Bruce Willis biography 2022

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis biography

Bruce Willis was born on a German military base in Idar-Oberstein, on March 19, 1955. His father, David, was a welder and factory worker who took the Willis family back to New Jersey after being discharged from the military in 1957.

Settling down in New Jersey, young Bruce Willis, the eldest of four children, led an active childhood. Although he was always an outgoing youngster, Willis grew up with a stutter and found it easier to express himself while performing in front of an audience.

His high school days were marked by a drama club membership and the student council presidency. Rather than go to college after graduation, Bruce Willis took the route as a blue-collar worker, transporting work crews at the Du Pont factory.

Willis also discovered a knack for playing the harmonica and did so for an R&B group, Loose Goose. After a stint as a bodyguard, Bruce Willis returned to his original passion: acting. He enrolled in the drama program at Montclair State College, where he was cast in the Cat on a Hot Tin Roof class production.

The ambitious junior left school to pursue movie roles by heading for New York. Bruce Willis returned to the bar scene, only this time for a part-time job and as a way to schmooze with New York celebrities. After countless auditions, Willis made his theater debut in the off-Broadway production of Heaven and Earth. He gained more experience and exposure in Fool for Love, a stint on television's Miami Vice, and Levi's campaign.

But Bruce Willis got his big break when he was cast as David Addison, in ABC's Moonlighting, despite network executives who wanted to hand the role to a more experienced thespian. Willis and Cybill Shepherd's chemistry made Moonlighting a sensation, and after 4 years of sexual tension and high ratings, Moonlighting's days were over.

He sleeper comedy Look Who's Talking a year later and reprised his Die Hard role in the 1990 sequel.

Willis' career was on its way to dying hard. He starred in consecutive bombs, such as The Bonfire of the Vanities, Hudson Hawk, Death Becomes Her, and Striking Distance (co-starring Sarah Jessica Parker), and became more famous as the husband of Demi Moore.

His role in 1991's The Last Boy Scout featured Willis in the type of action role that gave him star power, which helped keep the actor's head above water.

But it was his role as Butch Coolidge in Pulp Fiction that gave Willis the knockout punch that salvaged his career. He followed up his 1994 Pulp role with an excellent performance in Nobody's Fool and went back to basics with the blockbuster, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, the third installment of the successful franchise.

It was uphill from thereon in, with hit movies Twelve Monkeys, co-starring Brad Pitt, 1997's Fifth Element, opposite the perfect Milla Jovovich, and the blockbuster Armageddon, which was more moneymaker than quality. The Jackal and Mercury Rising were neither.

In 1999, Willis starred in the film adaptation of the novel by the same name, Breakfast of Champions, and was welcomed into the $20 million clubs with his chilling role in The Sixth Sense. The record-breaking, critically acclaimed movie that featured Willis as child psychiatrist Dr. Malcolm Crowe can be considered one of his best roles to date.

That same year, Willis co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in The Story of Us and starred as hitman Jimmy "The Tulip" in The Whole Nine Yards. On the latter set, Willis became chummy with Friends star Matthew Perry, which led to Willis' Emmy-winning recurring role in the hit NBC sitcom. Willis can add his Emmy to his mantle, where his 1987 Emmy for his role in Moonlighting and his Golden Globe for Best Actor in a television series for the same role stand.

Willis was last seen in the Disney film, The Kid and as invincible David Dunn in M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable. A tabloid favorite since his Moonlighting days, Willis made headlines in 1998 when his 13-year marriage to Demi Moore ended.

The former couple has three daughters: Rumer Glenn, Scout LaRue, and Tallulah Belle. Willis was last linked with Spanish model Maria Bravo.

One of the stars to hold a stake in the dying Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, Willis, can be seen in the films Hart's War and Bandits.

last updated October 2022

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