Bruce Willis is ‘not totally verbal’ due to dementia diagnosis, ‘Moonlighting’ creator says

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Bruce Willis is ‘not totally verbal’ due to dementia diagnosis, ‘Moonlighting’ creator says

Bruce Willis’ good friend and “Moonlighting” creator, Glenn Gordon Caron, says the actor’s ability to communicate has take

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Bruce Willis’ good friend and “Moonlighting” creator, Glenn Gordon Caron, says the actor’s ability to communicate has taken a sharp decline amid his battle with dementia.

Caron revealed to The New York Post Tuesday that he has tried to visit the “Die Hard’ actor, 68, almost every month since he was first diagnosed with aphasia — and later dementia — in March 2022.

“I’m not always quite that good but I try and I do talk to him and his wife [Emma Heming Willis] and I have a casual relationship with his three older children,” Caron said. “I have tried very hard to stay in his life.”

“The thing that makes [his disease] so mind-blowing is [that] if you’ve ever spent time with Bruce Willis, there is no one who had any more joie de vivre than he,” the director continued. “He loved life and … just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest.”

Caron says the 68-year-old actor is “not totally verbal.”
Instagram / demimoore

While Caron knows deep down that Willis is still the same person, he says its as if the actor is “seeing life through a screen door.”

“My sense is the first one to three minutes he knows who I am,” he said of his visits with Willis. “He’s not totally verbal; he used to be a voracious reader — he didn’t want anyone to know that — and he’s not reading now. All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce.”

“When you’re with him you know that he’s Bruce and you’re grateful that he’s there,” he noted, “but the joie de vivre is gone.”

“All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce,” the director said.
Instagram

However, before Willis’ condition worsened, Caron was able to tell him that their hit ABC series “Moonlighting” was going to be streamed on Hulu.

“I know he’s really happy that the show is going to be available for people, even though he can’t tell me that,” Caron, 69, told The Post. “When I got to spend time with him we talked about it and I know he’s excited.”

Willis got his big break on the Caron-created series in 1985 when he was cast as detective David Addison.

“The process [to get ‘Moonlighting’ onto Hulu] has taken quite a while and Bruce’s disease is a progressive disease, so I was able to communicate with him, before the disease rendered him as incommunicative as he is now, about hoping to get the show back in front of people,” he continued. “I know it means a lot to him.”

While Willis was diagnosed with aphasia last year, he didn’t get his dementia diagnosis until the beginning of 2023.
Instagram/demimoore

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Willis was officially diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia at the beginning of 2023, nearly one year after announcing his retirement from acting due to aphasia.

Since then, his family — specifically his wife — has continued to share updates on the movie star’s worsening condition on social media.

Most recently, Heming — who shares daughters Mabel, 11, and Evelyn, 9, with the actor — told “Today” co-anchor Hoda Kotb that it is “hard to know” whether her husband is aware of his condition.

Since then, his wife Emma Heming has given fans updates on his worsening condition.
@emmahemingwillis

“Dementia is hard,” Heming, 45, confessed.

“It’s hard on the person diagnosed, it’s also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce, or myself, or our girls. When they say this is a family disease, it really is.”

Heming, who refers to herself as Willis’ “care partner,” noted that after nearly a year of guessing, getting her husband’s official diagnosis felt like a “blessing and [a] curse.”

“To finally understand what was happening, so that I could be into the acceptance of what is. It doesn’t make it any less painful, but just being … in the know of what is happening to Bruce makes it a little easier.”

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