Screen icon Bruce Willis celebrated his 68th birthday on Sunday, and video from the day shows the actor surrounded by love just a month after he was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.
Actor Demi Moore, who was married to Willis from 1987 to 2000 and remains close, posted the blended-family celebration on Twitter and Instagram:
Willis retired from acting last year after a diagnosis of aphasia, which can make it difficult to speak, write, understand and communicate. Co-workers said he had been struggling on the set of his films for several years.
Last month, his family announced that the condition had progressed into frontotemporal dementia.
“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,” they wrote at the time.
Willis’ current wife, Emma Heming Willis, posted on social media that she started the morning of his birthday by crying.
“I always get this message, or people always tell me, that ‘Oh, you’re so strong, I don’t know how you do it,’” she said. “I’m not given a choice. I wish I was.”
But I’m also raising two kids in this so sometimes, in our lives, we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it. And that’s what I’m doing. But I do have times of sadness every day, grief every day, and I’m really feeling it today on his birthday.
Willis is a two-time Emmy winner for his lead role on “Moonlighting” and a guest role on “Friends.”
He has also been one of the industry’s most prolific action stars for more than three decades in a career that includes starring roles in the “Die Hard” franchise as well as films such as “The Fifth Element,” “The Sixth Sense,” “Pulp Fiction” and “12 Monkeys.”