Most people likely know actor Bruce Willis as a fun-loving, wise-cracking action movie star, who sometimes delves into indie films by Quentin Tarantino and M. Night Shyamalan or from earlier in his career on TV. On top of all that, he’s a musician and singer.
As the description of the video below notes, his bluesy-rockin’ single with the Pointer Sisters,
“Respect Yourself” reached number five on the Billboard Hot 100, number 20 on the Hot Black Singles chart and number 22 on the Adult Contemporary chart (1987).”
But now, Willis’ family has made a heartbreaking, public announcement via daughter Rumer’s Instagram page, that the actor is retiring from his acting career for health reasons, according to The Hollywood Reporter:
Bruce Willis “Stepping Away” From Acting Career After Aphasia Diagnosis https://t.co/tBpJSTWFGo
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 30, 2022
The statement, addressed to fans, reads:
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.
CBS News’ report included a description of the illness — and a slight silver lining on the diagnosis:
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, aphasia is a language disorder that results from damage in the area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. The disorder “leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others,” Johns Hopkins said, noting that the severity of the disorder depends on which parts of the brain are impacted.[…]
It is possible for people with aphasia to recover completely, and speech therapy can help people recover some speech and language functions, Johns Hopkins said — but most will permanently retain some form of aphasia.
Co-signing the family’s statement, along with Willis’ kids Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn, and his current wife Emma (pictured above with Willis), is ex-wife Demi Moore. Their ability to maintain a positive relationship is such a rarity in Hollywood, in stark contrast to what we just saw on full display at last weekend’s Academy Awards ceremony.
In fact, even before this awful news broke, you could see the remarkable friendship between Demi and Bruce playing out in a recent story. Moore took to her Twitters account to publicly celebrate Willis’ birthday less than two weeks ago. Willis just turned 67 on March 19.
Happy Birthday, Bruce! Thankful for our blended family 🤍 pic.twitter.com/CZ8Gm2Zsrh
— Demi Moore (@justdemi) March 20, 2022
Though no one’s expecting this to ever happen, it would be wise for the many screwed-up families in Hollywood to take note — this is how it’s done right.