CINCINNATI — After more than four decades, the family of actor Bruce Willis announced he would step away from acting as he battles health issues.
His daughter, Rumer, said on Instagram Bruce was "recently diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities."
"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," Rumer Willis said. "As Bruce always says, 'Live it up' and together we plan to do just that."
According to the Mayo Clinic, aphasia typically occurs "suddenly" after a stroke or head injury. The condition can also happen gradually due to a slow-growing brain tumor or disease that causes "progressive, permanent damage."
Willis's family did not say whether the actor was dealing with health issues before the diagnosis, but a report from the Los Angeles Times said some in the entertainment industry had been "privately concerned" about his struggles for years.
"According to those who have worked with the elder Willis on his recent films, the actor has been exhibiting signs of decline in recent years," The Times said. "In interviews with The Times this month, nearly two dozen people who were on set with the actor expressed concern about Willis’ well-being."
The report highlights a moment where Willis unexpectedly fired a gun loaded with a blank on the wrong cue while filming "Hard Kill" in Cincinnati. No one was injured, but The Times reported the incident left actors and crew members "shaken."
According to IMDB, Willis has been in 22 movies in the past four years — many of which are direct-to-video. "Hard to Kill" was released in August 2020.