On Wednesday, Bruce Willis' family announced that the 67-year-old actor would be "stepping away" from acting following a diagnosis of aphasia. His ex-wife, Demi Moore, and the rest of his family shared the announcement alongside a photo of Willis with the news.
"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," the statement reads.
"As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," the statement continues. "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."
What is aphasia?
According to the Cleveland Clinic, aphasia is a disorder that results from damage to areas of the brain that produce and process language. Someone who has aphasia can have trouble speaking, reading, writing, and understanding language.
Impairment from aphasia can range from mild to severe—some may have difficulty with only one area of communication, others may not be able to communicate in any form.
Some symptoms of aphasia include trouble putting words together into meaningful sentences, trouble reading, or difficulty understanding what others are saying. More commonly, people with aphasia are limited in more than one communication area. Nearly all patients with aphasia have difficulty coming up with the correct name of persons, places, things, or events. Most importantly, though, is to remember that every person's experience with aphasia is unique to them.
Bruce Willis, who just celebrated his birthday alongside Moore this week, has been an A-list Hollywood actor for decades. He's won a Golden Globe and two Emmy awards, and millennials know and love him from movies like Die Hard (a Christmas favorite), Armageddon, Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense, 12 Monkeys, and more.
"As Bruce always says, 'Live it up' and together we plan to do just that," the family's statement concludes. It was signed by his current wife, Emma, and her two children with Willis, Mabel and Evelyn. Demi More and her three daughters with Willis, Scout, Tallulah, and Rumer also signed the statement.
It's heartbreaking to experience any form of health challenges within your family, especially when that person is your partner or your parent. We're sending our very sincerest well wishes to Bruce Willis and the entire Willis family.