Bruce Willis is "stepping away"' from acting following an aphasia diagnosis.
The 67-year-old star - who is known for his roles in hit films such as Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense and Die Hard - has been diagnosed with a condition that seriously affects the ability to communicate and as a result, will be taking a break from his career, his daughter Rumer has confirmed.
The House Bunny actress wrote on Instagram: "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."(sic)
The award-winning actor has Rumer, 33, Scout, 30 and Tallulah, 28, with ex-wife Demi Moore as well as daughters Evelyn, seven and Mabel, nine, with current wife Emma Heming and his children went on to claim they plan to "live it up" as a family just like their dad always wanted.
The caption continued: "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."
The news follows months of speculation about the Looper star's health and rumours that he was churning out straight-to-video releases in the knowledge that his health was declining.
According to IMDB, the A-lister is starring in no fewer than 11 virtually unknown releases in 2022 – Fortress 3, Paradise City, White Elephant, Wire Room, Corrective Measures, Die Like Lovers, The Wrong Place, Fortress: Sniper's Eye, Vendetta, A Day to Die and Gasoline Alley.
Popular YouTube channel Red Letter Media discussed the phenomenon in a video last month titled "The Bruce Willis Fake Movie Factory", which touched on industry rumours that Willis is "fed lines" through an earpiece.
What is aphasia?
According to Mayo Clinic, aphasia can begin with trouble communicating. Someone with aphasia might have trouble finding the correct words, substitute the wrong words for each other or speak in short sentences that are difficult or impossible to understand.
These issues are related to brain damage in the left side of the brain, which controls language, Johns Hopkins University says.
While its presentations can vary, aphasia is usually a symptom of a broader medical issue. It may result from a stroke, head injury or tumour, or develop due to a degenerative brain condition.
While potential drug therapies are being tested, current treatment options are limited. Patients may undergo language and speech rehabilitation, which are focused on restoring as much language as possible and finding other ways to communicate in order to replace language that is lost for good.
"Recovery of language skills is usually a relatively slow process," Mayo Clinic says.
"Although most people make significant progress, few people regain full pre-injury communication levels."
- Bang! Showbiz, additional reporting by NZ Herald