I was so sad to hear about this. As a longtime fan of Bruce's as I know many of us are, this is heartbreaking. It was revealed last night that Bruce Willis, who retired from acting after he was diagnosed with aphasia last year, now has frontotemporal dementia (FTD). FTD is a type of dementia that often affects people at a younger age, causing personality changes, speech difficulty, and motor impairment.
Bruce's family has released a statement on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration’s website, thanking people for their support and highlighting the need for awareness and research for the disease, saying “Your continued compassion, understanding, and respect will enable us to help Bruce live as full a life as possible.”
Rumer Willis also shared the news on Instagram. Although there is no current cure for FTD, the family hopes that media attention can be focused on bringing more attention to the disease.
You can read the full statement from Willis’ family here. A few key sentences are below as well:
- Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in the spring of 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia
- FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. 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
- 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
- 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