Bruce Willis diagnosed with 'cruel disease' frontotemporal dementia, family announces
Bruce Willis is suffering from a form of dementia, specifically frontotemporal dementia (FTD), his loved ones announced on Thursday. In a statement, the Willis family said the 67-year-old actor's condition has worsened since he was diagnosed with aphasia last year.
"Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis," they shared.
The Willis family wants to shed light on FTD by coming forward with the news.
"FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know. 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," the family added.
"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 Willis's continued.
"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," the statement concluded. "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 posted by Bruce's wife, Emma Willis, plus ex-wife Demi Moore and their three adult daughters: Rumer Willis, Scout Willis and Tallulah Willis. (Bruce also shares daughters Evelyn, 8, and Mabel, 10, with Emma.)
Bruce's family announced his aphasia diagnosis in March 2022 as they revealed he would no longer be acting. Aphasia is a condition where a person loses the ability to communicate.
"As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," they shared at the time. "This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, 'Live it up' and together we plan to do just that."
Since coming forward with the health news, the Willis women and Moore have shared several photos of Bruce enjoying life away from Hollywood on social media. He's set to become a grandfather for the first time this year as Rumer is pregnant with her first child.