One year ago, Bruce Willis retired from acting. Despite his more recent roles in broadly panned projects, this came as a shock.
Earlier this year, his family disclosed Willis’ diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia. This not only explained reports of his aphasia, but made it clear that this is not a temporary condition.
However, there are treatments to ease some symptoms of this degenerative disease.
The acting legend turned 68 over the weekend. And, in a heartwarming home video, the public can hear him speak for the first time since his diagnosis became public.
Sunday was Bruce Willis’ birthday. He turned 68 years old.
His wife, Emma Heming Willis, was there. So were daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah.
Demi Moore — who, lest we forget, was his spouse for more than a decade — was present at the celebration. And she decided to film it.
Everyone present sang “Happy Birthday.” It’s an inherently awkward tradition, both for the chorus of singers but especially for the recipient.
However, Willis has had decades more practice receiving birthday songs than many of it. He managed to make things seem less awkward.
While he did briefly appear to lose his balance a couple of times, he was fine. And he blew out his birthday candles with excitement.
In fact, Willis sang along with a few words of the song.
And, though what anyone is saying in this gleeful crowd is anyone’s guess, he clearly spoke to his family during the video.
“Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today. Love you and love our family,” Demi captioned the short video. “Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes — we all feel them.”
Celebrity well wishes poured in. Fans, too, commented to congratulate Willis on his birthday.
Others praised Demi Moore and other celebrants for the display.
Of course, some asked why Willis appeared to be missing a tooth. Perhaps some trick of the light? Perhaps not. It is unlikely that his family will explain, as it is certainly not anyone’s business.
Most significantly for fans, the video represents a window for fans to see Willis as he is living life with frontotemporal dementia.
This degenerative disease has no cure. It does, however, have treatments.
Fortunately, Willis has both a loving and supportive family and virtually unlimited financial resources. Again, it’s no cure, but his loved ones can give him his best shot at continuing to live life.
More than a year ago, reports whispered that Willis was struggling to play even small roles in his direct-to-video movie projects. Then came news of his retirement, and aphasia — a struggle with language.
His diagnosis of dementia made it all make sense. But, clearly, he has not lost his ability to understand or lose language altogether.
We wish Bruce Willis a very happy (and belated, at this point) 68th birthday.