For a few years now I’ve noticed rumors appearing on the internet about Bruce Willis’ health. Specifically, his mental health.
An “A” level actor whose films once topped the box office, of late he has been appearing in Video on Demand works where, further rumors had it, he would appear to film for one or two days of work at a staggering million dollars per day.
Many of these VOD films featured Bruce Willis in what amounted to cameo roles, often doing little but sitting at a bar or in a car or something similar, saying his lines and whatever “dialogue” with other actors was made up using film tricks, cuts and close ups and, often, the appearnace the other actors’ work was filmed later on, when Willis was long gone.
There were snickers about his “work” ethics, of Willis “phoning it in” and not giving a shit anymore. Of taking the money and running but now, with the news released yesterday of Mr. Willis suffering from aphasia and “stepping away” from acting (you can read the full article here, from CNN), the jokes have abruptly stopped and an outpouring of sympathy has followed.
Perhaps, some wonder, Mr. Willis was cashing in on those roles because he knew his mental deterioration meant he only had so much time left to build up a proper nest egg for his family. Others also noted the rumors and stories on Wilis being a (to put it politely) handful on sets was maybe a manifestation of the anger and confusion he had early on in the progression of his disease.
I suppose its all possible.
What I take away from this is the sad realization of just how frail a human body is, and how people who are “normal” can find themselves deteriorating and, ultimately, not being able to function as they once did.
Now that the news of his retirement from acting has come out, it seems more of the stories about Bruce Willis’ deterioration on sets is also coming out. The following article, by Ron Dicker and presented on Huffingtonpost.com, notes…
Truly it is a sad thing to read and find out how at times Mr. Willis was confused and didn’t even seem to understand exactly what he was doing on certain sets.
More often than not I’ve enjoyed Mr. Willis’ acting. I first noticed him way, waaaaaayyyyy back in 1984 in the episode “No Exit” of Miami Vice. He played that episode’s (the 7th one aired during the first season of the show!) bad guy, and he was damn nasty in the role as a wife beating scumbag…
He would then get the co-starring role in the very popular TV show Moonlighting before moving on into films. His first couple of films, Blind Date (1987) and Sunset (1988), didn’t do all that well, but a little film named Die Hard (1988) was right around the corner.
I hope Mr. Willis’ sunset years will be peaceful and comfortable. It seems like he has a large and loving family and it feels like he’s hopefully in good hands.
I suppose that’s all anyone can hope for.