Bruce Willis Is Suffering from Frontotemporal Dementia, Family Says

After retiring from acting in 2022 due to an aphasia diagnosis, Bruce Willis has been found to be suffering from a form of dementia called frontotemporal dementia, his family announced on Thursday.

“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces,” the Willis family said in a statement. “While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”

The statement goes on to say that there’s currently no treatment available for the disease, known as FTD. Upon announcing his initial aphasia diagnosis last year, Willis’ family—including wife Emma Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore, and his daughters—said that the language disorder was “impacting his cognitive abilities” and that he would be taking a break from acting.

Leading up to his retirement, Willis, now 67, was having trouble recalling his lines and performing on set, often not remembering why he was there, the Los Angeles Times reported last year.

“After the first day of working with Bruce, I could see it firsthand and I realized that there was a bigger issue at stake here and why I had been asked to shorten his lines,” Mike Burns, the director of 2021’s Out of Death, told the Times.

Despite the new diagnosis, the family’s statement on Thursday ended on a hopeful note: “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.”

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