Rumer Willis gave an update on her father, Bruce Willis’ health. The “Dancing With the Stars” season 20 champion posted a statement on Instagram on behalf of her whole family, including her mother, Demi Moore, sisters Scout and Tallulah, stepmother Emma Heming Willis and half-sisters Evelyn and Mabel.
In the statement, Rumer revealed that her 67-year-old father has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
Here’s what you need to know:
Bruce Willis’ Family Gave New Details on His Condition
The Willis family’s update revealed that the “Die Hard” actor’s condition has worsened since it was first announced that he was diagnosed with aphasia less than one year ago.
“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),” read the caption to a photo of the actor standing on a beach. “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.”
The family encouraged fans to learn more about the disease, as they believe Bruce would want to spread awareness of the condition if he were able to. In an extended statement on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website, the family noted that there is no treatment for the disease and that FTD is the most common form of dementia for people under 60. A diagnosis can take several years.
The Mayo Clinic notes that in addition to speech and language problems, the disorder can cause extreme behavioral and personality changes, and motor-related problems including tremors, muscle weakness, and difficulty swallowing and walking.
Rumer’s post about her father’s condition received comments from supportive friends, including actor-producer Aaron Paul, who wrote, “Love you so much my friend! Sending hugs to you and that beautiful family of yours. Your pops is such a damn legend.”
“Sending you all my love,” wrote actor Wilmer Valderrama.
Several friends from the “Dancing With the Stars” family, including pro dancer Sharna Burgess, also posted heartfelt messages to the family.
Willis’ Family Announced His Retirement From Acting in March 2022
It has been less than one year since the Willis family announced that the actor was stepping away from acting to focus on his health. In March 2022, the Willis family first publicly revealed that Bruce was suffering from aphasia, a disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.
In a statement shared by the family at the time, it was revealed that Bruce’s aphasia was “impacting his cognitive abilities” to the point that he could no longer work as an actor.
Ahead of the public diagnosis, several movie producers admitted they noticed that the actor has been struggling on set. “Out of Death” director Mike Burns told the Los Angeles Times that he cut down Willis’ lines in the 2021 film when he noticed he was having trouble during filming. “After the first day of working with Bruce, I could see it firsthand and I realized that there was a bigger issue at stake here and why I had been asked to shorten his lines,” Burns revealed.
Years before that, Rumer told The Toronto Sun that her famous father didn’t talk a lot while promoting his movies because he suffered from hearing loss. “I think part of the problem is sometimes he can’t hear … because he shot a gun off next to his ear when he was doing Die Hard a long time ago, so he has partial hearing loss in his ears,” she said in 2013.