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What's Going On With Bruce Willis? His Health Status & Condition, Explained

Bruce Willis is one of Hollywood's most beloved action stars — and he now has a debilitating neurological condition that's left him unable to perform.

In 2022, Willis retired from acting and revealed the reason why: He was diagnosed with a disease called "frontotemporal dementia," which caused him to develop aphasia. Aphasia specifically means that the afflicted person loses their ability to verbalize effectively. While the patient may understand what's being said to them, they likely won't be able to respond with the correct words. Before officially being diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, Willis began experiencing aphasia.

At the time of Willis' initial aphasia diagnosis in March 2022, his wife, Emma Heming Willis, took to Instagram to post a statement from the actor's entire family — which includes Willis' ex-wife, actress Demi Moore, and the daughters Willis and Moore share. "To Bruce's amazing supporters, as a family, we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration, Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him," it rea. The family also thanked Willis' fans for their support. So, have there been any developments since the news?

Bruce Willis' diagnosis is utterly devastating for the actor and his family

Bruce Willis' family followed up in February 2023 with an official statement via the Association for Frontotemporal Dementia. "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," it said. "While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."

Emma Heming Willis and the rest of the family noted that while people are unfamiliar with frontotemporal dementia, it's common among people under 60 years old ... and there's no treatment as of this writing. "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."

This revelation brought tragic details to the forefront, including the fact that while Willis was filming one of his final movies — "Midnight in the Switchgrass" — he was verbally abused by now-disgraced producer and director Randall Emmett. This was because the actor's condition was already setting in, and he was often unaware of where he was. Those who worked on the film said that during scenes shot in a diner, Willis believed he was in an actual dining establishment and refused coffee refills.

What has Bruce Willis' family said about his diagnosis?

Bruce Willis' family has been open about the difficulties they're facing — and it's clear that they're trying to remain positive and loving for the actor's sake. Earlier this month, Demi Moore — who remained close friends with Willis after their divorce in 2000 — appeared on Good Morning America and said, "I think, given the givens, he's doing very well." She also spoke about the strength of her daughters Tallulah, Scout, and Rumer through the whole process. In May 2023, Tallulah Willis wrote a searing personal essay in Vogue about her own health struggles and her grief for her father.

As for Emma Heming Willis, who married the action star in 2009, she has devoted her life to caring for her husband and raising awareness for frontotemporal dementia. On her Instagram, she often shares odes to Willis, including a sweet post on Valentine's Day featuring a picture of the two. It's also been announced that Heming Willis will publish a book about caregiving for people dealing with dementia to help those in her position.