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Bruce Willis Retires from Acting due to Illness


txfilmfan
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Very sorry to hear this. But I like the guy more than I liked his movies. My favorite of his roles is still David Addison in MOONLIGHTING, THE SIXTH SENSE and 12 MONKEYS.

I don't care if he makes any more movies. I just care about him enjoying a fulfilling life. He's done enough for public entertainment. 

Moonliting41.jpg

Here's to you Bruce!

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I've been making a few derogatory comments for the past few years about Bruce Willis's most recent performances and quickie action junk films. But if his cognitive disorder had something to do with his film choices and portrayals, I take it all back.

Bruce Willis was a talented actor. I marvelled at his verbal fast patter comic skills in Moonlighting and remember cheering him when I saw him on the big screen in the original Die Hard in which he was able to beautifully combine macho heroics with a few comic asides. The man had personality and charisma.

I am very saddened by this news and want to wish the actor and his family all the best in the difficult journey that they have ahead,

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6 hours ago, lilypond said:

I was so very sorry to hear this.  Can only hope the aphasia is associated with one of the less radically life-altering causes.   Praying for Bruce Willis and his family.

Another film of his that I (stupidly) forget to mention is the fifth element. Its Dumb. But its dumb fun imo.

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Bruce Willis? Top-notch guy. We played on opposing softball teams in Central Park, NYC in the early 1990's. And so did a hundred other guys. I would have assumed that he did not know me from jack.

Until one day I was with my GF on the sidewalk at 23rd and 8th, waiting for the stoplight to change. Mr. Willis pulled up to the curb on his bicycle and while waiting at the the light, he saw me and said "How ya doin?".

While my GF was awe-struck we chatted for about a half a minute about our softball league, and he talked to me like we were old friends.

"See ya at the park!" What a  nice man.

 

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@ARITOSTHENES:  The problem with THE FIFTH ELEMENT is the second half of the movie focuses on loudmouth talk-show host CHRIS TUCKER instead of BRUCE W.  To me and my late dad that was a truly stupid directorial decision by Luc Besson.  He enjoyed the first half of the movie well enough . . . until Chris Tucker took over in the second half of the film.  He was annoyed and so was I.  

I hope that Bruce, with the help of his family and friends, can stem the tide of aphasia as much as possible. 

Among his movies, I recall Bruce holding his own in the 1992 comedy DEATH BECOMES HER as a sort of "straight man" to Meryl and Goldie. 

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From the Los Angeles Times

 

Concerns about Bruce Willis’ declining cognitive state swirled around sets in recent years

 

 

By Meg James

Amy Kaufman

March 30, 2022 8:48 PM PT

Just days before Bruce Willis was scheduled to turn up on the set of one of his latest action films, the director of the project sent out an urgent request: Make the movie star’s part smaller.

“It looks like we need to knock down Bruce’s page count by about 5 pages,” Mike Burns, the director of “Out of Death,” wrote in a June 2020 email to the film’s screenwriter. “We also need to abbreviate his dialogue a bit so that there are no monologues, etc.”

Burns did not outline one of the reasons why Willis’ lines needed to be kept “short and sweet.” But on Wednesday, the public learned what he and many other filmmakers have privately been concerned about for years: The 67-year-old’s family said he will retire from acting because he has aphasia. The cognitive disorder affects a person’s ability to communicate and often develops in individuals who have suffered strokes.

“As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him,” the actor’s daughter Rumer Willis wrote in an Instagram post also signed by her siblings, the actor’s wife, Emma, and his former wife, Demi Moore.

According to those who have worked with the elder Willis on his recent films, the actor has been exhibiting signs of decline in recent years. In interviews with The Times this month, nearly two dozen people who were on set with the actor expressed concern about Willis’ well-being.

These individuals questioned whether the actor was fully aware of his surroundings on set, where he was often paid $2 million for two days of work, according to documents viewed by The Times. Filmmakers described heart-wrenching scenes as the beloved “Pulp Fiction” star grappled with his loss of mental acuity and an inability to remember his dialogue. An actor who traveled with Willis would feed the star his lines through an earpiece, known in the industry as an “earwig,” according to several sources. Most action scenes, particularly those that involved choreographed gunfire, were filmed using a body double as a substitute for Willis.

