The world has been shocked and saddened by the news of Hollywood legend Bruce Willis’s battle with dementia. However, in the face of adversity, Willis continues to inspire us all with his indomitable spirit. In this heartwarming article, we take a closer look at how the Moonlighting star is not letting his diagnosis hold him back.
Willis’s Dementia Battle: A Fighter’s Journey
Bruce Willis, the iconic actor known for his roles in Die Hard, Pulp Fiction, and countless other blockbusters, was diagnosed with aphasia last year. This diagnosis was a severe blow to both his family and his legion of fans. However, the superstar received an even more specific and challenging diagnosis nearly a year later – frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
A Farewell to Acting and a Welcoming Retreat to Moonlighting
Last March, Willis’s family made the heartbreaking announcement that the star would retire from acting due to his medical conditions. Despite these life-altering changes, Willis’s family has continued to share updates about his life, demonstrating that the Hollywood legend is still embracing life to the fullest.
The star celebrated his 68th birthday earlier this year, surrounded by loved ones, including his ex-wife, Demi Moore, and their three children: Scout, Rumer, and Tallulah, as well as his current wife, Emma Heming Willis, and their two children, Mabel and Evelyn.
Moonlighting Creator Speaks Out: Willis’s Joie de Vivre
While Willis’s acting career may be over, there is a glimmer of positivity that has shone through his illness. Moonlighting, the hit ABC series from the late 1980s in which Willis starred alongside Cybill Shepherd, is now available for streaming on Hulu. Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of the show, revealed that Willis was eager for the world to see the show again on streaming.
“The process [to get Moonlighting onto Hulu] has taken quite a while, and Bruce’s disease is a progressive disease. So I was able to communicate with him, before the disease rendered him as incommunicative as he is now, about hoping to get the show back in front of people,” Caron recently told the New York Post. “I know it means a lot to him.”
Caron has also kept in contact with Willis’s wife and three older children since colleagues on the sets of the actor’s most recent films expressed concern about his welfare prior to diagnosis. “I have tried very hard to stay in his life,” Caron said, adding, “The thing that makes [his disease] so mind-blowing is [that] if you’ve ever spent time with Bruce Willis, there is no one who had any more joie de vivre than he. He loved life and… just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest.”
A Glimpse into Willis’s Struggle and Strength
Frontotemporal dementia has rendered Willis largely unable to communicate, and it’s as if he now sees life through a screen door. Despite these challenges, those who know him well believe he can still recognize them. “My sense is the first one to three minutes he knows who I am,” Caron said. “He’s not totally verbal; he used to be a voracious reader—he didn’t want anyone to know that—and he’s not reading now. All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce.”
While the “joie de vivre” may have dimmed, Willis’s essence remains, and those around him continue to be grateful for his presence.
A Message of Hope from Emma Heming Willis
Emma Heming Willis, Bruce’s devoted wife since 2009, offered her own update, shedding light on the family’s ongoing battle. She explained that while Willis’s condition is “hard on the family,” there are still “so many beautiful things happening in our lives. It’s just really important for me to look up from the grief and the sadness so that I can see what is happening around us. Bruce would really want us to be in the joy of what is. He would really want that for me and our family.”
In the face of unimaginable adversity, Bruce Willis’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Despite his challenges, he continues to inspire us with his resilience, determination, and unwavering love for life. Willis, we stand with you in this fight!