Bruce Willis Is Retiring

Bruce Willis Is Retiring

by Hedy Phillips

Bruce Willis’ family shared today that the actor will retire following a recent diagnosis with aphasia. In a message shared across the family’s social media channels, they collectively wrote that he’d recently been experiencing health issues that are affecting 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,” they wrote.

The message continued, “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.”

Aphasia is an incredibly common disorder — more common than Parkinson’s Disease, cerebral palsy, or muscular dystrophy — that affects around two million Americans, according to the National Aphasia Association, including nearly 180,000 new Americans every year. Though the communication disorder, which affects verbal speech and written words, commonly is caused by stroke or brain injury, it can also be a result of other degenerative brain disorders. Despite how difficult aphasia makes it for people to communicate, it does not necessarily mean an impairment in intelligence, the NAA clarifies.

Willis’ family didn’t provide any further information on the Die Hard actor’s diagnosis, but they did write that they plan to “live it up” per Willis’ life motto, and they plan to do it together. And though it’s possible to recover from aphasia, it’s incredibly rare. While communication will no doubt continue to be difficult for the actor, he has his family around him for support. The message on Instagram was signed by all of them — his wife, Emma Willis; his ex-wife, Demi Moore; and his children Rumer Willis, Scout Willis, Tallulah Willis, Mabel Willis and Evelyn Willis.

He’s had a long, fruitful career in Hollywood, starring in a number of blockbuster films over the last few decades, like The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, and Pulp Fiction, not to mention playing memorable roles in other projects like Moonrise Kingdom and Death Becomes Her. Willis has a handful of projects currently listed as completed or in post-production on IMDb, slated to release in the coming months, which may be his last.

Photo via Getty/ Rich Fury