Bruce Willis retires from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia

30 March 2022, 18:08 | Updated: 30 March 2022, 18:14

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis. Picture: Getty

By Tom Eames

Bruce Willis has announced that he is "stepping away" from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia.

The legendary Die Hard actor has confirmed that he has been diagnosed with the condition aphasia, which leads to difficulties understanding or expressing speech.

“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,” his family said in a 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 Die Hard series, having originally found fame in the comic drama TV series Moonlighting.

He has since become a Hollywood giant since the 1990s, with big blockbusters including Armageddon, The Sixth Sense and Pulp Fiction.

“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.”

In recent years, Bruce's appearances in a number of low-budget and critically-panned films even led to his own category at the 2022 Razzie Awards.

What is aphasia?

Aphasia is when a person has difficulty with their language or speech. It is usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain.

People with aphasia often have issues with the four main ways people understand and use language (reading, listening, speaking, typing or writing).

Speaking problems are the most obvious signs, and people with aphasia may make mistakes with using words.

Although aphasia affects a person's ability to talk and communicate, it doesn't actually affect their intelligence.