DISEASE: The American actor, Bruce Willis, put an end to his career last year, due to aphasia. But according to his doctors, his health problems have worsened and he now suffers from an incurable form of dementia.
Bad news for fans of Die Hard, Sixth Sense or Unbreakable. The illness of Bruce Willis, who ended his career in the spring of 2022 due to health problems, has worsened and the actor now suffers from a form of incurable dementia according to a new medical diagnosis, announced this Thursday by his family.
The 67-year-old actor initially suffered from aphasia, a language disorder caused by brain damage. But since last year, “Bruce’s disease has progressed and we now have a more precise diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia”, explained his relatives in a press release. “Unfortunately, the communication difficulties are just a symptom of the illness that Bruce faces,” the family said, saying they were “relieved to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
An incurable disease
Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disease, related to Alzheimer’s disease. People with FTD may experience memory problems, behavioural changes, or difficulty speaking or moving.
“Today, there is no treatment for this disease, a reality which we hope will be able to change in the years to come”, underlined these relatives, in this press release signed by his wife Emma Heming Willis, as well as only by his ex-wife, actress Demi Moore, and his children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.
“As Bruce’s condition evolves, we hope the media will work to bring attention to this disease, which needs much more awareness and research,” they added. According to some American specialists, frontotemporal dementia appears most often in patients aged 40 to 65, and accounts for one-fifth of dementia cases.
Bruce Willis star had already faded before his retirement, but he remains one of Hollywood’s most recognized action movie actors. His career has forged him an image of an infallible hero, the antithesis of his current illness. He first distinguished himself in the 1980s with a recurring role in the Clair de lune series alongside Cybill Shepherd, but it was the action film Die Hard in 1988 that made him an international star as the invincible John McClane.
The shaved head and the smirk had become the trademark of the actor, who took over this role for two sequels in the 1990s, confirming his notoriety and becoming one gender reference. Highly sought after in Hollywood, he does a series of big productions, whether classic action films ( The Last Samaritan, The Jackal ) or science fiction crossovers like The Army of the Twelve Monkeys, which had won over critics. , or The Fifth Element by Luc Besson.
He will also work with directors as famous as Brian De Palma, and Robert Zemeckis but especially Quentin Tarantino, who makes him play a boxer on the return of Pulp Fiction in 1994, when he is at the height of his glory. Bruce Willis will also make notable performances, for their darker and more dramatic tone, under the direction of M. Night Shyamalan with his fantastic thrillers Sixth Sense and Unbreakable.
He continued to tour a lot, but no longer found the same success and his notoriety eroded little by little, despite incursions into other genres, such as comedy (“My neighbour the killer” in 2000). He signs for two new parts of the “Die Hard” saga (in 2007 and 2013) which convince neither critics nor the public. During the previous decade, Bruce Willis had not hesitated to make fun of himself and the clichés that stuck to his skin, as in Top Cops or the second part of The Expendables.