Entertainment

Bruce Willis 'stepping away' from acting because of aphasia symptoms

Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting because he is suffering from aphasia, a condition that causes loss of the ability to understand or express speech, often as a result of a stroke or brain injury, his family announced Wednesday.

Willis's family members posted a statement on Instagram revealing reasons for departure

Bruce Willis and wife, Emma Heming Willis, attend the premiere of 'Motherless Brooklyn' during the 57th New York Film Festival at Alice Tully Hall on Oct. 11, 2019, in New York City. Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting, his family announced Wednesday, because he is suffering from aphasia, a condition that causes loss of the ability to understand or express speech, often as a result of a stroke, brain tumour, brain injury or dementia.

In a statement posted on Willis's Instagram page, the 67-year-old actor's family said Willis recently began experiencing aphasia and that it was impacting Willis's 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," read the statement signed by Willis's wife, Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five children, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.

"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," they said. "As Bruce always says, 'Live it up,' and together we plan to do just that."

Aphasia typically occurs after a stroke or head injury, but can also develop gradually due to a slow-growing brain tumour or a disease that causes degenerative damage. It is treated primarily with speech therapy and learning non-verbal means of communication.

The news about Willis, one of Hollywood's most beloved actors, immediately spread online as fans reacted. The films he has made over a four-decade career have amassed more than $5 billion in box office worldwide.

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

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