Interesting facts about Bruce Willis

bruce willis

Bruce Willis is an American actor, producer and and singer.

His full name is Walter Bruce Willis.

He was born on March 19, 1955, in the town of Idar-Oberstein, West Germany.

His father, David Willis, was an American soldier while his mother, Marlene, was German, born in Kassel.

Bruce is the oldest of four children; he has a sister, Florence, and a brother, David. His brother Robert died of pancreatic cancer in 2001, aged 42.

His family moved to the U.S. shortly after he was born, and he was raised in Penns Grove, New Jersey, where his mother worked at a bank and his father was a welder and factory worker.

After high school graduation he took a series of odd jobs before studying theatre at Montclair State College.

bruce willis yung

He dropped out of college in 1977 and moved to New York City, where he began his acting career with Off-Broadway roles and appearances in television commercials.

Willis had a number of small film roles in the early 1980s before he was hired as a wisecracking detective opposite Cybill Shepherd in the television sitcom Moonlighting (1985–89).

Willis had his first lead role in a feature film in the 1987 Blake Edwards film Blind Date, with Kim Basinger and John Larroquette.

The television sitcom Moonlighting firmly established Bruce Willis as a hot new talent, and his sarcastic and wisecracking P.I. was in effect a dry run for the role of hard-boiled NYC detective “John McClane” in the monster hit Die Hard (1988).

die hard

Following his success with Die Hard, he had a leading role in the drama In Country (1988) as Vietnam veteran Emmett Smith and also provided the voice for a talking baby in Look Who’s Talking (1989), as well as its sequel, Look Who’s Talking Too (1990).

In the late 1980s, Willis enjoyed moderate success as a recording artist, recording an album of pop-blues titled The Return of Bruno.

the return of bruno

Having acquired major personal success and pop culture influence playing John McClane in Die Hard, Willis reprised his role in the sequels Die Hard 2 (1990) and Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995). These first three installments in the Die Hard series grossed over US$700 million internationally and propelled Willis to the first rank of Hollywood action stars.

His career saw a slight slump when he starred in a string of flops in the early 1990s including The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Hudson Hawk (1991), and Color of Night (1994).

In 1994, he had a supporting role as Butch Coolidge in Quentin Tarantino’s acclaimed Pulp Fiction, which gave a new boost to his career.

Than he appeared in Twelve Monkeys (1995) as James Cole, Willis volunteered to travel back to the year 1996 where a virus had shrunk the humankind to only in 2035.

twelve monkeys

In 1997, he starred in the science-fiction action film The Fifth Element directed and co-written by Luc Besson.

He starred in Armageddon released in 1998 which became the highest-grossing film of the year. Along with Willis, the film’s cast included Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Owen Wilson and Keith David.

In 1999, Willis then went on to the starring role in M. Night Shyamalan’s film, The Sixth Sense. The film was both a commercial and critical success and helped to increase interest in his acting career.

In 2000, Willis won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his work on Friends (in which he played the father of Ross Geller’s much-younger girlfriend).

Also in 2000, Willis appeared in the crime comedy The Whole Nine Yards and in the superhero thriller Unbreakable.


Willis was originally cast as Terry Benedict in Ocean’s Eleven (2001) but dropped out to work on recording an album.

Willis appeared in two military dramas, Hart’s War (2002) and Tears of the Sun (2003) that both failed to really fire with movie audiences or critics alike.

However, Willis bounced back into the spotlight in the critically applauded Frank Miller graphic novel turned movie Sin City (2005).

Willis worked with his eldest daughter, Rumer, in the action thriller drama Hostage (2005).

In 2006, he appeared in Lucky Number Slevin, 16 Blocks, Fast Food Nation, and lend his voice for “RJ” the scheming raccoon in the animated hit Over the Hedge.

In 2007, he appeared in the thriller Perfect Stranger, opposite Halle Berry, the crime/drama film Alpha Dog, opposite Sharon Stone, and reprised his role as John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard.

Subsequently, he appeared in the films What Just Happened (2008) and Surrogates (2009), based on the comic book of the same name.


Than Willis starred in the comedy Cop Out (2010) about two police detectives investigating the theft of a baseball card

He also appeared in the action franchises RED (2010, 2013), as a retired CIA agent, and The Expendables (2010, 2012), as an active one.

Among Willis’s roles in 2012 were a lonely cop in the whimsical Moonrise Kingdom, a time-traveling hit man in the sci-fi thriller Looper, a professional gambler in the comedy-drama Lay the Favorite, and a fireman who must save the love of his life in Fire with Fire.


Willis reprised his most famous role, John McClane, for a fifth time, starring in A Good Day to Die Hard, which was released on February 14, 2013.

Also in 2013, he appeared in the military science fiction action film G.I. Joe: Retaliation.

In 2014, Willis reprised his Sin City role in the sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

He played a mercenary in Barry Levinson’s musical comedy Rock the Kasbah (2015) and a kidnapped former spy in the action flick Extraction (2015).

In 2015, Willis made his Broadway debut in William Goldman’s adaptation of Stephen King’s novel Misery opposite Laurie Metcalf at the Broadhurst Theatre.

misery broadway

In 2016, he appeared in the action film Precious Cargo, the action crime-thriller Marauders and the horror-thriller Split.

Willis has won a variety of awards and has received various honors throughout his career in television and film.

He is a two-time Emmy Award winner, two-time Golden Globe Award winner, and has been nominated for a Saturn Award four times.

Bruce Willis has an estimated net worth of $180 million.


Willis and Demi Moore married on November 21, 1987. Together they have three daughters: Rumer Willis (born 1988), Scout (born 1991), and Tallulah (born 1994). The couple divorced in 2000.

Willis married model Emma Heming on March 21, 2009. The couple has two daughters: Mabel Ray Willis (born 2012) and Evelyn Penn Willis (born 2014).

He lives in Los Angeles, Malibu, California and Hailey, Idaho.

In Hailey, Idaho, he owns the Mint bar and the Liberty Theater. He also owns the old Hailey Drug Store, but the building has been vacant and unused since the early 1990s.

Willis’ acting role models are Gary Cooper, Robert De Niro, Steve McQueen and John Wayne.

His recording of “Respect Yourself” reached #5 in January 1987.

He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 16, 2006.

bruce willis star on the hollywood walk of fame

Willis set a new benchmark for actors’ salaries when he was paid $5 million for Die Hard in 1988. Eight years later, his wife, Demi Moore, set a benchmark of $12 million with Striptease (1996).

He is co-founder of “Planet Hollywood” together with Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger (1991).

Willis was the first actor to ever “act” in a video game (Apocalypse (1998)). No one before had ever done voice work along with having their likeness and movements digitally added to the game, as well as receiving prominent billing on the game’s cover.

As a young man, his personality was very much like that of the character that he portrayed on Moonlighting (1985). He was always getting into trouble because of this and was bodily ejected from
parties by the hosts for being obnoxious.

Willis has stated, in 1997, 2001 and 2013, that he will no longer be doing violent action or “save-the-world” movies.

He wears his watch upside down with the face on the inside of his hand. This is also visible in many movies he has done (Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995), Mercury Rising (1998), etc.) where they have not requested him to flip this over.

In November 2005, he offered $1 million of his own money to anyone who turns in al-Qaeda terror leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or ‘Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’, the alleged brains behind the 9/11 attacks. Willis announced his reward on the American television show Rita Cosby Live & Direct (2005), where he also criticized what he claimed to be “biased” media coverage of the Iraq war.