Missing in action

18 June 2024
Stars who stepped away from the limelight due to illness.
bruce willis

Celebrities are no more immune to getting sick than the rest of us. Often, their ongoing health issues force them to take a step away from the limelight. Here's a look at afflicted famous people we hardly hear from anymore.

Bruce Willis – aphasia
In 2022, cinema undoubtedly suffered a great loss when the legendary Willis retired from acting after being diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease called aphasia. Aphasia is a language disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. 

Christina Applegate – multiple sclerosis
Applegate, known for her many comedic roles in film and television (who can forget her as Kelly Bundy in Married … with Children), revealed that she wouldn't be stepping in front of the camera for another acting role when she first announced that she had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is as an immune-mediated disease that mainly impacts the brain and spinal cord.

Michael Gambon – memory loss
Irish-English actor Michael Gambon, known for taking over the role of Professor Dumbledore in Harry Potter from Richard Harris, retired at 74 from stage productions due to a loss of memory that prevented him from learning his scripts. Later, Gambon died at age 82 following a battle with pneumonia. 

Huw Edwards – mental health issues
Newsreader Edwards left the BBC after years of service. His wife, Vicky Find, documented that Edwards suffers from mental health issues and, over the years, has been treated for severe depression.

Michael J Fox – Parkinson's
Fox was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1991 at age 29 and released his memoir, No Time Like the Future, in 2022 where he confirmed that he would be going into a second retirement after a semi-retirement back in 2000.

Retired action super star Willis comes out gun blazing as Shane Mueller in your Sunday night movie, Wire Room, this Sunday at 20:05 CAT on M-Net 101 or stream it on DStv Stream. 

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