Bruce Willis’ family has announced on social media that the actor has been diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition called aphasia, and thus will be stepping away from acting. Aphasia is a serious disorder that can make it difficult, or impossible, to express/comprehend language.
The Die Hard actor, 67, has reportedly been struggling with the cognitive issues that accompany this disease for years now, requiring an earpiece to feed him lines on set. One source reported that the actor has been having trouble acting in films for a while now, suggesting that this is not a new development.
“Everybody knew, the cast and crew,” revealed the source. They added that Willis had been “using earpieces, hearing things, for them to feed him the lines,” and that it was “increasingly difficult to have him on screen.”
Two years ago, fans caught a glimpse of Willis wearing an earpiece in a scene from his new movie American Siege. This move was filmed in 2020, showing that the actor has been struggling with this condition for a long time.
It’s reported that in the 2019 film ‘Glass’, Willis was facing significant struggles. According to an unidentified source, “In most scenes in Glass he’s hooded, and they used stand-in and body doubles to replace him. On set, he wouldn’t smile and was always chaperoned by an assistant to guide him while walking.”
Willis’ wife posted the following message to her Instagram on behalf of herself, Willis’ children, and his ex-Wife Demi Moore who has children with Willis and is still very close to the family. Demi posted the same message to her own Instagram as well.
“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. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.
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.
Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn”
View the Instagram post below:
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Aphasia, “typically occurs suddenly after a stroke or a head injury,” according to the Mayo Clinic. The condition can also occur gradually “from a slow-growing brain tumor or a disease that causes progressive, permanent damage.” Mayo Clinic’s page on the condition also reveals that it “robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written.”
This condition can lead to language problems, poor attention, and/or memory issues. The most common type of aphasia is “fluent aphasia” which causes affected individuals to “speak in short phrases that are produced with great effort”, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
The cause of Willis’ aphasia has not been publicly revealed.