Bruce Willis was celebrated by his wife Emma Heming Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore with touching tributes this weekend on the first Father’s Day since his dementia diagnosis.
The action star’s family issued a statement in March 2022 announcing that he was set to retire from the profession as he battled aphasia. Earlier this year, they then revealed that his condition had progressed to frontotemporal dementia.
“While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” Moore shared in a statement at the time.
The Die Hard actor’s family have now shared new tributes in honour of Willis for Father’s Day this weekend (June 18). “Father’s Day is a time I get to reflect on my deep appreciation and respect I have for Bruce as I watch him father our little ones,” Heming captioned a post on Instagram, alongside a picture of him with their 11-year-old daughter, Mabel.
“Where it might not be ‘conventional,’ what he’s teaching them will span generations. Unconditional love, kindness, strength, compassion, patience, generosity, resilience,” the post continued. “Happy Father’s Day to the greatest dad I know, who will forever be the gift that keeps giving within our family.”
Willis married Heming in 2009, and they also share daughter Evelyn Penn Willis, aged nine.
Actor Demi Moore – who was married to Willis for 13 years before their split in 2000 – also shared her own tribute to the actor, who is father to their three daughters Rumer, 34, Scout, 31 and Tallulah, 29.
“Forever grateful to you BW for giving me these three beautiful girls. We love our #girldad. Happy Father’s Day!” Moore captioned her own Instagram post, with a black and white picture of Willis with his daughters as young children.
Willis also celebrated his first Father’s Day as a grandfather, after daughter Rumer shared a photo of her dad with baby daughter Louetta Isley.
The NHS states that frontotemporal dementia is an “uncommon type of dementia that causes problems with behaviour and language. Dementia is the name for problems with mental abilities caused by gradual changes and damage in the brain. Frontotemporal dementia affects the front and sides of the brain (the frontal and temporal lobes).”
Back in March, Heming shared a message about living with someone with dementia to mark the actor’s 68th birthday. “I do have times of sadness every day, grief every day and I’m really feeling it today on his birthday,” she said.
Earlier this month, Willis’ daughter Tallulah wrote an emotional letter recalling the first signs of her father’s declining health.