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Actor Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Cognitive Impairment, Stepping Away From Acting Indefinitely

Hollywood icon and acting legend Bruce Willis is suffering from a potentially career-ending and certainly life-altering medical diagnosis, news that is being circulated widely following the release of an official statement from family members.

Bruce’s daughter with Demi Moore, Rumor Willis, shared a heartfelt and touching message to her nearly one-million followers on Instagram explaining her father’s medical journey:

“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 post read. “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,” the message continued.

“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that,” it concluded. “Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia “is a condition that robs you of the ability to communicate. It can affect your ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written” and can often manifest after a head injury or stroke. There might also be more underlying degenerative pathologies, but either way, the end result is devastating news to the actor and his family.

NBC likewise elaborated on the unknown origins of Willis’ diagnoses:

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“The family did not say what the cause is in Willis’ case. They wrote that it is “a really challenging time” for them, but that they are “moving through this as a strong family unit.”

“As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that,” the Instagram post concludes.

The news comes just weeks after Bruce Willis celebrated his 67th birthday. Moore shared a photo wishing Bruce Willis a happy birthday on March 19, writing she is “Thankful for our blended family.””

Beyond knowing about the diagnosis, there is little more than speculation as to what this all means. The extent of development of his condition or possible courses of treatment, including a prognosis, remain unknown at this time.

Although Willis is credited with acting roles on IMDB dating back to 1980, his career catapulted to Hollywood heights after the release of 1988’s Die Hard, debatably one of the best Christmas movies of all time. He instantly became billable, and in the next decade alone led films that saw multiple  returns of protagonist John McClane as well as other unforgettable flicks such as Look Who’s Talking, Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, the Fifth Element, Armageddon, and The Sixth Sense.