Bruce Willis Diagnosed With Dementia as Condition Worsens, Family Says

Bruce Willis attends a photocall promoting the film 'Over The Hedge' at the Palais during the 59th International Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2006 in Cannes, France. (Credit: Shutterstock)

Bruce Will has suffered another devastating health setback.

Nearly a year after leaving acting because of his struggles with aphasia, the action star has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, his family said in a statement Thursday.

“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),” read the statement posted on the Association of Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website.

The letter was signed by the actor’s wife Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi Moore and daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.

Related Story: Bruce Willis ‘Stepping Away’ From Acting Career Amid Health Crisis

“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 statement continued.

The family added that the “cruel disease” is much more prevalent than many people are aware.

“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 statement said.

Willis, 67, is best known for his roles in the massively popular Die Hard franchise, as well as the films Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense and the television series Moonlighting.

The actor’s family said they decided to go public with his diagnosis because he always used his voice to help others.

“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 statement said.

According to the Assn. of Frontotemporal Degeneration, “FTD brings an inevitable decline in functioning.”

The group says, “Average life expectancy is 7 to 13 years after the start of symptoms.”