Back in 2020, while riding out the peaks and troughs of the pandemic, Bruce Willis faced a cataclysmic diagnosis that would not only upend the lives of his immediate family but raise the industry into a riot. Soon after, the Willis-Moore family would announce the actor’s timely retirement as media outlets poured into details about his final action thriller or his recent outings spotted.
In the meanwhile, as the reports of his aphasia and then frontotemporal dementia settled in among the public, the actor had already begun experiencing a difficult time on film sets keeping track of the scenes and remembering names.
Reports Shed New Light on the Onset of Bruce Willis’ Ailment
At a time when the industry was still not aware of the Armageddon actor’s aphasia diagnosis, Bruce Willis’ time on the sets of the 2021 crime thriller, Midnight in the Switchgrass, turned suddenly tense as the actor kept forgetting he was filming a scene and unable to subsequently recognize the crew on set. During an appearance on The Randall Scandal documentary based on the film’s director, Randall Emmett, the set prop master, Alicia Haverland claimed:
I go over to repour the coffee, and we’re probably doing take number seven or eight, and he puts his hand on the coffee, looks me dead in the eye, and goes, ‘Oh no, ma’am, I don’t want anymore.’
Haverland claims that her attempts to explain he was in a film set were futile and that she had to play along until eventually Willis regained his bearings and completed the scene. Outside the film sets, allegations rose regarding the director’s abusive behavior toward Willis as his health kept declining.
Based on the true story of the Truck Stop Killer, Midnight in the Switchgrass for all its gritty potential and talented cast and crew failed to make a mark after release, earning a humiliating 8% rating and $97,518 at the box office.
A Look at the Timeline of Bruce Willis’ Progressing Dementia
In the spring of 2022, accompanied by a throwback photograph of the Die Hard action star in a bathrobe and a happy mood, Bruce Willis’ former wife, Demi Moore posted an announcement via the then 67-year-old’s Instagram page:
To Bruce’s amazing supporters, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.
Soon after the official statement and unequivocal support from his family, behind-the-scene images and videos from film sets and on-location shoots began to take over social media attempting to decipher the sudden and devastating news. Amid the flood of information, it was also announced that Assassin would be the actor’s final hurrah to the industry that became his second home.
In February 2023, Willis’ family came forward to yet again break the news of his diagnosis progressing to a condition known as frontotemporal dementia that not only affects speech and ability to communicate but also results in severe cognitive impairment as the disease keeps progressing.
In the aftermath of the news, Demi Moore who now belongs to the blended family known as the ‘women of the Willis-Moore clan’ has moved into the house to help Bruce and Emma Heming Willis and the five children to make the actor’s life qualitatively better, happier, and easier to navigate.
The Randall Scandal documentary will premiere on Hulu on May 22, 2023.