Bruce Willis Retires after Aphasia Diagnosis

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Bruce Willis Retires after Aphasia Diagnosis

Bruce Willis, the acting titan who defined the modern action hero in Die Hard, is retiring after an aphasia diagnosis. According to his family, Willis “has been experiencing some health issues” due to the language disorder, which is “impacting his cognitive abilities.”

The performer became a star with Moonlighting, then catapulted to genre-defining super-stardom as put-upon and wisecracking everyman John McClane. Out were the hyper-macho, mega-muscular heroes; in were the snarky, scrappy little guys. Willis’ career put his wry delivery and bemused physicality to good use over a slew of genres, but the last decade has seen him appear in a succession of “geezer teasers” that asked very little of him beyond a cameo appearance. His prolific yet uninspiring output in his late period has been the subject of much interest for those of us who’ve loved his work, and his retirement under these sad circumstances is a heartbreaking way to go out.

That said, Willis’ work will always remain a testament to his abilities, and hopefully what little speculation his fans once posited about his contemporary performances will die down as he steps back to focus on his health and his family.

“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” the statement from Willis’ family members concludes. “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.”

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