Bruce Willis' Daughter Reveals First Signs of Seeing His Dementia


Tallulah Willis, daughter of actor Bruce Willis, shared what she noticed in the early signs of his dementia.

In an emotional essay for Vogue, Tallulah Willis, 29, spoke openly about his diagnosis.

“My family announced in early 2022 that Bruce Willis was suffering from aphasia, a brain-mediated inability to speak or to understand speech, and we learned earlier this year that that symptom was a feature of frontotemporal dementia, a progressive neurological disorder that chips away at his cognition and behavior day by day,” she said.

She explained she had “known that something was wrong for a long time.” Her father’s symptoms “started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss: ‘Speak up! ‘Die Hard’ messed with Dad’s ears.’”

“Later that unresponsiveness broadened, and I sometimes took it personally. He had had two babies with my stepmother, Emma Heming Willis, and I thought he’d lost interest in me,” she admitted.

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As a teenager, she took this as a sign of rejection toward her.

“Though this couldn’t have been further from the truth, my adolescent brain tortured itself with some faulty math: I’m not beautiful enough for my mother, I’m not interesting enough for my father,” Tallulah Willis continued.

Initially, she explained it was hard for her to accept her father’s diagnosis as she was battling her own health issues with ADHD, depression, and anorexia nervosa.

Amid her personal struggles, Tallulah Willis observed her father “quietly struggling.”

“All kinds of cognitive testing was being conducted, but we didn’t have an acronym yet. I had managed to give my central dad-feeling canal an epidural; the good feelings weren’t really there, the bad feelings weren’t really there,” she noted.

Tallulah Willis also revealed the moment her father’s condition hit home.

She shared:

“I was at a wedding in the summer of 2021 on Martha’s Vineyard, and the bride’s father made a moving speech. Suddenly I realized that I would never get that moment, my dad speaking about me in adulthood at my wedding. It was devastating. I left the dinner table, stepped outside, and wept in the bushes. And yet I remained focused on my body. By the spring of 2022, I weighed about 84 pounds. I was always freezing. I was calling mobile IV teams to come to my house, and I couldn’t walk in my Los Angeles neighborhood because I was afraid of not having a place to sit down and catch my breath.”

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Going forward, she stated her focus now is on how she can make her father as comfortable as possible. She said she is savoring each moment following the birth of her sister, Rumer Willis’, daughter.

“It wasn’t easy growing up in such a famous family, struggling as I did to find a patch of light through the long shadows my parents cast. But more and more often I feel like I’m standing in that light,” she expressed.

She continued, “In April, my older sister Rumer had a baby girl, Louetta, and Bruce and Demi became grandparents. There’s this little creature changing by the hour, and there’s this thing happening with my dad that can shift so quickly and unpredictably.”

“It feels like a unique and special time in my family, and I’m just so glad to be here for it,” she concluded.

On Feb. 16, 2022, Emma Heming Willis announced on behalf of the Willis Family the “Die Hard” actor was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia.


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