Speed Reads

'this is painful'

Bruce Willis diagnosed with 'cruel disease' frontotemporal dementia

Bruce Willis' family has shared a sad update on his health. 

The actor's family said in a statement Thursday that he has now been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. 

"Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces," the statement, shared on the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration website, said. "While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."

Willis' family previously announced in March 2022 that he would retire from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, which was "impacting his cognitive abilities." Since then, they said Thursday, his condition has "progressed," leading him to receive this "more specific diagnosis." According to the Mayo Clinic, those who suffer from frontotemporal dementia can experience "dramatic changes in their personalities" or "lose the ability to use language properly."

It's "a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone," Willis' family said, noting there are currently "no treatments." But they said that "if he could," Willis would "want to respond by bringing global attention and a connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease," noting it "needs far more awareness and research." 

The statement, which was signed by Willis' wife Emma, ex-wife Demi Moore, and children, continued that the actor has "always found joy in life," so it has "meant the world to see that sense of care echoed back to him and to all of us," adding, "We have been so moved by the love you have all shared for our dear husband, father, and friend during this difficult time."