirmed the events.
Willis’ legacy to Hollywood remains one of the longest and most revered – one of the most bankable stars of the ’90s, his name became synonymous with big budget action franchise Die Hard, 12 Monkeys, Pulp Fiction, The Last Boy Scout. But he was also known for his sharp comedy chops, which he put to use in the hit film Look Who’s Talking and cult classic Death Becomes Her. Before he was the man who saved the day, Willis made his name in the hit TV series Moonlight with Cybil Shepherd after starting his career in off-Broadway productions.
The condition that Willis has been diagnosed with, aphasia, is particularly cutting as it impacts the very tools of his trade. It occurs when damage is done to the language centres of the brain, often after a stroke, head injury, an infection or even dementia. As devastating as it is to know that Willis will no longer be bringing his charisma to the silver screen, taking care of his own health is priority.
Yippy ki-yay motherf*ckers.
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