Speed Reads

'challenging time for our family'

Bruce Willis is stepping away from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia

Bruce Willis is stepping away from his acting career due to health issues, his family has announced. 

Willis' daughter Rumer shared a statement Wednesday on behalf of the actor's family announcing he "has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities." As a result, they said, Willis is "stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him." 

Aphasia is a condition that "robs you of the ability to communicate" and "can affect your ability to speak, write, and understand language, both verbal and written," according to the Mayo Clinic, which notes it usually occurs after a stroke or head injury but can also come gradually. 

"This is a really challenging time for our family," the statement said. "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."

Willis, best known for his roles in films like Die Hard and The Sixth Sense, has remained active in recent years starring in a number of movies that have primarily been released direct-to-video. Some fans had questioned why Willis was appearing in so many of these films, and the parody award show the Golden Raspberry Awards introduced a category mocking his recent output. Willis' health issues were not publicly known at the time, but filmmaker Ted Geoghegan tweeted Wednesday that the actor's health issues have "been an open secret for a few years, and why I've never joined the chorus of folks mocking him for making dozens of direct-to-video films." 

The family statement was signed by Willis' wife Emma Heming, ex-wife Demi Moore, and children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn. "As Bruce always says, 'Live it up," they wrote, "and together we plan to do just that."