Bruce Willis Once Shared How He’d Like to Be Thought of and Remembered

In 2022, Bruce Willis’ family announced that he would be stepping away from acting due to a recent aphasia diagnosis. The news comes after Willis’ 40-year long career as an actor. Despite his prolific body of work, Willis once shared that he wants people to remember him more for the content of his character. He revealed how he wanted people to think about him.

Bruce Willis wears a tuxedo and smiles.
Bruce Willis | Rich Fury/Getty Images

Bruce Willis began working as an actor in the 1980s

In the 1980s, Bruce Willis began his acting career, primarily picking up small parts and guests appearances, such as a role in Miami Vice and the 1980s Twilight Zone revival. His big break came in 1985 when he began starring opposite Cybill Shepherd in Moonlighting. He won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his role in the series. 

In 1988, Willis became a veritable movie star with his role as John McClane in Die Hard. From there, he went on to act in a number of other acclaimed films, including Pulp FictionThe Sixth Sense, and Moonrise Kingdom. Per IMDb, Willis has 144 acting credits, including eight films slated for release in 2022 and 2023. He once said that being able to express himself as an artist is something he loves most in life.

“Acting doesn’t always get discussed in terms of artistic expression, but if you ask any actor, they are going to tell you that it’s a way of expressing themselves artistically,” he told The Guardian in 2007.

Willis shared the way he wants people to think about him

Given Willis’ impressive career, a film about his life is not out of the realm of possibility. He shared his thoughts on who may portray him.

“I’m not sure the actor’s born yet,” he said. “He would be a pretty young kid right now. But a good actor, hopefully.”

A definitive film about his life would shape the public’s understanding of Willis as a person. Still, he already stated how he wants people to think of and remember him.

“As a guy who didn’t always succeed, but who tried as hard as he could to do the best job that he could,” he said.

Bruce Willis’ family announced that he would be stepping away from acting

In 2022, Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, posted a statement on Instagram about the actor. 

“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family, we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” she wrote. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

Per Johns Hopkins Medicine, aphasia is a “language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. Aphasia leaves a person unable to communicate effectively with others.”

In the post, Heming Willis noted that the family appreciated support from fans.

“We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him,” she wrote. “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”

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