Bruce Willis' family reveal he has dementia less than one year after he retired from acting due to brain condition

16 February 2023, 19:38 | Updated: 17 February 2023, 09:30

Bruce Willis announced he was stepping back from acting in March last year
Bruce Willis announced he was stepping back from acting in March last year. Picture: Instagram
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Bruce Willis' family has revealed how the legendary actor has been diagnosed with dementia less than a year after he retired from acting following his battle with aphasia.

The Hollywood icon, 67, had already withdrawn from acting earlier this year due to his battle with the brain condition aphasia, which caused his language abilities to deteriorate.

A family posted on The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration's website read: "Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.

"In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.

"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).

"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.

Bruce Willis diagnosed with dementia

Bruce Willis&squot; family said they were grateful for an "outpouring of love" towards the legendary actor
Bruce Willis' family said they were grateful for an "outpouring of love" towards the legendary actor. Picture: Instagram
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with dementia
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with dementia. Picture: Instagram

The family continued: "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.

"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."

Read More: Bruce Willis steps back from acting after brain condition 'affects abilities'

Read More: Hollywood icon Raquel Welch dies age 82 after 'brief illness'

Willis announced he was stepping back from acting in March last year after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition which is more common in people aged over 65.

Willis, who is also known for his roles in Pulp Fiction, Sixth Sense, Looper and 12 Monkeys, is 67.

American actor Bruce Willis
American actor Bruce Willis. Picture: Getty

The statement was signed by Willis' family members Emma, ex-wife Demi Moore, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn.

FTD is known to affect the lobes of the brain behind the forehead, which can affect a person's behaviour, language skills and emotions.

The disease can occur when when nerve cells in these lobes die.

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