Los Angeles (dpa) – Bruce Willis is known worldwide as a tough action star – all the more surprising was the news of his retirement from the film business on Wednesday. Due to illness, the “Die Hard” star had to end his acting career at the age of 67.
“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 affecting his cognitive abilities,” said a statement from his family, which includes Willis’ daughters Rumer and Scout along with his wife Emma Heming-Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore via Instagram on Wednesday.
Colleagues and fans reacted with dismay. Stars including Jamie Lee Curtis, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Perkins and Cindy Crawford expressed their condolences in messages on Instagram. Director Len Wiseman (“Die Hard 4.0”) conveyed “love and strength” to Willis and his family. Willis is a “great actor, legendary action star, incredible father and good friend,” producer and director Randall Emmett told People.com magazine. Last year he filmed the thriller “Midnight in the Switchgrass” with Willis and Megan Fox.
Willis’ German voice Manfred Lehmann described him to the German Press Agency as one of his favorite actors to dub. “He was one of my favorites because we don’t know each other, but I’ve been speaking him for 40 years, I think, and you get a lot of things there and I always liked him,” said Lehmann. Once he also met Willis personally. “We talked a bit and I found him very likeable.” Willis was also “not that difficult to synchronize”.
The announcement came as a surprise to the public. Until the very end, Willis was in front of the camera without a break, including with John Travolta in the action thriller “Paradise City”. The IMDb film database lists over a dozen projects since 2021, some of which have not yet been published.
“Golden Raspberry” distributors take back the outrageous price
The “Golden Raspberry” contributors have withdrawn the smear award recently bestowed on Bruce Willis due to the actor’s illness. “If medical conditions are a factor in a person’s decision or performance, then it is not appropriate to give them a raid,” the group said in a statement Thursday.
The organizers of the “Golden Raspberry” or “Razzies” had come up with a special section for Willis this year – on the grounds that he had eight bad roles in 2021, including in films like “American Siege”, “Deadlock” and “Cosmic Sin”. The latter was fatal to him last Saturday (March 26) when the names of the “Razzie” recipients were announced.
What is aphasia?
Aphasias are language disorders, such as speaking, understanding, writing or reading, which can occur as a result of various diseases, often after a stroke. However, it is not a thinking disorder, the patients are mentally completely clear and also have their previously acquired knowledge still at hand. For example, those affected unsuccessfully search for words or form telegram-style sentences. Some can only string syllables together. Others speak fluently, but mix up sounds or use wrong word meanings.
As with an unknown foreign language, what is said may not be understood correctly, and sentences are only insufficiently recorded. When writing, letters are swapped, added, replaced or omitted. The limitations in social communication are mentally difficult to process.
“As a result, and after careful consideration, Bruce is retiring from a career that has meant so much to him.” It is a “very challenging time” for the family, but this time is approached as a “strong family unit”, it said.
Lots of action and sci-fi
Born in 1955 in Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, as the son of a US soldier and his German wife, Willis grew up mainly in the USA and has worked as an actor since the 1970s. At first he mainly got roles in the theater and in TV series before he made his breakthrough in 1988 with the action film “Die Hard”. He plays New York police officer John McClane in the “Die Hard” series.
In addition to action and science fiction films such as “Pulp Fiction”, “12 Monkeys”, “The Fifth Element” or “Armageddon – The Last Judgment”, Willis has also acted in dramas such as “The Sixth Sense” or “Unbreakable”. ” and comedies like “Death Becomes Her” or “RED – Older. Harder. Better”. He also tried his hand at being a musician and worked as a voice actor, producer and founded the restaurant chain “Planet Hollywood” together with other actresses.
For his achievements in the industry, Willis has received awards including a Golden Globe and two Emmys, and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2013 he was awarded the highest French cultural order and thus the honorary title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.
Most recently, however, he also had to accept a disgraceful award: The organizers of the “Golden Raspberry” or “Razzies” came up with a special section for him this year, on the grounds that he had eight bad roles in 2021, including in films like “American Siege”, “Deadlock” and “Cosmic Sin”.
ProSieben changes the program
Willis was married to actress Demi Moore from 1987 to 2000 and they have adult daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. In 2009, Willis gave his vows to British model Emma Heming, who is more than 20 years his junior. The couple have little daughters Mabel and Evelyn. Ex-wife Moore was also present at the wedding in the Caribbean.
The families are closely connected. In 2020, Willis spent several weeks with Moore and the older daughters at their family ranch in Idaho during the corona pandemic. For Willis’ 67th birthday on March 19, Moore posted a photo together on Instagram with “Happy Birthday” wishes and “gratitude” for the blended family. His wife expressed her affection. “Not only do I love him, I really like him,” Heming wrote on Instagram with heart emojis under the hashtag #birthdayboy.
“Bruce Willis is a legend, a true cinema icon,” wrote Florian Keller, responsible for the blockbuster on ProSieben and Sat.1. “I know that many are feeling the same way as me: I will miss discovering new films with him very much.” ProSieben announced that it would change the program at short notice. Three films in which Willis was involved were to be shown on Friday evening: “RED”, “Pulp Fiction” and “Unbreakable”.
Kabel Eins also announced that it would change the program. On Monday (April 4) the channel will show two films with Willis and a documentary about the Hollywood star.
© dpa-infocom, dpa:220331-99-738086/6