Bruce Willis Celebrates His 68th Birthday with Family After Dementia Diagnosis

demi moore's 'inside out' book party
Bruce Willis Celebrates His 68th BirthdayStefanie Keenan - Getty Images

Early in 2022, Bruce Willis’s family revealed that the beloved actor, of Die Hard, The Sixth Sense, and Armageddon fame, had been diagnosed with aphasia, a brain condition that affects communication. Less than a year later, his family shared an update on Willis’s health—he was officially diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

But the heartbreaking diagnosis has not stopped Willis and his family from celebrating important milestones. On March 19, Willis’s 68th birthday, he gathered with his nearest and dearest to mark the occasion—his wife, Emma Heming Willis, and their two children, Mabel and Evelyn, plus his ex-wife, actress Demi Moore, and their children, Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah.

Moore posted photos of the celebration on her Instagram, as well as a sweet video of the group singing “Happy Birthday” to Willis before he blew out candles. Tallulah also shared some photos of her dad throughout the years, calling him her “numero uno Bruno” in the caption.

Heming Willis posted a montage of videos on Instagram—including many sentimental moments of Willis with their children, and wrote in the caption, “He is pure love. He is so loved. And I’ll be loving him always.” She continued, sharing a birthday wish for her husband: "My birthday wish for Bruce is that you continue to keep him in your prayers and highest vibrations because his sensitive Pisces soul will feel it. Thank you so much for loving and caring for him too."

When Willis’s family announced his dementia diagnosis in February, they shared a full statement on the website for the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration. In it, the family thanks Willis’s fans for their support during the initial diagnosis of aphasia: “Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it.”

The statement then gave the health update, noting that FTD is the most common form of dementia and there are currently no treatments. However, Willis’s family hopes that sharing this news—albeit heart-wrenching—will move the needle on finding treatment. “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.”

His family wrote that speaking up was always an important trait to Willis. “Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others, and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately,” the statement said. “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.”

Many are already familiar with dementia, a condition linked with memory loss and trouble communicating. According to Mayo Clinic, FTD is “characterized by the breakdown of nerve cells and their connections in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.” It can affect “behavior, personality, thinking, judgment, and language and movement.”

While Willis and Moore divorced in 2000, the two have maintained a close relationship (and even quarantined together back in 2020). It’s heartwarming to see the two sides of Willis’s family come together as a united front, with each posting the same image of Willis along with pieces of the statement on Instagram.

“While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” each caption said.

The statement ended with a few sentiments about Willis. “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.”

We’re keeping the entire Willis family in our thoughts in light of this difficult news.

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