Bruce Willis Diagnosed with Rare Form of Dementia

Kristy Pinedo, Managing Editor

Bruce Willis at age 67 was, unfortunately, diagnosed with a rare condition called frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a condition that affects only less than one in 20 of all dementia cases. It typically affects people between the ages of 45 and 64.

Because of this diagnosis, Bruce Willis’s career in the entertainment industry, which spanned 42 years from 1980–2022, came to an official end.  This all began when Willis’s family announced Bruce’s retirement from acting on March 30, 2022, after the actor was diagnosed with aphasia.

Aphasia is a language disorder that makes it difficult for a person to both speak and understand spoken and written language. Unfortunately, since that announcement last spring, Bruce’s condition has progressed into FTD.  FTD happens due to the damage of neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Some signs of FTD include odd behaviors, difficulty talking, trouble with work, or difficulty walking. With this in mind, the choice to retire seems to have been the right one.

Bruce Willis at the 2010 Comic Con in San Diego
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Bruce Willis has appeared in a number of films that the majority of us have watched and enjoyed. Let’s take a trip down memory lane and discuss some of his best-selling films. The first on the list is the film 6th Sense, in which Bruce played Dr. Malcolm Crowe, a child psychologist who is treating a patient who claims to be able to see the dead. This film received a 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and grossed $672,806,292. Second on the list is Armageddon, which received a 38% on rotten tomatoes and grossed $554,600,000 worldwide. The movie is about an asteroid hurtling toward the Earth and Harry S. Stamper (Bruce) and his crew need to find a way to stop it. His third film, Live Free or Die Hard, was the fourth film released in the Die-Hard film series. It had an 82% rating and grossed $382,288,147 worldwide. Although Bruce can no longer perform in films, the films in which he appeared will live on forever. Bruce has received numerous prizes for his outstanding acting abilities, including a Golden Globe Award, two Primetime Emmy Awards, and two People’s Choice Awards, as well as a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2006.

Here is an excerpt from the statement Bruce Willis’s family released:

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 connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.

You can read the full statement here