Bruce Willis, star of Die Hard, announced his retirement from acting in March after being diagnosed with aphasia, a language disorder that has severely limited his capacity to communicate.
A tragic update on the actor’s condition, about a year later, has been provided by his family: he has been diagnosed with a form of dementia.
Actor Bruce Willis’s condition has worsened, and frontotemporal dementia has been officially diagnosed, the actor’s family revealed in a statement.
According to the statement, frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the most frequent form of dementia in those under the age of 60, and it can take years to identify this “cruel disease” that “can hit anyone.”
“While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” the family wrote. “Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.”
The family expressed gratitude to Willis’s followers for their love and support over the previous year and explained that they were exposing his condition in order to raise awareness about FTD.
“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”
For many years, Bruce Willis was among the most popular actors in Hollywood. After his breakthrough on Moonlighting, he became a household name as John McClane in Die Hard and its numerous sequels.
Many of Willis’ films, such as Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, and Unbreakable, have been critically praised and commercial successes. Willis has been relegated to appearing in low-budget, straight-to-video films in recent years, and his coworkers have expressed concern over his ability to remember his lines.
In March of last year, the family finally addressed fans’ concerns by revealing that he had been diagnosed with aphasia, which severely impaired his communication and ended his performing career.
His family announced he was “stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him” and that he would be spending time with his family: “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”
The actor has two kids with his wife, actress Emma Heming Willis: Mabel and Evelyn. Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah are Bruce Willis’ daughters with ex-wife Demi Moore.
“Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same,” the family’s statement concludes. “It has meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us. We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time.”
“Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.”
The news that Bruce Willis has dementia was shocking, but at least now his loved ones know what’s wrong and can keep him well.
The Willis family’s honesty regarding Bruce’s illness has helped spread the word about frontotemporal dementia (FTD), so we’re grateful to them.
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