Bruce Willis “not totally verbal” amid dementia battle, friend says

A close friend of Bruce Willis has shared an update on the actor’s battle with dementia, describing how he’s lost his “language skills”.

Willis retired from acting last year after his family announced he had been diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects cognitive abilities. In February this year, his wife Emma Heming shared that his condition had progressed to frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

Glenn Gordon Caron, who created ’80s TV series Moonlighting starring Willis, shared an update on his health after the series was recently made available on Hulu.


Caron said he tries to visit Willis and his family every month, describing the actor as an “extraordinary” person.

Speaking to the New York Post about whether Willis recognises him now, Caron said: “My sense is the first one to three minutes he knows who I am. He’s not totally verbal; he used to be a voracious reader – he didn’t want anyone to know that – and he’s not reading now.

Bruce Willis Emma Heming
Bruce Willis and wife Emma Heming. CREDIT: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Film at Lincoln Center

“All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce.”
He added: “When you’re with him you know that he’s Bruce and you’re grateful that he’s there, but the joie de vivre is gone.”

Last month, Heming gave an update on her husband’s condition during a TV appearance on Today, describing how it has been “hard” on the whole family.

Asked about receiving the diagnosis, Heming said: “I think it was the blessing and the curse. To finally understand what was happening so that I can be into the acceptance of what is. It doesn’t make it any less painful but just being in the acceptance, and just being in the know of what is happening to Bruce, makes it a little bit easier.”


Willis shares two daughters with his wife Emma, Mabel and Evelyn. He also has three daighters, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, from his previous marriage to Demi Moore.