Bruce Willis’ Daughter Opens Up On Early Signs Of Star’s Dementia

The Hollywood legend's family confirmed he'd been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia earlier this year.
Bruce Willis (centre) with daughter Rumer Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore, daughter Scout Willis, wife Emma Heming Willis and daughter Tallulah Willis in 2019
Bruce Willis (centre) with daughter Rumer Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore, daughter Scout Willis, wife Emma Heming Willis and daughter Tallulah Willis in 2019
Stefanie Keenan via Getty Images

Bruce Willis’ daughter Tallulah has recalled the initial warning signs ahead of the legendary actor’s frontotemporal dementia diagnosis.

It was revealed last year that Pulp Fiction star Bruce, 68, was struggling with aphasia, described by the NHS website as a difficulty with language or speech “usually caused by damage to the left side of the brain”.

As a result of this, he took a step back from the spotlight to concentrate on his health.

In February, however, his loved ones confirmed that his issues had ‘progressed’, and that he is also living with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), an uncommon type of dementia that causes problems with behaviour and language.

In a candid personal essay for Vogue, Tallulah revealed that she bore witness to Bruce’s mental decline and knew for “a long time” that something wasn’t quite right.

Initially though, she just thought that her dad had “lost interest in her” after he welcomed two daughters with his new wife, Emma Heming Willis.

Tallulah, 29, wrote: “It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss: ‘Speak up! Die Hard messed with Dad’s ears.’

“Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally. He had had two babies with my stepmother, Emma Heming, and I thought he’d lost interest in me.

“Though this couldn’t have been further from the truth, my adolescent brain tortured itself with some faulty math: I’m not beautiful enough for my mother, I’m not interesting enough for my father.”

Bruce is living with frontotemporal dementia
Bruce is living with frontotemporal dementia
VCG via Getty Images

Although Bruce’s family first spoke publicly about his aphasia in March 2022, Tallulah had been coming to terms with his health long before that, however, she also had anorexia, which had left her in denial about her father’s health.

She continued: “While I was wrapped up in my body dysmorphia, flaunting it on Instagram, my dad was quietly struggling.

“All kinds of cognitive testing were being conducted, but we didn’t have an acronym yet.”

Tallulah explained that she now finds herself trying to document her time with Bruce so that she’s able to remind herself of him when he’s no longer here.

Shedding light on how Bruce is these days, Tallulah shared: “He still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room.”

Bruce has five daughters, sharing his three eldest – Rumer, Scout and Tallulah – with Demi Moore whom he married in 1987.

Although he separated from Demi in 2000, the pair remain on good terms.

Bruce went on to marry actor Emma in 2009, with the couple welcoming two daughters, Mabel and Evelyn.


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