Bruce Willis: An action hero who won admiration both on and off screen

Following a legendary career spanning four decades, the 67-year-old movie star has retired due to health problems. We look back at some of his achievements

Por hola.com

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It was sad to hear that Hollywood A-lister Bruce Willis has retired from acting due to the brain condition aphasia. So it is cheering to know that he has the support of a large, loving family, along with the good wishes of legions of devoted fans.

Bruce's ex-wife Demi Moore broke the news of his retirement in a statement jointly signed by herself, his second wife Emma, and his five children. She explained that since aphasia affects cognitive abilities - such as speech - the actor had taken the tough decision to "step away from the career that has meant so much to him".

Acknowledging that this was a difficult time for those close to the action hero, the actress said: "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."

On screen, Bruce made his name as a tough guy, but off it, he is admired as a loving husband and father. He and Demi were for many years Hollywood’s golden couple, but chose to bring up their children in small-town Idaho, to shield their home life from the glare of publicity. After separating in 1998, the pair put the pain behind them to concentrate on their kids’ happiness.

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When Emma and two more children arrived on the scene, they became part of a model blended family. The close-knit clan have always celebrated big events and happy news together, so now, they stand shoulder to shoulder to deal with this more challenging chapter.

And, as Demi, Emma and all three of Bruce's grown-up daughters - Rumer, Scout and Tallulah - are in the movie business themselves, they will understand his situation better than most.

While revealing that the Die Hard actor won't be making any more films, their statement also brings to mind the huge body of work he has left for us to revisit, and to delight future viewers.

Over his 40 years in Hollywood, Bruce made more than 100 movies. He was that rare creature, an actor who is box office gold and yet impossible to categorise,  starring in both blockbusters and offbeat independent productions.

He first found fame in 1985, with the long-running TV series Moonlighting, where he and Cybill Shepherd played a duo of private detectives. The quirky comedy-drama offered early proof of the actor's range. He was instantly convincing as a wise-cracking cop, but seemed just as comfortable with the show's fantastical elements.

Then, starting in 1988, he carved his place in the Hollywood pantheon with his role as Die Hard's weary but unstoppable detective John McClane. The franchise ran for five films and 25 years, thanks in large part to Bruce's ability to create a character who is both superhero and American everyman.

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But Bruce is equally celebrated for 1994's cult classic Pulp Fiction. As he sent himself up with his role as prizefighter Butch, the Hollywood hard man was suddenly King of Cool, winning a whole new generation of fans.

As he jumped across genres, other notable roles included spine-tingling thriller The Sixth Sense, and romance The Story of Us.

Though Bruce kept up an astonishing output throughout his career, in recent years he worked only in short bursts, and is said to have needed help with remembering lines. But he still gave two touching final performances, in Moonrise Kingdom and Looper.

Now, surrounded by those who love him, Bruce can take a well-earned break, knowing that his legacy is assured.


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