Family of Bruce Willis Announce Hollywood Icon Diagnosed With Degenerative Brain Disorder

Bruce Willis’ family revealed Thursday that the actor had been diagnosed with a degenerative brain disease less than one year after retiring from acting. The 67-year-old Die Hard star left Hollywood last year due to struggles with aphasia, a language disorder, which his family says has progressed to frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Willis’ wife, Emma Heming, ex-wife Demi Moore, and his five daughters posted the statement to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website.

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“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.”

Willis was diagnosed with aphasia in the spring of 2022 and retired from acting in March of that year. According to his family, the actor has had difficulties communicating over the past year. A recent diagnosis confirmed that he was dealing with FTD.
“While this is painful,” the family wrote. “It is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”

FTD is the most common form of dementia for patients under 60. According to the statement, getting a diagnosis is difficult and can often “take years.” According to the Weill Institute for Neurosciences, it is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s.

Symptoms from FTD usually include memory loss, which progresses into personality changes. While Alzheimer’s patients typically maintain their social abilities in the early stages, FTD patients often become apathetic and impulsive and may act inappropriately toward others. The condition results from the degeneration of the temporal and frontal lobes of the brain. There are currently no treatments for the disease.

 ”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.”

The letter was signed by Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn. Willis and his ex-wife Demi Moore share three daughters; Rumer, 34, Scout, 31, and Tallulah, 29. He and his wife Emma have two daughters, Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, 8.

“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.”

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The family encouraged others facing FTD to reach out to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration for help at

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