How Old is Bruce Willis, and When Did He Begin Acting?

The 63-year-old actor, Bruce Willis, was born on March 19, 1955, in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany. One of four children born to an American father who worked for the military as a civilian and a German mother, Willis was the oldest.

The family returned to New Jersey after the father’s discharge from the military in 1957. Willis has stated that he has firm roots in a blue-collar background. His father was a welder and master mechanic. It explains his strong work ethic and his box office success.

The roots of Willis’ acting bug

Bruce WIllis

Bruce Willis | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

To overcome a childhood stuttering affliction, Willis enrolled in the theater group at his school. He not only found solace there, but he also realized his calling. Willis loved performing in front of an audience. According to 24SMI, it was there that he felt in control. He understood the power of his performance and his ability to transfix anĀ audience.

Willis turns pro

Although it wasn’t his first turn in the professional world of acting, his role as the David Addison, Jr., in the Moonlighting series sealed his fate as an actor. He starred opposite Cybill Shepherd from 1985 to 1989. The hit series won him accolades for his performance as the charming yet incorrigible private detective.

It’s also where he was able to sport some of his comedic chops. Those who honored his accomplishments during a recent Comedy Central Roast of Willis included his ex-wife, Demi Moore. It was here that he was able to put the debate to rest once and for all about the Die Hard film. Willis stated firmly during his speech that it is not a Christmas movie.

Willis the action hero

If Moonlighting secured Willis’ entry into the Hollywood spotlight, the Die Hard series positioned him as a bona fide star. Willis became instantly recognizable as police detective, John McClane. His fearless, lifesaving persona first graced the screen with the original film in 1988. The last of the five films in the series, A Good Day to Die Hard, debuted in 2013.

Willis and M. Night Shyamalan

Willis’ first collaboration with Shyamalan was in portraying the eerily perplexing journey between a psychologist, played by Willis and his patient, Haley Joel Osment. With its surprise ending, 1999’s The Sixth Sense achieved both critical and box office success. It also allowed audiences to appreciate Willis’ range as a dramatic actor.

In 2000, Willis reconnected with Shyamalan to create Unbreakable, the first in a three-part superhero story with a supernatural twist. Willis’ character develops into the antithesis of Samuel L. Jackson’s villainous “Glass.” In true comic book fashion, Willis plays his heroic character, David Dunn, with the kind of strength one can only summon after a life-altering event. He tempers his new-found super humanness with acceptance of his weakness and how he fits into the world around him.

2016’s Split was the second installment in the trilogy. Here, Willis makes a cameo appearance. His part in the film may be a small one, but it sets the stage for the final installment in Shyamalan’s version of comic book action heroes.

Willis will again reprise his role as David Dunn in the final piece of Shyamalan’s trilogy. Glass is set to arrive in theaters in January 2019. In true Shyamalanian fashion, it’s sure to offer plenty of surprising twists to the classic comic book battle between good and evil.

Willis continues to make it work

It’s been over 50 years, now, since Willis nearly shut down due to his childhood affliction of stuttering. Fortunately for him and his loyal fans, he continues to find new ways to express himself.