"Die Hard", "Pulp Fiction" or "Armageddon" - Bruce Willis was Hollywood's celebrated action star. So it came as a shock to fans and colleagues when the actor announced the end of his film career a year ago due to illness. The 67-year-old was diagnosed with aphasia that would affect his cognitive abilities, his family said in a statement at the time.
Now for the next shocking news - Willis has dementia. They have now received a more accurate diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), wrote the actor's wife, Emma Heming-Willis (44), and his ex-wife Demi Moore (60) on Instagram on Thursday. "While this is painful, it's a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis." Communication challenges are just one symptom of the disease Bruce is now facing, it said.
Willis family: A "cruel" disease
In the disease, nerve cells are first degraded in the forehead and temple area of the brain (fronto-temporal lobe). According to the German Alzheimer Society, many sufferers initially notice that they appear listless and irritable. Later, memory impairment occurs.
The Willis family said it was a "cruel" disease that many would not know about but could affect anyone. It is the most common form of dementia in people under the age of 60 and so far there is no therapy. "Bruce has always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and raise awareness of important things," the statement said. He would do the same today if he could, the family is convinced of that. There must be more information about this disease and its consequences for those affected and their families.
Colleagues and fans show sympathy
Heming-Willis also referenced Thursday's earlier announcement last March that Willis had been diagnosed with aphasia. Aphasias are language disorders, such as speaking, understanding, writing or reading, which can occur as a result of various diseases. Since then, his condition has worsened, the family wrote. Willis' daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah also shared the Instagram message. They also posted a photo of Willis smiling at the camera in shorts and a t-shirt on a beach.
Colleagues and fans expressed their sympathy in Instagram messages, including stars such as Melanie Griffith, Paris Hilton, Rita Wilson and Selma Blair, who suffers from multiple sclerosis. "Breaking Bad" actor Aaron Paul also expressed his condolences. "Your dad is such a bloody legend," he posted on Rumer Willis' Instagram account.
Willis was born in Germany
Born in 1955 in Idar-Oberstein in Rhineland-Palatinate, Willis was the son of a US soldier and his German wife.
Moore and Willis married in 1987 and announced their separation in 1998, they have three adult daughters. Willis has been married to model Emma Heming since 2009 and the couple have daughters Mabel and Evelyn. The two families are closely related. They often post photos of their large blended family. In December, eldest daughter Rumer (34) announced that she was expecting her first child.