Bruce Willis is ringing in another year with his loved ones.
The “Die Hard” and “Pulp Fiction” icon celebrated his 68th birthday on March 19. Willis was diagnosed with aphasia in March 2022 and announced he would be retiring from acting. His family announced a diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia almost one year later in February 2023.
“Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today,” Willis’ ex-wife Moore captioned in an Instagram video celebrating his birthday. “Love you and love our family. Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes — we all feel them.”
Willis’ wife Emma Willis and ex-wife Moore and daughters Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn Willis were all in attendance to sing “Happy Birthday” to Willis, followed by multiple cheers of “hip, hip, hooray!”
Emma recently spoke out on social media asking photographers and paparazzi to leave their family alone in public.
“If you are someone who is looking after someone with dementia, you know how difficult and stressful it can be to get someone out into the world and to navigate them safely, even just to get a cup of coffee,” she said in a video. “It’s clear that there’s still a lot of education that needs to be put forth. So this one is going out to the photographers and video people that are trying to get those exclusives of my husband out and about. Just keep your space.”
Emma added, “I know this is your job, but maybe just keep your space… Please don’t be yelling at my husband, asking how he’s doing, whatever. The woo-hooing and the yippee-ki-yay’s — just don’t do it. Give him the space. Allow for our family or whoever’s with him that day to be able to get him from Point A to Point B safely. That’s my PSA.”
The family shared a joint statement thanking fans for the “outpouring of love and compassion” for Willis since his diagnoses were made public.
“Your generosity of spirit has been overwhelming, and we are tremendously grateful for it,” the Willis family said. “Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.”
John Travolta, M. Night Shyamalan, Haley Joel Osment, and Sylvester Stallone were among the former Willis collaborators who shared tributes to the “Sixth Sense” star.
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