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Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with a neurological disorder called aphasia, which affects the area of the brain that controls speech.

The 67-year-old actor will take a hiatus from acting, his family said in a statement on Wednesday. The statement did not reveal the cause or severity of his aphasia.

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In a statement on social media, his family said:

"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."

What is Aphasia?

Aphasia is a neurological disorder that affects the part of the brain that controls speech. Causes include stroke, tumors or head trauma, brain infections, or neurodegenerative diseases.

Aphasia affects a person's ability to speak clearly. Patients may mix up words - spoken or written - or they may jumble their words in a nonsensical way (word salad).

Patients usually don't realize that their speech is confusing to other people.

Aphasia can also cause problems with writing, understanding speech and listening to speech.

He is best known for his films including the Die Hard franchise, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, Pulp Fiction, and Sin City.

Willis initially went into acting to control a stutter speech impediment.

Causes of Aphasia

Strokes are the most common cause of aphasia, followed by head trauma, tumors, brain infections, or neurodegenerative diseases.

According to the National Aphasia Association, aphasia affects about 2 million people in the United States. People diagnosed with aphasia are typically middle-age or older.

Symptoms of Aphasia

Symptoms of aphasia depend on the severity of damage to the brain. Patients will have difficulty expressing and enunciating words and sentences, and/or difficulty understanding spoken language.

Symptoms include:

  • speaking in short, incomplete sentences or phrases
  • speaking in sentences that others can’t understand (jumbled speech)
  • using the wrong words or nonsense words (word salad)
  • using words in the wrong order, mixing up words

 
Patients also have problems understanding spoken language or keeping up with fast paced language.

Treating Aphasia

Treatment for aphasia includes speech therapy, group therapy to practice communication skills, learning to use other forms of communication. Using computers to help form sounds.

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Charlize Theron, star of action films like Mad Max: Fury Road, is down for an all lesbian "Die Hard" with herself as a lesbian Bruce Willis lead.

She made the pitch in response to one fan who tweeted: "Lesbian Christmas rom coms are all well and good but what I REALLY want is a Die Hard where Charlize Theron goes on a rampage to save her wife."

Theron retweeted the post and added: "Where do I sign?"

In a new Vanity Fair interview, she stated, "It's a great idea. That's why I replied on Twitter, because I just thought it was kind of brilliant. I was like, 'This person needs to start pitching. That's a great idea', and the fact it would be two women, I was like, 'Yeah, sign me on'."

But the lesbian community is not eager for an all-lesbian "Die Hard" remake with an all-heterosexual female cast.

Here are just a sample of the responses on Twitter:

One user wrote:

"If it got greenlit there would be 2 factions on twitter condemning it, Die Hard fans and those who think Charlize Theron would be taking an acting role away from a lesbian actor."

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Another user wrote:

"Please no, just make a good movie with strong female characters. Charlie's Angels and Ghostbusters remakes were disasters. Stop trying to make a point and make a good move."

And a third user tweeted:

"Of course ride the name for money and make this change, because Hollywood can't simply make a new and original movie, that would be too hard."

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Bruce Willis says not wearing a face mask in an L.A. pharmacy was "an error in judgment".

The macho "Die Hard" actor was spotted without a face covering in a Rite Aid pharmacy in Los Angeles, California on Monday, Jan. 11, when an employee asked him to wear a face covering.

According to reports, Bruce was asked to leave the pharmacy when other customers became upset that he wasn't wearing a mask.

Willis, 65, wore a bandanna loosely around his neck as a fashion statement. But rather than pull the bandana up, Willis was photographed walking out of the store without making a purchase.

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Social media users ripped Willis for putting other lives in danger by not wearing a mask. One social media user said celebrities and politicians who don't wear masks believe they are invincible.

Willis has now responded to backlash over the incident, saying "It was an error in judgment. Be safe out there everyone and let's continue to mask up," he told People magazine in a statement.

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Bruce Willis was asked to leave an L.A. area pharmacy after he refused an employee's request to wear a mask.

The macho "Die Hard" star was shopping inside a Los Angeles Rite Aid pharmacy on Monday when he was asked to put on a face mask and he refused.

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A source told Page Six that other shoppers became upset that Willis, 65, wasn't wearing a mask -- despite having a bandana tied loosely around his neck as a fashion statement.

Rather than pull up the bandana, Willis was photographed walking out of the store without making a purchase.

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According to Page Six, Willis has spent much of 2020 quarantining with his ex-wife Demi Moore and their grown children, Scout, Rumer and Tallulah, at the family's compound in Idaho.

Speculation swirled that Willis' marriage to wife Emma Heming was on the rocks because she chose to stay behind at the couple's home in Los Angeles with their minor children, Mabel and Evelyn.

But Scout disputed the rumor, saying her half-sibling stepped on a hypodermic needle and required tests.

"My stepmom had to be in LA waiting to get the results from taking her to the doctor," Scout said. "So, my dad came up here and then travel got crazy so my stepmom stayed in LA with my little sisters.