Bruce Willis Health Diagnosis Gets Heartbreaking News From His Wife

By Jason Collins | Updated

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Emma Heming Willis, the wife of actor Bruce Willis, recently opened up on how the family is handling and coping with the actor’s frontotemporal dementia diagnosis and whether or not the Die Hard star fully understands his diagnosis and deteriorating condition. The family previously announced that the actor was diagnosed with aphasia, which was impacting his cognitive abilities, and that he would step away from his career.

Bruce Willis’ wife Emma Heming Willis says she isn’t sure her husband is aware of his deteriorating health.

An announcements from the Bruce Willis family in February stated that he has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. In her interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Emma Heming Willis shared how dementia is hard on the person but also on their family. The condition affects Bruce, herself, and their daughters in difficult ways.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for FTD, though medication often improves the quality of life in patients.  

After it was made public that Bruce Willis’ condition had progressed from aphasia to a dementia diagnosis, Heming Willis became an advocate for World Frontotemporal Dementia Awareness Week, which kicked off yesterday (September 24), and lasts through October 8.

The CEO of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD), Susan Dickinson, stated that the disease sometimes takes the person’s ability to understand their deteriorating mental health condition.

Bruce Willis’ neurological disease, FTD, is actually an umbrella term for a slew of brain disorders that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are associated with personality, behavior, and language. Symptoms range from losing the ability to use language properly to dramatic changes in an individual’s personality; some can become impulsive or emotionally indifferent.

Unfortunately, there’s no cure for FTD, though medication often improves the quality of life in patients.  

This means that Bruce Willis might not be fully aware of his deteriorating health condition, as the frontal lobe is actually in charge of self-insight. Some people lose self-insight relatively early in the progression of FTD, while others retain the ability for a long time. When asked if the actor is aware of his condition, Emma Heming Willies stated that it’s really hard to tell but called the actor a gift that keeps on giving.

His Rise To Fame

Bruce Willis, now a former actor and film producer, had a prolific career in Hollywood. His dive into the world of acting is quite peculiar; after joining a drama club in high school, he found that acting on stage reduced his stutter significantly—he stuttered badly for the first 18 years of his life.

After high school, he worked as a private investigator, a role he would later often portray, before he turned to acting. His big break in acting came in 1985 when he was cast as David Addison in the popular TV series Moonlighting. The role earned him critical acclaim.

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Bruce Willis’ rise to fame is most often associated with his role in 1988’s Die Hard, where he portrayed John McClane, a NY cop who finds himself battling terrorists in a Los Angeles skyscraper. The part catapulted Willis to stardom and cemented his status as an action movie star. We strongly recommend watching The Last Boy Scout, Pulp Fiction, the legendary Fifth Element, and both RED and RED 2.