Tributes paid to Bruce Willis as family announce dementia diagnosis 7 months ago

Tributes paid to Bruce Willis as family announce dementia diagnosis

"My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family, and also my gratitude for shining a much-needed light on this disease."

Tributes, love and support are pouring in for Bruce Willis after his family announced he has frontotemporal dementia (FTD) following his earlier diagnosis of aphasia.


The Die Hard and Pulp Fiction actor was diagnosed in March 2022 with aphasia, a condition affecting the brain which causes difficulty with language and speech, and stepped back from acting.

The 67-year-old's family - his current wife, Emma Heming Willis, and his former wife Demi Moore, as well as his children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn - shared an update on the progression of his condition on Thursday (17 February), revealing that Bruce now has a more "specific diagnosis".

"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)," 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."


Many have since taken to social media to post messages of love and support for the Hollywood legend.

Michelle Pfeiffer wrote under the Instagram post: "Thank you. Sending love."

Supermodel Naomi Campbell added: "Sending my love to you all."


Deadwood and Supernatural actor Jim Beaver tweeted: "The news of Bruce Willis's diagnosis of dementia is sad.


"I got my first real break as an actor playing his buddy Earl in In Country, Norman Jewison's moving drama about Vietnam veterans, and it was a transformative experience for me."

Actor Rita Wilson, who is married to Tom Hanks, wrote under Demi Moore's post about Willis' diagnosis: "Thank you for sharing this with us. Sending Bruce and all the families love."

Journalist and former First Lady of California Maria Shriver re-posted the family's statement on Twitter and spoke of her "gratitude" for them raising awareness about frontotemporal dementia.


"My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family, and also my gratitude for shining a much-needed light on this disease," she tweeted.

"When people step forward it helps all of us. When people get a diagnosis it’s extremely difficult, but also for most a relief to get a diagnosis."

Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul responded to Rumer Willis' post about her father's diagnosis with: "Love you so much, my friend! Sending hugs to you and that beautiful family of yours.

"Your pops is such a damn legend."

According to the NHS, FTD can cause behaviour and personality changes, as well as problems in regard to language, memory and movemebt.

The onset of the disease, as with other forms of dementia, is slow to begin with but gradually gets worse.

In their statement, Bruce's family expressed their "deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love" they had received since his aphasia diagnosis.

"Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it", the statement reads.

The family hopes that publicising Bruce's condition will bring public attention to FTD, which there are currently no treatments for.

"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 said.

The family hopes the understanding and respect shown by the public will enable them to "help Bruce live as full a life as possible".

"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," they added.

You can read the full statement from Bruce's family right here.