Bill Chris Ellison star, who played DCI Frank Burnside, appeared on Good Morning Britain with his wife Anita after he announced he had a brain disorder.
The 75-year-old actor has lost his ability to speak since suffering a stroke 18 months ago and was diagnosed with aphasia – the same degenerative condition that movie legend Bruce Willis suffers from last week.
Chris and Anita appeared on GMB on Tuesday to talk about the unknown condition, with the actor’s devoted wife admitting that she has been in mourning since the diagnosis.
Devastated: Bill Chris Ellison star, who played DCI Frank Burnside, appeared on Good Morning Britain with his wife Anita after announcing his devastated brain condition.
Aphasia is a potentially devastating condition that affects one’s ability to understand language, with Anita revealing that she is now a full-time caregiver for her husband.
When Anita was asked how the couple coped, she explained, “It was a very lonely feeling because Chris didn’t come out.”
He was really embarrassed. He grabbed my arm because he knew he couldn’t speak. He didn’t want people to see him like that. We were kind of like hermits really. It’s the same smart guy inside. It’s like going out.
She later added: “I was really in mourning. It took me a long time to get used to it, I cried a lot. I now feel very comfortable.
Legend: Chris played the volatile Burnside for 15 years on The Bill (above) and proved so popular that he had a spin-off in 2000
Speaking about their decision to announce Chris’ diagnosis, Anita said she hopes to raise awareness of the unknown condition.
I saw a big change in Chris. At first, he didn’t want to appear on TV or anyone he knew. People still remember Chris when we go out. Now, I hope people understand.
I wanted people to understand what aphasia is. When you can spread it and educate people… It’s a new word, aphasia. be patient. I will always be there to answer it. I just say “Chris can understand you, he can’t reply.”
Dr Hilary Jones of GMB said he was ‘so happy’ that the couple had made it public, while Kate Garaway revealed that her husband Derek Draper ‘has a version of the condition’ after Covid hit him in 2020.
Appearing in public: The actor, 75, has lost the ability to speak since suffering a stroke 18 months ago and was diagnosed with aphasia – the same degenerative brain disorder Bruce Willis was revealed to have last week
Anita said there has been a glimmer of hope over the past 18 months, explaining: ‘Chris was taking singing lessons before he had a stroke. He has a wonderful voice.
Singing lessons will continue. We’ve had a couple, and that sound came out, and it was really weird. It just needs a little kick.
Chris and Anita announced his diagnosis in an interview with The Sun on Sunday, days after it was announced that Bruce Willis had aphasia.
Anita said Kris “hasn’t uttered any sense in 18 months”.
Chris played the volatile Burnside for 15 years on The Bill and proved so popular that he landed a spin-off in 2000.
Titled Burnside, he saw him working on the National Crime Squad. It ran for only one season, and aired six episodes.
Movie legend: Willis will now retire from acting after being diagnosed with a disorder that impeded his “cognitive abilities” (pictured with his daughter Scout)
He later appeared on EastEnders, a voice-over for Doctor Who, as a contestant on Pointless Celebrities and found himself on Celebrity Big Brother in 2015 alongside Janice Dickinson, Jenna Jameson and Danielle Baldwin.
Chris had a stroke at his Brighton home and Anita found her on the bedroom floor.
The aphasia was only known to a few friends and family, but he was inspired to share it with the wider world after 67-year-old De Harde’s diagnosis.
His family said Wednesday that Willis, who has starred in dozens of action movies, will now retire from acting after being diagnosed with a disorder that impeded his “cognitive abilities.”
He rose to fame on the 1980s comedy-drama television series Moonlighting and appeared in nearly 100 films during his four-decade career, earning him praise for his roles in Pulp Fiction and The Sixth Sense, winning a Golden Globe and two Emmys.
For his part, Anita spoke about their decision to announce Chris’ diagnosis, and said she hopes they will raise awareness of the unknown condition.
But Willis is perhaps best known for playing a ruthless New York cop who chases bad guys in the five Die Hard films, released from 1988 to 2013.
“This is a challenging time for our family and we deeply appreciate your continued love, sympathy and support,” his family said in a statement.
Willis and actress Demi Moore were one of the most popular Hollywood couples in the ’90s until their divorce in 2000, but they remained close after the split.
He is currently married to model and actress Emma Heming and is the father of a total of five children from both women.
Fans: Anita said she has seen a big change in Kris. At first, he didn’t want to appear on TV or anyone he knew. People still remember Chris when we go out. Now, I hope people understand’ (The couple filmed in 2018)
“We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and we wanted to bring in his fans because we know how much he means to you, as you are to him,” the statement signed by the actor’s family and posted on the statement read. Instagram of Demi Moore and their daughter Rumer.
Aphasia is a disorder often caused by stroke that can also result from head trauma or, in rare cases, from neurological disease, said Brenda Rapp, a professor of cognitive sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
Symptoms vary widely and can affect speech, comprehension and ability to read, Raab said in a phone interview. In some cases, aphasia can be treated with speech therapy.
Aphasia: a brain condition that can make a person unable to communicate
Aphasia can present in a variety of ways, most often as a result of a head injury, stroke, tumor or other deterioration in the brain.
It can also be devastating, with experts saying it causes depression in more than a third of cases, can lead to personality changes and can alienate friends and family from the affected person.
The cause of this condition, which is often some type of traumatic brain injury or stroke, can lead to massive personality shifts.
“[Aphasia is] Difficulty with language caused by brain injury. The most common source is a stroke…but it can come from any other type of damage.”
Some infections that affect the language centers of the brain can also cause aphasia, along with cognitive decline and dementia-related decline.
This condition can make it so difficult for an actor — like Bruce Willis or Chris Ellison — to continue in his career that just the act of speaking out can become a challenge.
There are four common types of aphasia that make up the vast majority of cases: fluent – often called Wernicke; unflavored – known as broca; anomaly. and primary progressive aphasia.
Raab explained that there are different forms of the condition because each represents a different type of breakdown in the communication process.
Whether it’s the ability to translate thoughts into appropriate words, the ability to physically pronounce words, or the ability to interpret and understand speech from others, every part of communication is a complex process, and even minor brain damage can cause a problem.
While the condition causes communication failure, Rapp notes that the person himself remains the same.
Their thoughts, beliefs, and feelings remain for loved ones, even if it can be frustrating and disgusting for both the aphasia patient and those around them to deal with the condition.
According to the Stroke Association, a UK-based group, those with Wernicke’s aphasia have the ability to put long sentences of words together, but often say things in a meaningless way, or even use made-up words.
They will also have impaired ability to read and write, and may have difficulty understanding clear verbal communication towards them.