Actor Bruce Willis will be retiring from acting, according to a joint statement released by his family. The announcement revealed that Willis would be “stepping away from the career that meant so much to him,” because he has recently been diagnosed with aphasia.

Aphasia is a condition usually caused by brain injury that affects a person’s language and communications skills, which would obviously make performing much more difficult. The announcement, shared by Willis’ children and ex-wife Demi Moore, said that the aphasia has been “impacting [Willis’] cognitive abilities.”

“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion, and support,” the statement read. ‘We are moving through this as a strong family unit.”

Willis has been acting since the early 1980s and after a few minor extra roles in films like The Verdict and shows like Miami Vice, he had his breakout role opposite Cybill Shepherd in the TV series Moonlighting from 1985 to 1989. He enjoyed a new level of success and an Emmy Award for the part, but it wasn’t until he stepped into the role of John McClane in Die Hard that Willis became a true household name.


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Willis was a far cry from the extremely-muscled action stars of the time like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jean-Claude Van Damme but formed McClane into an iconic action hero with his unique portrayal of the cop turned battered vigilante. His characterization of John McClane being more like a normal, sarcastic guy who rose to respond to an extreme situation proved to be hugely popular with audiences. Willis reprised the character four more times in the burgeoning franchise.

The actor will always have a place in the Action Movie Hall of Fame just from Die Hard and other roles, but Willis also took on a great variety of parts in films of all genres throughout his career. Willis had a comedic side he explored in films like Moonrise KingdomDeath Becomes Her, and two hosting stints on Saturday Night Live. He was also a voice actor and a rhythm and blues musician who has even made guest vocal appearances on soundtracks of his films such as The Whole Nine Yards.

Willis’ family statement wrapped up with an apparent catchphrase of the actor, “Live it up,” and added “together we plan to do just that,” as Willis enters this new stage in his life, wrapping up an absolutely incredible career.

Since getting divorced from Moore, Willis has been married to Emma Heming for 12 years.

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