Bruce Willis diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, family announces

Last year, the ‘Die Hard’ star’s family said he had been diagnosed with aphasia

Inga Parkel
Thursday 16 February 2023 20:17 GMT
Family of Bruce Willis announce actor's 'painful' dementia diagnosis
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Bruce Willis’ family has given a “painful” update on the actor’s health after revealing last year he had been diagnosed with aphasia.

In March 2022, the Die Hard star’s family announced he would be “stepping away” from acting after he had been diagnosed with the condition, which was “impacting his cognitive abilities”.

Now nearly a year later, in a joint statement shared with the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, his family revealed Willis’s condition has progressed.

“We now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD),” they wrote.

“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.”

Calling it a “cruel disease”, they went on to say that “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,” they added.

Bruce Willis and family (Getty Images)

“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.”

The statement is signed by Willis’s wife Emma, his ex-partner Demi Moore and their five children.

Willis, 67, is best known for his starring role as police officer John McClane in the Die Hard franchise.

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