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Breaking: Bruce Willis is Leaving Acting After Being Diagnosed with Aphasia

Source - Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia, his family announced Wednesday.

Aphasia is a medical condition that can affect a person’s ability to speak, write and understand language, both verbal and written, according to the Mayo Clinic. It typically occurs after a stroke or a head injury.

“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,” his family wrote in a joint statement shared to each of their Instagram accounts, adding that he will be “stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

Needless to say, this is just devastating news. For Bruce Willis and his family, first and foremost. But for the public in general. 

In an entertainment world where true the very concept of Hollywood stars is in decline, where screen legends who've starred in some of the most beloved movies of all time are rapidly being phased out by 20 year old YouTube "stars" and TikTok "influencers" on the fame spectrum, this is yet another icon whose run is over. 

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Not to make this about me, but in a lot of ways, Bruce Willis has been for me the acting equivalent of that band you started following when they were playing local beer halls and the next thing you know, they're selling out arenas and everyone is wearing the t-shirts you bought when they were nobodies. I first became a fan during Season 1 of "Moonlighting":

... which was the cleverest, most well written show of its time. I remember hearing once that a single page of a TV script equals like one minute of screen time. But that show was so dense and filled with snappy dialogue that its scripts were two or three times longer. And it showed. 

Then he started to blow up, with romantic comedy movies and ads for wine coolers and even a recording career, such as it was:

And like everyone else in America, when he got the lead in Die Hard, it seemed to make no sense. This guy was a comic and a singer(ish), and seemed horribly miscast as an action hero. Only to turn out to be one of the most perfectly cast lead actors in any movie of any genre ever, in the singularly best movie of it's kind ever made. The gold standard, which has not been surpassed since. And likely never will be. 

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Finally, this diagnosis might explain a lot. Willis appeared in no less than eight terrible, low budget movies last year. So many that the last weekend's Razzie Awards created a special, one time only category of Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Bruce Willis Movie:

Assuming he knew he had this condition and time was running out on his acting career, you have to respect his decision to get what he could, while he could.

None of which takes away from his greatest roles. John McClain, of course. Butch in Pulp Fiction. His M. Night Shyamalan movies like Sixth Sense Unbreakable, and Glass. Looper. Some of my personal favorites, Sin City and RED 1 & 2.  Like a lot of acting icons, he was always playing a version of himself, but managed to bring something different to every role he played. 

Best of luck and godspeed to one of the last true movie stars.