Top action star Bruce Willis has decided to hang up his boots after being diagnosed with aphasia, a disease that is “impacting his cognitive abilities,”
Willis, 67, who achieved initial fame for the 1980s comedy-drama TV series “Moonlighting” before he became the tough guy, action hero who shouted “Yippee Ki Yay” in five “Die Hard” films, has appeared in about 100 films across his four decade career, winning acclaim for roles in “Pulp Fiction” and “The Sixth Sense.”
Willis has won one Golden Globe Award and two Emmys. “This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” the family statement said.
“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 statement said.
Aphasia is a condition affecting an individual’s ability to speak and effectively communicate with others, including to speak and write. It can occur after strokes or head injuries but can also arise over time due to brain tumors or degenerative diseases, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Fans expressed their love and paid tributes to Willis on social media as news of his diagnosis broke.
“My heart goes out to #BruceWillis and his family. His work has meant more to me than I could ever put into words…If this is in fact the end of your acting career, all I can say is thank you. We love you Bruce,” a fan wrote
Another fan, RiffTrax, wrote: “Respect to a good actor and legendary recording artist, been a hell of a career. #BruceWillis.”