Wife on Bruce Willis' Illness: He May Not Know

It's 'hard to know' if actor is aware of his dementia, says Heming Willis
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2023 3:28 PM CDT
Bruce Willis' Wife: He May Not Know He Is Ill
Bruce Willis and wife Emma Heming in a 2019 photo.   (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

The rest of the world knows Bruce Willis is suffering from a degenerative brain condition, but the actor himself may not be aware of it, his wife tells the Today show. It's "hard to know" if the 68-year-old Willis knows he has frontotemporal dementia, Emma Heming Willis told host Hoda Kotb. "What I'm learning is that dementia is hard," the 45-year-old said. "It's hard on the person diagnosed. It's also hard on the family. And that is no different for Bruce or myself or our girls," she said. The couple have two daughters ages 9 and 11, and Bruce Willis has three older daughters as well, per People. "When they say that this is a family disease, it really is."

Heming Willis appeared on the show to raise awareness of FTD, with CNN noting that people with the condition typically live six to eight years. Getting the diagnosis was both "the blessing and the curse," she said, the positive side being that the family could finally understand the problem. "He is the gift that keeps on giving," she said, adding that he is imparting lessons to their children about resilience and more. The experience is "teaching them so much and how to care and love, and it's really a beautiful thing amongst the sadness." (Read more Bruce Willis stories.)

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