Bruce Willis, one of the most famous and prolific movie stars of the last 50 years, is stepping away from acting due to a medical condition that affects his cognitive abilities.

In a post on Instagram, Willis’ daughter, actress Rumer Willis, wrote that he her father has “been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities.” Because of that condition, she continued “Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

According to Wikipedia, aphasia “is an inability to comprehend or formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions” and its major causes are “stroke or head trauma” although it can also be the result of tumors, infections, or neurodegenerative diseases. (Rumer Willis’ post does not specify what caused her father’s aphasia.) Those suffering from aphasia can have “occasional trouble finding words,” or more seriously they can lose “the ability to speak, read, or write.” It’s not hard to see how even a relatively minor case could cause problems for someone who works as an actor.

Willis broke through as an actor first with his leading role on the television series Moonlighting and then as the star of the long-running Die Hard action series, where he played heroic New York cop John McClane. He remained one of the biggest stars in Hollywood all through the 1990s and early 2000s. His other popular movies include Pulp FictionThe Sixth Sense12 Monkeys, and The Fifth Element. 

Rumer Willis closed her note on Instagram writing “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up” and together we plan to do just that.”

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