Bruce Willis Speaks Publicly for First Time Since Dementia Diagnosis

The Hollywood actor has emerged in a candid video, marking the first time he’s spoken publicly since his dementia diagnosis was revealed.

Bruce Willis has spoken for the first time since his dementia diagnosis in a new video celebrating his 68th birthday with family.

The prolific actor has been keeping a low profile since his dementia diagnosis became public earlier this year.

On Sunday, Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore, 60, took to Instagram to share a video from a family celebration of Bruce’s birthday, reports The Sun.

His current wife Emma Hemming, as well as Willis’ daughters Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah were all present for the party along with a few other guests.

In the clip, the entire group – including the Die Hard actor – sang Happy Birthday.

Willis appeared to be in good spirits, singing at least a few words to the song, chatting with other revellers, and blowing out the candles on his birthday pie.

As everyone sang, he smiled, talked, and made hand gestures.

At one point, he appeared to stumble slightly, perhaps simply losing his footing.

He stumbled a bit again after giving a major effort to blow out the few candles stuck inside the pie.

The entire family had a little chuckle at the moment – Willis included.

After the song concluded, everyone shouted: “Hip Hip Hooray.”

The actor made a lassoing motion with his hands and even shouted “hooray at one point.”

He was then embraced and kissed by a few folks present for the sweet little bash.

Moore captioned the post: “Happy birthday, BW! So glad we could celebrate you today. Love you and love our family. Thank you to everyone for the love and warm wishes — we all feel them.”

While fans were thrilled to get a rare glimpse at Willis in this capacity, there was some level of concern from his longtime fans after spotting a subtle detail in the video.

Willis appeared to be missing one of his front teeth.

It is not clear why and seems unlikely the family will explain.

The comments were a mix of concern and support.

Actress Rosario Dawson commented: “Happy Birthday Bruce! Blessings to your and the family.”

Another commenter wrote: “Always one of the coolest guys ever! Happy birthday Bruce!”

One fan noted: “Even the slightest thing is the BIGGEST thing! Usually, when a person is suffering from frontotemporal dementia they don’t remember the significance of blowing out the candle. And he did it without being told to. He even commented on the dog. He was definitely lucid and a participant at the moment. I am so glad to see this! Happy Birthday, Bruce!”

Another comment read: “One of the best! Thank you for letting us share a very personal journey!! A fan forever!”

Someone else chimed in: “That’s sooo heartwarming.”

A fifth fan commented: “What an emotional moment [thanks] for sharing Demi we love you and your family.”

Another fan wrote: “Could watch this over and over again … there’s nothing better than this … the decision to make your blended family a priority is what family dreams are made of! We love you, Bruce.”

One commenter pointed out: “Bruce is missing a tooth.”

Earlier this month, Willis’ wife Emma shared a sweet throwback video of her husband weeks after it was confirmed that he was battling frontotemporal dementia.

In the short video, the actor is wearing a white T-shirt and a black puffer jacket as he praises his wife of almost 14 years.

Reciting a line from the magazine, Willis said: “USA Weekly interview with Emma-Heming Willis, founder and CEO of Cocobaba.”

“How about it?” Emma asked as Willis replied proudly: “How ‘bout it? I’m crazy about it!”

Emma captioned her post: “What’s this new memory thingy on IG!? OMG my biggest fan. I’m in love with him.”

Earlier this week, Emma gave a heartbreaking update on how she is dealing with Willis’ diagnosis of “untreatable” frontotemporal dementia.

Posting a photo of herself sharing a hug with a dementia specialist called Teepa Snow, Emma wrote: “I’m grateful I had the opportunity to work with @teepasnows_pac who has helped me add to my dementia care toolbox.

“She’s a loving, compassionate, and skilled leader in this space who navigates herself with pure empathy. She’s a gift.

“Head to the link in my bio as her website has a wealth of caregiving information you might find useful too.”

Teepa commented on her post and wrote: “@emmahemingwillis has done an absolutely remarkable job of providing the right support for Bruce as his abilities have changed and created a safe space and life that continues to provide him with what he needs to live well.

“Frontal temporal dementia is never easy but with the right programming and support, it truly is possible to continue living life.

“Congrats to Emma and their entire family for their very very hard work and dedication. It is truly remarkable!”

The father-of-five quit acting last year after being diagnosed with aphasia – a condition that affects speech and language – which has now sadly “progressed.”

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is the most common form of dementia in people under 60 and symptoms include personality changes, obsessive behaviour, and speaking difficulties.

Rumer’s reveal

The actor’s daughter Rumer, 34, whom he shares with Moore, shared the heartbreaking news about her father’s diagnosis on Instagram.

In her post, she explained that Willis’ condition was sadly “not treatable” and “has progressed.”

It read: “Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support, and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce’s original diagnosis.

“In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father, and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing.”

The statement went on to detail the “painful” disease the Pulp Fiction star is facing.

“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD).

“Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.

“To read our full statement and learn more about this disease please go to the link in our bio,” she closed, signing off as the “Ladies of Willis/Moore.”

Aphasia is a medical condition that causes patients to struggle to understand language and communicate effectively.

It typically comes on after a stroke or head injury but can also be related to disease or a brain tumour causing degenerative damage.

Those battling aphasia typically have an “expressive” or “receptive” form of the disease.

“Expressive” aphasia is when people find it very difficult to find and say the right words, although they probably know exactly what they want to say.

“Receptive” aphasia, meanwhile, is when someone is able to speak well and use long sentences, but what they say may not make sense.

As for Frontotemporal Degeneration, according to a continued statement from the family on the website of the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration: “FTD is a cruel disease that many of us have never heard of and can strike anyone. For people under 60, FTD is the most common form of dementia, and because getting the diagnosis can take years, FTD is likely much more prevalent than we know.

“Today there are no treatments for the disease, a reality that we hope can change in the years ahead. As Bruce’s condition advances, we hope that any media attention can be focused on shining a light on this disease that needs far more awareness and research.

“Bruce always believed in using his voice in the world to help others and to raise awareness about important issues both publicly and privately. We know in our hearts that – if he could today — he would want to respond by bringing global attention and connectedness with those who are also dealing with this debilitating disease and how it impacts so many individuals and their families.”