‘While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,’ his wife Emma Heming Willis says
Die Hard actor Bruce Willis has frontotemporal dementia, his family have announced.
Willis, 67, was diagnosed with aphasia last year and his “condition has progressed”, his wife wrote on social media on Thursday.
Emma Heming Willis wrote: “Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.
“In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.
“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD).
“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.”
The pair married in 1987 and had his three eldest children, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah before separating in 2000, remaining on amicable terms.
Willis married actress Emma Heming in 2009, and the couple had two daughters Mabel and Evelyn.
In March last year Willis’ family announced he would be “stepping away” from his successful acting career after having been diagnosed with aphasia.
Both families were pictured together last Christmas.
A longer statement released by the family on Thursday said they wanted to raise awarness of the “cruel disease”, which, for people under 60, is the most common form of dementia.
Frontotemporal dementia has no cure. It’s an uncommon type of dementia that causes problems with behaviour and language, according to the NHS.
The statement read: “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.”
Willis is most known for his iconic performance as action star John McClane in the Die Hard franchise.
During his 40 years of acting, Willis has been nominated for five Golden Globes and three Emmys.