“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,” his family said.
US Actor Bruce Willis Has Dementia, His Family Announces
Actor Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia, his family announced Thursday.
In a statement on social media, they said while the news “is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis”.
Willis was diagnosed with aphasia, which causes difficulties with speech, last year, but this has progressed and he has been given a more specific diagnosis, the family said, as they went on to say frontotemporal dementia, or FTD, is the most common form of dementia in people under 60.
“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,” their statement said.
Willis became a household name in the 1980s and 90s after starring in blockbuster films like Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, Armageddon, and Pulp Fiction.
His most recent acting credit is Detective Knight: Independence, which was released last month 2023, and is the third installment of the thriller film series “Detective Knight.” He also has action movie Assassin slated for release in March.
But the 67-year-old’s family said last year he would give up acting, as his aphasia was affecting his cognitive abilities.
“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,” Thursday’s statement added.
“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 statement was signed by members of his family including his wife Emma Heming, with whom he has two daughters, and his ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters.
According to the UK NHS website, FTD is an “uncommon” form of the disease that causes the sufferer problems with behaviour and language.
Symptoms also include slow or stiff movements, loss of bladder or bowel control – although this tends to be later on - and muscle weakness.