The following biography
Bruce Willis (born March 19, 1955 as Walter Bruce
Willis in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany) is a European American actor and singer.
Birth name Walter Bruce Willis
Born March 19, 1955 (age 51)
Idar-Oberstein, West Germany (U.S. Military Base)
Height 6 ft (1.83 m)
Notable roles John McClane in the
Die Hard series,
Joesph 'Joe' Cornelius Hallenbeck in
The Last Boy Scout,
Butch Coolidge in
Walter Davis in
James Cole in
The Jackal in
Harry S. Stamper in
Dr. Malcolm Crowe in
The Sixth Sense,
Jimmy 'The Tulip' Tudeski in
The Whole Nine Yards,
John Hartigan in
Jeff Talley in
Won Emmy in 1987 (Outstanding Lead Actor category)
in a Drama Series for an episode of Moonlighting which was
Bruce Willis, was born in the back of a trailer in
Idar-Oberstein, Germany, to an American father, David Willis, and a German
mother, Marlene Willis. After being discharged from the military in 1957, David
took his family back to Penns Grove, New Jersey, and he worked as a welder and
factory worker. Bruce was the oldest of four children. He was always an outgoing
youngster, although he grew up with a stutter. Finding it easy to express
himself on stage, Willis began performing on stage and his high school
memberships were marked by such things as the drama club and school council
Rather than go to college after graduation, Willis
became a blue-collar worker, transporting work crews at the DuPont Chambers
Works factory in Deepwater, New Jersey. He decided to quit after a colleague was
killed on the job, and thereafter became a regular at several bars. Willis also
discovered an innate knack for playing harmonica, and did so for an R&B group,
Loose Goose. After a stint as a bodyguard (which he actually plays in his 1991
movie, The Last Boy Scout), Willis returned to his original passion of acting.
He enrolled in the drama program at Montclair State University, where he was
cast as Brick in the class production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof with Jack Prince
as Big Daddy, William Applegate as the doctor and Kevin J. Lynch as the Rev.
Tooker. The ambitious junior finally decided to leave school in pursuit of more
lucrative movie roles by heading for New York City.
Willis returned to the bar scene, only this time
for a part-time job and as a way to meet New York celebrities. He is rumored to
have been 'discovered' while working at the Museum Cafe on New York's Upper West
Side. After countless auditions, Willis finally made his theater debut in the
off-Broadway production of Heaven and Earth. He gained more experience and
exposure in Fool for Love, a stint on television's Miami Vice, and a Levi's
He first found fame with his starring role in the
hit TV series Moonlighting (1985–89) establishing himself as a comedic actor.
However, it was his then-unexpected turn in the Die Hard series that catapulted
him to fame. He also was successful in his turn as the voice of little Mikey in
the Look Who's Talking series.
In the late-1980s, Willis enjoyed moderate success
as a recording artist, recording an album of pop-blues entitled The Return of
Bruno, which included the hit single "Respect Yourself", promoted by a Spinal
Tap-like rockumentary parody featuring scenes of him performing at famous events
including Woodstock. Follow-up recordings were not as successful, though Willis
does return to the recording studio from time to time.
In the early 90s, Willis' career suffered a
moderate slump starring in flops such as The Bonfire of the Vanities and Hudson
Hawk, among others. However, in 1994 he had a supporting role in Quentin
Tarantino's acclaimed Pulp Fiction, which gave a new boost to his career. In
1996 he produced the cartoon Bruno the Kid which featured a CGI representation
of himself. He went on to play the lead roles in Twelve Monkeys and The Fifth
Element. However, by the end of the '90s, his career had fallen into another
slump with critically panned films like The Jackal, Mercury Rising and Breakfast
of Champions, saved only by the success of the Michael Bay-directed Armageddon
which was the highest grossing film of 1998 in the US.
In 1999, Willis achieved what could be considered
the biggest success of his career with his starring role in M. Night Shyamalan's
debut film, The Sixth Sense. The film was both a commercial and critical success
and launched Willis' career to a new level of stardom.
He once had to appear in the hit sitcom Friends
without pay, because he lost a bet to Matthew Perry, his co-star in The Whole
Nine Yards and its sequel The Whole Ten Yards.
Willis also appeared on Japanese Subaru Legacy
television commercials, optimising the car for sale, with the backing music of
Jade from Sweetbox, "Addicted" and "Hate Without Frontiers".
He has finished filming the thriller Perfect
Stranger, opposite Halle Berry, and will appear as an unscrupulous farmer in the
film version of Fast Food Nation.
He is now filming his return to the role of John
McClane in Live Free or Die Hard being directed by Len Wiseman.
