Bruce Willis‘ condition has worsened. One year after he was first diagnosed with aphasia, the Willis family has announced that the Moonlighting star is suffering from frontotemporal dementia.
His new diagnosis was confirmed in a joint statement by Willis’ family, consisting of his wife Emma Heming Willis and their two daughters, Mabel Ray and Evelyn Penn; ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. The full statement, shared by The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, reads as follows:
“As a family, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you all for the outpouring of love and compassion for Bruce over the past ten months. Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it. For your kindness, and because we know you love Bruce as much as we do, we wanted to give you an update.
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). 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.
FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. 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.
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.
Ours is just one family with a loved one who suffers from FTD, and we encourage others facing it to seek out the wealth of information and support available through AFTD (@theaftd, theaftd.org). And for those of you who have been fortunate enough to not have any personal experience with FTD, we hope that you will take the time to learn about it, and support AFTD’s mission in whatever way you can.
Bruce has always found joy in life – and has helped everyone he knows to do the same. 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.”
Willis first made a name for himself opposite Cybill Shepherd in the popular ABC primetime soap Moonlighting. Additional TV credits include a stint on Friends, as well as select episodes of Ally McBeal, Mad About You, Miami Vice, Roseanne and That ’70s Show. On the film side, he is best known for his iconic role as John McClane in the Die Hard franchise.
His family announced his retirement last March, upon initially revealing that he’d been diagnosed with aphasia.