The Quick Report

The Wife of Bruce Willis Shares a Heartbreaking Update

For years, coworkers of actor Bruce Willis suspected something was wrong, noticing his declining cognitive state.

In 2020, while Willis was working on the film Out Of Death, Director Mike Burns sent an email to the film’s screenwriter stating that Bruce’s lines needed to be kept “short and sweet,” the Los Angeles Times reported.

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“It looks like we need to knock down Bruce’s page count by about 5 pages,” Burns wrote, before adding, “We also need to abbreviate his dialogue a bit so that there are no monologues, etc.” 

Original Diagnosis

On March 30, 2022, Willis’ family issued a statement that the then-67-year-old actor would be retiring from acting due to being diagnosed with aphasia.

Aphasia is a cognitive disorder that affects a person’s ability to communicate. It commonly develops in people who have suffered a stroke.

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” Rumer Willis, Bruce’s daughter wrote in an Instagram post that was also signed by her siblings, his wife, Emma, and his former wife, Demi Moore.

In March of 2022, the Willis family revealed that Bruce had been diagnosed with aphasia. A year later, the Willis family revealed that Bruce’s condition had progressed. His diagnosis had been upgraded to frontotemporal dementia.

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the most common form of dementia, and there are no treatments for the disease. 


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The family acknowledged that the actor’s condition will advance, and that “his challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces.” 

The family thanked his supporters 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.”

“Dementia Is Hard”

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In an exclusive interview with NBC’s TODAY show, Emma Heming Willis gave an update on her husband’s condition. She shared her journey as a caregiver and how his dementia affects the family, including their two daughters.

“Dementia is hard,” Heming Willis said. “It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls.”

“When they say this is a family disease, it really is,” Emma clarified.

Heming Willis was asked if Bruce was aware of his condition.

“It’s hard to know,” she replied.

A Family Journey

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On the Today Show appearance, Heming Willis was joined by Susan Dickinson, CEO of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, to raise awareness about FTD, CNN reported.

Heming Willis referred to herself as a “care partner” rather than a caretaker.

“It’s important for care partners to look after themselves so that they can be the best care partner for the person they’re caring for,” Emma said.

Heming Willis added that Bruce’s condition has taught their two daughters traits such as “love, patience, and resilience.”

“It’s teaching them so much and how to care and love, and it’s really a beautiful thing amongst the sadness,” Heming Willis concluded.