'Moonlighting' Creator Provides Bruce Willis Dementia Update: 'He Remains True to Himself'
According to friend Glenn Gordon Caron, Bruce Willis, 68, has frontotemporal dementia and is "not totally verbal," but "when you're with him, you know that he's Bruce."
In a Wednesday interview with the New York Post, Caron, 69, said that although if the "Die Hard" actor's health is deteriorating and his "language skills are no longer available to him," he is "still Bruce."
Caron produced the television series "Moonlighting," which featured Willis. Willis and Cybill Shepherd's comedy-drama series is already available for streaming on Hulu, which Caron believes would make Willis "very happy."
"I know he's really happy that the show is going to be available for people, even though he can't tell me that," 69-year-old Caron revealed of the retired actor Willis to The Post. "When I got to spend time with him we talked about it, and I know he's excited."
"The thing that makes (Willis' disease) so mind-blowing is if you've ever spent time with Bruce Willis, there is no one who had any more joie de vivre than he," Caron said. "He simply cherished getting up every morning and attempting to live life to the fullest. He loved life."
"When you're with him, you know that he's Bruce and you're grateful that he's there, but the joie de vivre is gone."
The dementia diagnosis that Bruce Willis's wife Emma Heming Willis describes as "a blessing and a curse"
Last month, on the "Today" show, Willis' 45-year-old wife Emma Heming Willis gave an update, telling co-anchor Hoda Kotb that it's "hard to know" if the award-winning actor is aware of the illness.
"It was a blessing and a curse to finally understand what was happening to him so I can be into the acceptance of what it is," Heming Willis stated. "It doesn't make it any less painful, but just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce makes it a little bit easier."
In 2022, Willis was diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that impairs speech and other forms of communication. Willis's family said in February that the illness had advanced to frontotemporal dementia.
The CEO of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, Susan Dickinson, stated during the segment that the disease has no known cure or therapy and may be inherited in 20–25% of cases. It is also described as "sporadic," indicating that doctors are unsure of the underlying cause.
KiMi Robinson and Melissa Ruggieri of USA TODAY contributed.
Emma Heming, Bruce Willis' spouse, talks about the psychological effects of caring for a loved one with dementia.