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Bruce Willis Chose to Keep Acting for Years despite His Communication Disorder & Not Knowing Where He Was

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Jul 08, 2022
05:00 A.M.
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One of Hollywood's biggest stars, Bruce Willis, was diagnosed with aphasia, a disease that affected his speech. However, Willis continued to act despite his difficulties until he had to make the painful decision to retire.

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Bruce Willis became an international sensation after starring in the "Die Hard" franchise. Since then, the actor's long career has cemented him as an action film icon in Hollywood.

Willis showed no signs of stopping until his recent retirement announcement from an Instagram post by his daughter, Rumer Willis.

Bruce Willis in New York at the Apollo Theatre 2019.  | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis in New York at the Apollo Theatre 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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Rumer explained that her father has been battling health issues from his recent diagnosis of aphasia; therefore, the cognitive difficulties that have come with this disease have forced Bruce to step down from his acting career. Rumer wrote:

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

Aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage in the area of the brain that controls a person's language expression and comprehension. The disorder leaves one unable to speak effectively with others.

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BRUCE WILLIS GETS FIRED

In the early stages of the diagnosis, Bruce Willis continued to make films; however, despite the actor's eagerness to fight back, aphasia immensely impacted his life on set.

Willis was meant to star in a Woody Allen project, but he was let go after reports initially stated that the actor left the cast because of conflicting schedules.

Emmett stood up from behind the monitor and acted out the stunts for Willis, but he still showed difficulty understanding.

According to Cinemablend, this was false because a Twitter exchange between The Wrap's Jeff Sneider and Tom O'Leary revealed that Willis struggled to deliver his lines. This caused the cast and crew members a lot of stress and set the production schedules back.

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Bruce Willis at the "Motherless" premier in New York 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis at the "Motherless" premier in New York 2019. | Source: Getty Images

The illness of the "Die Hard" star was an open secret amongst crew members; everyone could see Willis fight his way through his speech impediment.

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Randall Emmett, one of the producers who has worked with Willis and produced some of the most famous blockbusters such as; "Hard kill" and "First Kill," noticed the actor's decline.

The LA Times reported that on the set of the recent 2021 film "Midnight in the Switchgrass," Emmett got to occupy the director's chair.

Bruce Willis starring in "Moonlighting" 1985. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis starring in "Moonlighting" 1985. | Source: Getty Images

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The filmmaker and the rest of the colleagues were frustrated when Willis failed to comprehend some of the directions.

For over half an hour, the team tried to get the actor to kick open the door, but despite the voice couching him through his earpiece and a stunt coordinator guiding him, Willis still failed to understand.

Emmett stood up from behind the monitor and acted out the stunts for Willis, but he still showed difficulty understanding.

Bruce Willis in New York 2015. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis in New York 2015. | Source: Getty Images

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The filmmaker then stormed out in irritation, and he was overheard by crew members speaking to his wife Lala Kent on the phone, confessing:

“It’s just so sad. Bruce can’t remember any of his lines. He doesn’t know where he is.”

Willis was utterly unaware of the frustration he was causing on set; when Emmet left the scene to cool off, he innocently asked those around him if he had done anything wrong.

Bruce Willis in London 2013. | Source Getty Images

Bruce Willis in London 2013. | Source Getty Images

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Acting is a huge part of the "Sixth Sense" star, and his name in Hollywood holds weight; therefore, stepping down was not the first option after his diagnosis. When the news about Willis' diagnosis broke, his attorney, Martin Singer, was asked to be interviewed on the actor's behalf.

However, Singer declined and explained that Willis continued to work after his aphasia was detected because he could, and his appearance created jobs for many people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even though several reports have indicated the immense difficulty faced by Willis in his workplace, fans will still get a chance to see him in action as he still has a few films coming out in 2022. These include; "Gasoline Alley," "A day to Die," and Fortress: A Snippers Eye."

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Bruce Willis in London at the premier of the comic book thriller "Glass" 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis in London at the premier of the comic book thriller "Glass" 2019. | Source: Getty Images

REACTIONS TO BRUCE WILLIS' RETIREMENT

It is no surprise that the retirement of Bruce Willis was a shock to fans and colleagues after the star has graced our screens for over four decades.

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Many Hollywood celebrities took to Twitter to express their feelings about the action icon stepping down from his career.

Bruce Willis at the "Motherless" premier in London 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis at the "Motherless" premier in London 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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Kevin Smith, a film producer that worked with Bruce Willis in the 2010 movie "Cop Out," confessed on the Marc Maron podcast that working with the actor was "soul-crushing."

Smith expressed that Willis' legendary status made it difficult to direct him, but despite what the filmmaker might have endured in 2010, he shared his sympathy for Willis' medical condition.

Bruce Willis throwing a ceremonial pitch in Philadelphia 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis throwing a ceremonial pitch in Philadelphia 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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He said he had been a fan of the "Die Hard" star before their conflict and feels terrible for making those "petty" comments in the past.

More of Willis' colleagues, such as actor Seth Green, expressed gratitude and admiration for the actor's dedication to his craft.

Filmmaker and actor M. Night Shyamalan also shared his sympathies and acknowledged that Willis would forever be his childhood hero, as he was for many.

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Dean Norris is another of Hollywood's famous actors, primarily known for his DEA agent character in the series; Breaking Bad shared his condolences and said working with Willis on the film "Death Wish" was "awesome."

Actress Kristie Alley, who also got to work with Willis in the comedy movie "Look who is talking," was devastated by the news.

The actress described Wilis as a great actor and family man who is lucky to have a robust support system to help him through this difficult time.

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BRUCE WILLIS' STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM

Bruce Willis is a father of five daughters. The 67-year-old has three children with his first wife, Demi Moore, Rumer, 27, Scout, 24, and Tallulah, 22. The actor shares two more with his current wife, Emma Heming, Mabel Ray, 4, and Evelyn Penn, 2.

The actor has a whole house of women. He told People's magazine that he does not mind being surrounded by his "gang of women."

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore with their three daughters in California 2001. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore with their three daughters in California 2001. | Source: Getty Images

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When the Willis family found out about the diagnosis, they stopped everything and moved in with the actor to help him through this challenging period in his life.

People Magazine also reported that Heming is grateful for the children she shares with Wilis. Even though his condition is not easy to deal with, the family is focused on the happy moments they can still experience with the actor.

Bruce Willis and Emma Heming with their 2 daughters in 2019. | Source: Getty Images

Bruce Willis and Emma Heming with their 2 daughters in 2019. | Source: Getty Images

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Just a few months after the announcement of Willi's retirement, his wife Emma Heming shared a video of the "Kill Hard" star playing basketball with his friends. The actor is taking it easy and surrounded by those closest to him. Heming also said:

“For us as a family, it's always been about making memories. I'm not even sure we have rituals or traditions," she shared… "We just love spending time with each other and we know that time is precious, and I don't take that for granted.”

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The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.

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