Heartbreaking update on Bruce Willis amid dementia battle: What you need to know

Bruce has recently been described as 'not totally verbal' and has having lost his 'joie de vivre'.

After Bruce Willis retired from acting last year due to being diagnosed with aphasia and later frontotemporal dementia, a friend has revealed the heartbreaking update that the 68-year-old star is "not totally verbal" and has lost his "joie de vivre".

What you need to know

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis' family announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Photo: Instagram/demimoore
  • In March 2022 the Die Hard star's family announced to his fans that he was diagnosed with aphasia.

  • In February this year, however, it was revealed the illness had progressed into frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a common form of incurable dementia that causes changes in behaviour, personality, language, and movement.

  • The National Institute on Aging describes FTD as "the result of damage to neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain".

  • Bruce's wife, Emma Hemming Willis, has been keeping fans updated on his condition and spreading awareness for FTD. She recently revealed that his condition is not "treatable" and it "has progressed".

🗣️ What they said

Bruce Willis with his children, his wife and ex-wife Demi Moore
Bruce with his five daughters, wife Emma Heming Willis, and ex-wife Demi Moore. Photo: Instagram/demimoore

Glenn Gordon Caron, creator of Moonlighting, a series Bruce starred in during the 80s, told the New York Post: "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.”

"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."

"When you’re with him you know that he’s Bruce and you’re grateful that he’s there, but the joie de vivre is gone.”

Bruce's wife Emma told the Today Show: "What I’m learning is that dementia is hard. It’s hard on the person diagnosed. It’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say that this is a family disease, it really is."

Bruce's daughter Talulah Willis wrote for Vogue: "I remember a moment when it hit me painfully: I was at a wedding in the summer of 2021 on Martha’s Vineyard, and the bride’s father made a moving speech," she recalled. "Suddenly I realised that I would never get that moment, my dad speaking about me in adulthood at my wedding. It was devastating. I left the dinner table, stepped outside, and wept in the bushes."

❗ It’s hard to believe, but…

Bruce Willis and Demi Moore
Bruce and Demi have remained good friends after they divorced in 2000. Photo: Instagram/demimoore
  • Bruce and his ex-wife Demi Moore, with whom he shares three daughters (Rumer, 35, Scout, 32 and Tallulah, 29), have remained great friends since their divorce in 2000, and she has been supporting him and Emma through this difficult time.

  • Demi even moved in with Bruce, Emma and their two daughters, with a source telling Radar Online, "She is not leaving until the very end." They added, "Demi has been a rock for the family and is determined to make sure every day Bruce has left on earth will be filled with love."

  • The actress first began living with Bruce and his family during the pandemic, with the modern family, including Demi and Bruce's adult daughters, all choosing to live together during lockdown.

  • Bruce has previously described it as being part of a 'tribe', telling W, "It's generated a lot of interest because everyone can understand resentment and envy in the breakup of a marriage, but they don't understand how I can get along with my ex like that. Demi and I made a choice to put the kids first, and we're really lucky that it turns out we all have fun together," he continued, adding, "I still love her, and I have a lot of respect for how she lives her life."

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