Bruce Willis is not known for giving up. The shock that he has to end his career because of an illness is all the more profound.
He has already saved the world from an asteroid, traveled through time in search of twelve monkeys, banged John Travolta (68) on the loo and died five times slowly: Bruce Willis (67) has been a veteran of the silver screen for decades. But for 30. March 2022, which can be understood as a day of mourning for action cinema, it must "was a primordial of the silver screen" hot. The actor's family announced in a joint statement that Willis is no longer able to pursue his beloved profession due to illness and is ending his career effective immediately.
According to the report, Willis suffers from aphasia, i.e. damage to the speech center in the brain. The affected person may experience problems with speaking and understanding speech, including reading and writing. It is a particularly cynical twist of fate that the star is leaving the limelight in this way. After all, many decades ago no one gave him a realistic chance of making it in Hollywood because of his stuttering. Willis used it anyway. Made a virtue of his greatest weakness.
A tough start
The impressive career of Bruce Willis started in a small town in Germany. It was 1955 in the tranquil village of Idar-Oberstein in Rhineland-Palatinate. When on 19. March, U.S. soldier David Willis and his wife Marlene became parents, no one could have guessed what an extraordinary career their son Bruce would have. But Willis has no recollection of his time in Germany; at the age of eight months, the USA, or more precisely New Jersey, became his home.
The fact that the world was given one of the greatest action actors is owed to fans of rough-and-tumble flicks, of all things, one of Willis' great weaknesses: as a child and teenager from the ages of 9 to 17, he struggled with severe stuttering. It wasn't until he discovered acting that this was to change – on the theater stage, the stuttering was blown away. In a touching speech for the American Institute for Stuttering in 2016, he recalled this "miracle" but also of the many years of bullying he had to endure as a child.
When it came to acting, it was clear to him as a teenager: "This is it, I'm home. This is what I want to do." The talent was discovered, but its promotion cost money. Because his parents were not necessarily blessed financially, Willis had to work hard for his dream. He worked as a security guard for a chemical plant until he could afford to take acting classes at Montclair State College.
From romantic to one-man army
If the name Bruce Willis sounds, the inclined cineaste first thinks of hard-hitting testosterone cinema, preferably in a blood-soaked fine-rib undershirt. At the beginning of his career he was a real softie and heartthrob. When the fame was not yet reached and the hair was still full, he played mainly in romantic comedies, for example in "Blind Date – Verabredung mit einer Unbekannten" (1987), in which he romanced Kim Basinger (68) wildly.
1988 then the breakthrough: Barefoot Willis shot himself in "Die Hard" through the Nakatomi Plaza and hordes of enemies. The action franchise became so successful that a total of four sequels followed – most recently in 2013, with a significantly aged but no less trigger-happy John McClane. Unforgettable his famous, albeit quite creatively translated into German phrase "Yippie-Ya-Yeah, Schweinebacke" (in the original: "Yippie-Ya-Yeah, Motherfucker").
The rest is history. From this iconic performance on, Willis starred in at least one blockbuster every year, whether "Pulp Fiction" or "The Big Bang" (1994) "12 Monkeys" (1995) "The Fifth Element" (1997) or "Sin City" (2005). He set the record in 2012: He appeared in an incredible six films that year, ranging from the comedy "Moonrise Kingdom", the science fiction film "Looper" (1998), to his parade discipline, the action fireworks "The Expandables 2" and.
Golden throat and ladies' man
And when he wasn't in front of the camera? Then Willis was passionate about singing. He has released two albums, the LP "The Return of Bruno" (1998) and "The Mercury Puzzle" (1998) even achieved platinum status. Until recently, he performed sporadically with his band – when his busy schedule allowed it, of course.
So far he has found his private happiness at the side of two women. From 1987 to 2000 he was married to actress Demi Moore (59). The couple has three daughters together, Rumer (*1988), Scout LaRue (*1991) and Tallulah Belle (*1994). Even more woman power was put to the side of the screen macho in his second marriage to the 24 years younger model Emma Heming (41). The two became parents to another daughter in 2012 and 2014 respectively.
Raspberry vs. Oscar
Although Willis has appeared in well over 100 productions in his long career, he has never been nominated for an Oscar. On the contrary, Willis has already received the Golden Raspberry four times as the worst leading actor. The anti-award, traditionally presented just before the Oscars, was won for his roles in "Armageddon" (1998) "The Mercury Puzzle" (1998) and "State of Emergency (1998) – and only a few days ago in a category specially created for him for "Cosmic Sin" (2021).
Yes, his activity did not only produce screen gems in the past years, that may be so. But it is precisely she who could now give the sworn Willis fans at least a little comfort. Because even if the star can't make any more films, we'll probably still see a lot of him in the coming years.
According to the industry site IMDB Willis had nine films in the pipeline at last count. Two of them "Vendetta and "Fortress: Sniper's Eye", are already finished. Six other films, the potential quality of which remains to be seen, are said to be in post-production.