Bruce Willis is stepping away from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, which has affected his cognitive abilities, according to his family.
The "Die Hard" star, 67, was just recently diagnosed with aphasia, a disorder caused by damage to the brain that impairs speaking, reading, writing and understanding others, according to the National Aphasia Association. Multiple family members shared the news of his condition Wednesday in an Instagram message signed by Willis' five daughters, wife Emma Heming Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore.
"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," the message reads. "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."
The message is signed by Willis' three daughters with Moore — Rumer, 33, Scout, 30, and Tallulah, 28 — as well as Mabel, 9, and Evelyn, 7, who are his two daughters with Heming Willis.
Symptoms of aphasia can include speaking in short or incomplete sentences, sentences that don't make sense, substituting one word for another, not understanding other people's conversation and writing sentences that don't make sense, according to the NAA.
The most common cause of aphasia is a stroke, and it can also occur suddenly after a head injury or brain surgery. The disorder can also develop slowly due to a brain tumor or neurological disorder like dementia, according to the NAA.
The family just celebrated Willis' 67th birthday March 19, with Moore, 59, sending him a sweet message thanking Willis for their "blended family."
Willis has been a Hollywood fixture since rising to stardom for his Emmy-winning performance on the television series "Moonlighting" in 1985. He became an action star thanks to his role as John McClane in the first installment of the "Die Hard" franchise in 1988, a role he has reprised in four sequels, with the most recent in 2013.
He also had memorable roles in "12 Monkeys," "Pulp Fiction," "The Sixth Sense" and "Sin City."
Willis has acted in multiple movies per year for decades, and has appeared in three movies that came out in 2022: "American Siege," "Gasoline Alley" and "A Day to Die."