‘Still Bruce’: Moonlighting creator speaks out about Bruce Willis’ verbal deterioration

A friend of Hollywood actor Bruce Willis reveals the star is "not totally verbal". Source: Getty Images

A friend of veteran actor, Bruce Willis, has reported that the Hollywood superstar’s verbal ability is declining following two crushing diagnoses in 2022 and earlier this year.

Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of Moonlighting, the 80s sitcom that catapulted the 68-year-old Willis to stardom, remains a close friend of his. Following a recent visit he told Page Six that the Die Hard actor was “not totally verbal”.

In March last year, the action star announced his retirement due to being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate.

His health nosedived earlier this year when another shock announcement revealed a further diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia, a condition that causes progressive damage to either or both the frontal or temporal lobes of the brain and can impact behaviour, personality, language, and movement.

Caron shared with Page Six that he has tried to visit Willis regularly since his diagnoses but does not always get there.

“I’m not always quite that good but I try and I do talk to him and his wife [Emma Heming Willis] and I have a casual relationship with his three older children,” he said.

“I have tried very hard to stay in his life.”

Caron comments on how the disease has impacted Willis’ zest for life.

“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 explained.

“He loved life and … just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest.”

He said he knows that ultimately Willis is still the same person but describes the actor as “seeing life through a screen door.”

“My sense is the first one to three minutes he knows who I am,” he said.

“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.

“When you’re with him you know that he’s Bruce and you’re grateful that he’s there, but the joie de vivre is gone.”

Caron and Willis’ hit TV show Moonlighting will soon be available to stream on Hulu.

About this new and exciting development, Caron reportedly told The Post, “I know he’s really happy that the show is going to be available for people, even though he can’t tell me that.”

“When I got to spend time with him we talked about it and I know he’s excited,” he added.

Since the heartbreaking news of the actor’s health was first announced, Willis’ blended family – which includes his ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah – have come together in an effort to ensure he lives as full a life as possible. 

Even his nine-year-old daughter Evelyn jumped on board researching “fun facts” about dementia in her spare time at school.

In addition to achieving fame in the leading role in Moonlighting opposite Cybil Shepherd, Willis went on to appear in over 70 films.

Some of his notable credits include The Last Boy Scout, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, science fiction hits such as 12 MonkeysThe Fifth Element, and Armageddon, as well as the supernatural thriller The Sixth Sense. 

However, it was his role as John McClane in the Die Hard franchise that gave him global recognition and cemented his status as an action star.


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