Bruce Willis’s ‘Joie de Vivre’ Fades Amid Battle with Dementia, Reveals Moonlighting Creator

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Iconic actor Bruce Willis, famous for his charismatic and spirited performances in films like “Die Hard” and “The Sixth Sense,” is facing a challenging battle with dementia. Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of the hit series “Moonlighting,” has recently disclosed that Willis’s struggle with dementia has left him “not totally verbal,” and the infectious “joie de vivre” he was once celebrated for has sadly faded.

Last February, Willis’s family made a heart-wrenching announcement, revealing that the 68-year-old star had been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia (FTD). This news followed a previous announcement that he would be taking a step back from acting due to an initial diagnosis of aphasia.

Since Willis’s health decline was made public in March 2022, Glenn Gordon Caron has made efforts to visit the beloved actor regularly. In a recent interview with The New York Post, Caron shared, “I’m not always quite that good, but I try, and I do talk to him and his wife, Emma Heming Willis. I have a casual relationship with his three older children. I have tried very hard to stay in his life.”

Caron and Willis collaborated on the popular five-season drama series “Moonlighting,” which aired from 1985 to 1989. Their enduring friendship has transcended the years, making Caron’s visits even more poignant.

bruce willis's 'joie de vivre' fades amid battle with dementia, reveals moonlighting creator
Bruce Willis’S ‘Joie De Vivre’ Fades Amid Battle With Dementia, Reveals Moonlighting Creator

“The thing that makes [his disease] so mind-blowing is [that] if you’ve ever spent time with Bruce Willis, there is no one who had any more joie de vivre than he,” Caron continued. “He loved life and… just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest.”

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Caron reflected on his visits with the star of “The Sixth Sense,” noting, “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. All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce, but the joie de vivre is gone.”

Before Willis’s condition progressed to its current state, Caron shared his hope of bringing their beloved ABC series back into the limelight. For the first time ever, “Moonlighting” is available for streaming in its entirety on Hulu in the United States.

“I know it means a lot to him,” Caron added.

In “Moonlighting,” Willis co-starred alongside Cybill Shepherd, playing the role of the witty Blue Moon Detective Agency employee, David Addison. This role earned him his first Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in 1987.

Bruce Willis’s wife, Emma Heming Willis, has been an outspoken advocate for dementia awareness on social media. She regularly hosts Instagram live chats with health experts and fellow caregivers. In their joint statement with the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration, she described the condition as “the most common form of dementia.”

The couple, married since 2009, shares two young children, Mabel and Evelyn. Willis also has three older children, Rumer, Scout LaRue, and Tallulah, from his first marriage to actor Demi Moore.