Willis was married to actress Demi Moore from
November 21, 1987 to October 18, 2000. The couple gave no public reason for
their breakup. Willis and Moore had three daughters during their thirteen-year
union: Rumer Glenn Willis (born 1988), Scout LaRue Willis (1991) and Tallulah
Belle Willis (1994). Since their breakup, rumors persisted that the couple
planned to re-marry, but Moore has since married Ashton Kutcher. He and Moore
have maintained a close relationship.
Bruce was, at one point, Lutheran (specifically
Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod); however, he is believed by some to now be an
atheist or an agnostic. This is mostly because of a statement he made in the
July 1998 issue of George magazine:
"Organized religions in general, in my opinion, are
dying forms", he says. "They were all very important when we didn't know why the
sun moved, why weather changed, why hurricanes occurred, or volcanoes happened",
he continues. "Modern religion is the end trail of modern mythology. But there
are people who interpret the Bible literally. Literally!" he says incredulously.
"I choose not to believe that's the way. And that's what makes America cool, you
Some reports from military officials suggest that
Willis tried to enlist in the military to help fight the second Iraq war, but he
was turned away because of his age.  He has offered $1 million to any
civilian who turns in terrorist leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri or
(now the late) Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Willis has said that he wants to "make a pro-war
film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom
and democracy."  The film will follow members of Deuce Four, the 1st
Battalion, 24th Infantry, who spent considerable time in Mosul and were
decorated heavily for it. The film is to be based on the writings of blogger
Michael Yon, a former United States Army Special Forces Green Beret who was
embedded with Deuce Four and sent regular dispatches about their heroics.
Willis was one of few Hollywood celebrities to
publicly support the Iraq War in 2003. He has endorsed every Republican
presidential candidate except Bob Dole in 1996, because Dole had criticized Demi
Moore for her role in the movie Striptease. Willis has attempted to play down
his status as one of Hollywood's most outspoken Republicans, although he
continues to vocally support the Iraq war and gun ownership. In February 2006,
Willis appeared in Manhattan to talk about his new movie 16 Blocks with
reporters. One reporter attempted to ask Willis about his opinion on current
events but was interrupted by Willis in mid-sentence:
I'm sick of answering this f*cking question. I'm a
Republican only as far as I want a smaller government, I want less government
intrusion. I want them to stop shitting on my money and your money and tax
dollars that we give 50 percent of... every year. I want them to be fiscally
responsible and I want these goddamn lobbyists out of Washington. Do that and
I'll say I'm a Republican... I hate the government, OK? I'm apolitical. Write
that down. I'm not a Republican.
In a July 2006 interview with Alex Jones, film
director Richard Linklater -- who believes that the September 11, 2001 terrorist
attacks were perpetrated by the United States government to erect a police state
-- said he gave one of Jones's documentaries to Willis. Linklater said Willis
had told him in an e-mail that the video had changed his entire political
paradigm. "He said it put him in such a head space that he will be quiet on
issues of national policy," Linklater said.  However, Michael Yon, a close
friend of Willis confirmed that this was not true. After contacting him about
the issue, Yon claimed:
Bruce got back to me this morning saying the press
has misconstrued his statements and that this is untrue. Bruce said in part,
“…the Linklater statements have been completely misconstrued, as usual by the
media.” It’s clear that some media are just attaching Bruce’s name to gain
traction. I will not talk about private communications so will keep this very
brief by saying I know Bruce’s support for the troops is ongoing and, if
anything, increasing. Bruce does not believe this conspiracy theory. 
In early 2006, Willis, who usually lives in Los
Angeles, moved into an apartment located in the Trump Tower in New York City.
