Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Rare Form of Dementia, Family Says Communication “Just One” of His Symptoms
Bruce Willis, seen here in 2019, has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. Photo: Mike Marsland/ Mike Marsland/WireImage
Actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, his family said on Thursday, nearly a year after the Die Hard franchise star was retiring from acting due to aphasia that hampered his cognitive abilities.
“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” his family said in a statement posted on The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website.
“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
The actor’s oldest daughter, actor Rumer Willis, also posted the announcement on Instagram and received support from others in the entertainment industry.
“Love you so much my friend. Sending hugs to you and that beautiful family of yours. Your pops is such damn legend,” Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul wrote.
Willis, 67, rose to fame in the 1980s comedy-drama TV series Moonlighting, and has appeared in about 100 films across his four-decade career, garnering acclaim for his roles in Pulp Fiction and The Sixth Sense, and winning a Golden Globe Award and two Emmys.
But Willis is perhaps best known for playing the tough-as-nails New York cop who pursued bad guys in the five Die Hard movies, released from 1988 to 2013.
(Reporting by Danielle Broadway; Editing by Mary Milliken and Marguerita Choy)