Wed. Aug 17th, 2022

Bruce Willis will step away from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that impedes a person’s ability to speak and write.

The actor’s family, including his wife Emma Heming-Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore, announced his condition on Instagram on Wednesday.

HOLLYWOOD, CA – AUGUST 19: Actor Bruce Willis attends Premiere of Dimension Films’ “Sin City: A Dame To Kill For” at TCL Chinese Theatre on August 19, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Aphasia is “impacting his cognitive abilities”, the statement said.

Willis, 67, is best known for playing John McClane in the Die Hard films, which made him a star.

“With much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” his family wrote in a joint statement. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 14: Bruce Willis speaks onstage during the Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis at Hollywood Palladium on July 14, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Willis has five daughters, three with Ms. Moore and two with Ms. Heming-Willis.

His acting career began in the early 1980s but he did not become a household name until later in that decade – first after starring opposite Cybill Shepherd in the ABC TV series Moonlighting and then in his 1988 performance as John McClane in the first Die Hard film.

Since then, his films including The Sixth Sense, Armageddon and Pulp Fiction have grossed more than $5bn worldwide, according to Variety. He’s been nominated for five Golden Globes, winning one for Moonlighting, and three Emmys, winning two.

HOLLYWOOD – AUGUST 03: Actor Bruce Willis and Emma Heming arrives at the Premiere Of Lionsgate Films’ “The Expendables” at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre on August 3, 2010 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Several actors and other stars offered their condolences to Willis and his family following the news.

“Grace and guts! Love to you all!” actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote in response to Demi Moore’s post.

“Sending lots of love and healing to you all!” wrote journalist Katie Couric.