Willis also has a home in Malibu, CA, a ranch in Montana and multiple properties
in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Year Title Role Notes
1980 The First Deadly Sin Unknown role Extra
1982 The Verdict Courtroom Observer Extra
1985 A Guru Comes Unknown role Extra
1987 Blind Date Walter Davis
1988 The Return of Bruno Bruno Radolini
Sunset Tom Mix
Die Hard John McClane
1989 That's Adequate Himself Cameo
In Country Emmett Smith
Look Who's Talking Mikey Voice
1990 Die Hard 2 John McClane
Look Who's Talking Too Mikey Voice
The Bonfire of the Vanities Peter Fallow
1991 Mortal Thoughts James Urbanski
Hudson Hawk Eddie 'Hudson Hawk' Hawkins
Billy Bathgate Bo Weinberg
The Last Boy Scout Joseph Cornelius 'Joe'
1992 The Player Himself Cameo
Death Becomes Her Dr. Ernest Menville
1993 National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1 John
Striking Distance Tom Hardy
1994 North Narrator
Color of Night Dr. Bill Capa
Pulp Fiction Butch Coolidge
Nobody's Fool Carl Roebuck
1995 Die Hard with a Vengeance John McClane
Four Rooms Leo
Twelve Monkeys James Cole
1996 Last Man Standing John Smith
Beavis and Butt-head Do America Muddy Grimes Voice
1997 The Fifth Element Korben Dallas
The Jackal The Jackal
1998 Mercury Rising Art Jeffries
Armageddon Harry S. Stamper
The Siege Major General William Devereaux
Apocalypse Trey Kincaid
1999 Franky Goes to Hollywood Himself Short subject
Breakfast of Champions Dwayne Hoover
The Sixth Sense Dr. Malcolm Crowe
The Story of Us Ben Jordan
2000 The Whole Nine Yards Jimmy 'The Tulip' Tudeski
The Kid Russell Duritz
Unbreakable David Dunn
2001 Bandits Joe Blake
2002 Hart's War Col. William A. McNamara
Grand Champion CEO Cameo
2003 Tears of the Sun Lieutenant A.K. Waters
Rugrats Go Wild! Spike Voice
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle William Rose Bailey
2004 The Whole Ten Yards Jimmy 'The Tulip' Tudeski
Ocean's Twelve Himself Cameo
2005 Hostage Jeff Talley Producer
Sin City John Hartigan
2006 Alpha Dog Sonny Truelove Post-production
16 Blocks Jack Mosley Producer
Fast Food Nation Harry Rydell
Lucky Number Slevin Mr. Goodkat
Over The Hedge RJ Voice Acting
2007 The Astronaut Farmer Unknown role
Perfect Stranger Harrison Hill Filming
Live Free or Die Hard John McClane Producer, in
Morgan's Summit Unknown role Attached,
The Return of Bruno, 1987, Razor & Tie, ASIN
If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger,
1989, Motown / Pgd, ASIN: B000008MAP.
Classic Bruce Willis: The Universal Masters
Collection, 2001, Polygram Int'l, ASIN B00004OCPA.
He filled in for an ill David Letterman on his show
February 26, 2003, when he was supposed to be a guest. He interviewed Dan Rather
in what he would later call "the most serious conversation of my entire life".
On many of his appearances on the Letterman show, Willis stages elaborate jokes,
such as wearing a day-glo orange suit in honor of the Central Park gates, or
having one side of his face made up with simulated buckshot wounds after the
Harry Whittington shooting.
Also on The Late Show with David Letterman, Willis
was seen trying to break the holding your breath under water record (parody of
David Blaine) staying under for only 20 seconds.
Owns The Mint Bar and The Liberty Theater in
Judged the finals of the Miss Italy contest in 2005
in Salsomaggiore-Terme, Parma
Had the Subaru Legacy Touring Bruce automobile
named in his honor in 1993 (due to his being a spokesperson for the Legacy in
the Japanese market)
Has appeared in four movies with Samuel L. Jackson
(Unbreakable, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard with a Vengeance, and National Lampoon's
Loaded Weapon 1). He is also currently working on the film Black Water Transit
alongside Jackson due in 2007.
In 2006 proposed that, the United States should
invade Colombia in order to end the drug trafficking.
Is a co-founder of Planet Hollywood.
Insisted that he perform his own 'stunts' in the
erotic-thriller, Color of Night.
Won a 2000 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a
Comedy Series for his work on Friends (in which he played the father of Ross
Geller's much-younger girlfriend). Was also nominated for a 2001 American Comedy
Award (in the Funniest Male Guest Appearance in a TV Series category) for his
work on Friends. 
Won a 1987 Emmy in the category of Outstanding Lead
Actor in a Drama Series for an episode of Moonlighting which was largely
Owns his own motion picture production company
called Cheyenne Enterprises
Signed his name on an ad in the Los Angeles Times
in support of Israel, along with Nicole Kidman and numerous other Hollywood
Has decided to forgo a hairpiece in Live Free or
Die Hard to show that his character has aged. Also warned that he would beat up
anyone that makes fun of his thinning hair.
Was originally cast as Terry Benedict in Ocean's
Eleven (2001) but dropped out. In Ocean's Twelve (2003), he makes a cameo
appearance as himself.
On October 16, 2006, Bruce was honored with a star
of the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The star is located at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard
and it is the 2,321st Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1. SoFeminine.ca. Bruce Willis Moves Into Trump
Towers. Retrieved on March 27, 2006.
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