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Bruce Willis stepping away from acting for health reasons, his family says

Bruce Willis in 2018.
Rich Fury
Getty Images
Bruce Willis in 2018.

Updated March 30, 2022 at 1:49 PM ET

One of the most popular actors of his generation has announced his departure from the screen. Bruce Willis' daughter, Rumer Willis, shared the following statement on Instagram:

"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. 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. Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn"

Aphasia is a cognitive condition that affects the ability to speak, write and understand language. It can occur after strokes or head injuries, and can lead in some cases to dementia.

Actor Bruce Willis and his daughters Rumer, Tallulah and Scout in 2006.
Kevin Winter / Getty Images
Getty Images
Actor Bruce Willis and his daughters Rumer, Tallulah and Scout in 2006.

Willis overcame a stutterto become an A-list leading man. His early career in theater led to a starring role in the hit TV series Moonlighting, which began in 1985. As a sardonic private detective with blue-collar grit, Willis was perfectly positioned for his next major role as the wiseacre cop John McClane in the movie Die Hard. The film spawned a massive franchise and etched Willis into the mythology of American manhood with catchphrases that cannot be repeated in these pages.

Over the years, Willis has appeared in nearly 150 films and TV shows, including Pulp Fiction, 12 Monkeys, The Fifth Element and Moonrise Kingdom. His IMDB credits list eight productions released in 2021 alone, and 11 for 2022. Some of those films and shows are in pre-production; it is unclear whether Willis will ultimately appear in movies such as Fortress 3, where he's listed as a co-star with Chad Michael Murray or Paradise City with John Travolta.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Neda Ulaby reports on arts, entertainment, and cultural trends for NPR's Arts Desk.

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