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Bruce Willis retires from acting after aphasia diagnosis

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By Newsvot News - - 5 Mins Read

American action hero Bruce Willis has quit acting after being diagnosed with a serious health condition. 

Willis, 67, rose to stardom in the 1980s comedy-drama TV series "Moonlighting," and has since acted in over 100 films, gaining praise for parts in "Pulp Fiction" and "The Sixth Sense," as well as a Golden Globe Award and two Emmys.

Willis is best remembered for his portrayal of the tough-as-nails New York cop who exclaimed "Yippee Ki Yay" while chasing bad guys in the five "Die Hard" films, which were released from 1988 to 2013.

In a statement, his family stated, "This is a terribly difficult moment for our family, and we are so appreciative of your continuous love, sympathy, and support."

Willis and actress Demi Moore were one of Hollywood's most well-known celebrity couples in the 1990s until their divorce in 2000, although the two remained close after the split. He is currently married to Emma Heming, a model and actress, and has five children with both women.

Willis had been very active in the last few years. In the year 2021, he appeared in eight films. None of them were well-received by critics.

This year, the satirical Razzie film awards granted Willis his own specific category, nominating him eight times for "Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie," the winner of which was "Cosmic Sin" on Saturday.

The news of Willis' condition saddened Larry Gordon, producer of the first "Die Hard" film and its 1990 sequel, who told the Hollywood Reporter that the actor was "the consummate pro and a fearless person."

According to the online database IMDB, the Hollywood veteran has appeared in films that have grossed more over $2.5 billion. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006, a Los Angeles landmark commemorating cinema, television, and music legends.

Willis was reared in New Jersey after being born on a US military base in Germany in 1955. He dabbled in off-Broadway companies and got a few minor roles after going to New York to pursue an acting career before landing his big break as the wise-cracking private detective David Addison in the TV show "Moonlighting."

Experts suggest that depending on the severity of the aphasia, it could be a big issue for an actor.

According to Zac Turner, a biomedical scientist, the illness is frequent among the elderly. Willis is 67 years old.

What exactly is aphasia?

Brenda Rapp, a cognitive scientist at Johns Hopkins University who deals with people who have the disorder, says it causes difficulty with speaking, reading, and writing.

"Imagine how irritating it is if you can't find words, if you can't put words together into sentences, if you can't get your tongue to make the sounds you desire," Dr. Rapp adds.

Aphasia affects a person's linguistic skills but not their ideas or thinking.

What causes the brain condition?

Aphasia can be caused by a number of factors, according to Dr. Turner.

"There are many types of trauma, whether it's an illness or a brain injury," Dr. Turner explained. "This is a huge thing that's happening in the US and Australia regarding wearing helmets and the amount of concussions that people have."

"It can also be caused by a brain tumor, headaches, or seizures."

A stroke, which has cut off blood flow to a portion of the brain, is the most common cause.

What effect is it having on Bruce Willis?

Willis' family claims the illness is affecting his "cognitive capacities."

They didn't say how long he'd been suffering from health problems or what triggered the diagnosis.

It might be "extremely disruptive for Bruce Willis in terms of communicating with others and not being able to find the words to express himself," according to Dr. Rapp.

What options do you have for treatment?

While there is no cure, patients with aphasia can seek speech and occupational therapy.

Some people will see a significant improvement in a few months, while others will need to find new ways to communicate.

Speech and language therapy, according to Dr. Rapp, can help.

New types of speech treatment and non-invasive approaches, such as a procedure that employs magnetic pulses to stimulate brain cells, are being investigated by researchers.