 

March 30, 2022

In one alleged incident two years ago on a Cincinnati set of the movie “Hard Kill,” Willis unexpectedly fired a gun loaded with a blank on the wrong cue, according to two people familiar with the incident who were not authorized to comment. No one was injured. The film’s producer disputed that the incident occurred, but the alleged discharge left actors and crew members shaken.

Burns was one of a handful of people who knew Willis was struggling with his memory, but he said he was unaware of the severity of the actor’s condition until June 2020, when he was directing his first film, “Out of Death.” It was among 22 films Willis did in four years.

“After the first day of working with Bruce, I could see it firsthand and I realized that there was a bigger issue at stake here and why I had been asked to shorten his lines,” Burns said. On that film, Burns was tasked with compressing all of Willis’ scenes — about 25 pages of dialogue — into one day of filming, which he said was exceedingly difficult. At the end of the day, Burns felt conflicted.

Last fall, Burns was offered the chance to direct another Willis film, “Wrong Place,” but he was worried about the actor’s health.

Burns said he called one of Willis’ associates and asked him: “How’s Bruce?” Burns said he was told that Willis was “a whole different person ... way better than last year.” “I took him at his word,” Burns said.

But when they started filming the movie last October, “I didn’t think he was better; I thought he was worse,” Burns said. “After we finished, I said: ‘I’m done. I’m not going to do any other Bruce Willis movies.’ I am relieved that he is taking time off.”

A representative for Willis declined to comment beyond the family statement.

 

March 30, 2022

Willis’ longtime management team — including a powerhouse group of agents at the Creative Artists Agency — made sure that his film shoots were limited to two days. The actor’s contracts stipulated that he was not to work more than eight hours a day, but he often stayed for only four, according to production sources.

Meanwhile, fans online began questioning why Willis was cranking out so many low-budget films, most of which were panned by critics. The group behind the Razzie Awards, which each year compiles a list of the industry’s worst films, in February created an entire category for Willis’ films.

Some film directors told The Times that they were startled by Willis’ condition in the last year.

Jesse V. Johnson, who directed the low-budget film “White Elephant,” first worked with Willis decades ago when he was a stuntman. But when the filmmaker and the actor met briefly before shooting began in Georgia last April, “it was clear that he was not the Bruce I remembered,” Johnson said.

Concerned about Willis’ mental state, he said he approached the actor’s team — which is led by his assistant-turned-handler Stephen J. Eads — and bluntly asked about the actor’s condition.

“They stated that he was happy to be there, but that it would be best if we could finish shooting him by lunch and let him go early,” Johnson recalled of the conversation. Filmmakers proceeded to quickly film the actor’s parts, even as Willis questioned where he was: “I know why you’re here, and I know why you’re here, but why am I here?” two crew members said he asked aloud.

“It was less of an annoyance and more like: ‘How do we not make Bruce look bad?’” one of the crew members said. “Someone would give him a line and he didn’t understand what it meant. He was just being puppeted.”

Johnson, the director, said he subsequently was offered the opportunity to film two additional movies with Willis, so he discussed the situation with his creative team.

“After our experience on ‘White Elephant,’ it was decided as a team that we would not do another,” Johnson said. “We are all Bruce Willis fans, and the arrangement felt wrong and ultimately a rather sad end to an incredible career, one that none of us felt comfortable with.”

Though he has appeared in more than 70 films since he began acting in the 1970s, Willis is still best recognized for playing detective John McClane in the “Die Hard” franchise. The role — which he reprised in five movies — helped to cement his status as one of Hollywood’s leading action heroes, landing him parts in films such as “Pulp Fiction” and “The Fifth Element.” Although he was often recognized more as a box office draw than a critical darling, he received a Golden Globe for his role opposite Cybill Shepherd in the 1980s television series “Moonlighting” and has worked with directors such as Wes Anderson and Terry Gilliam.

Even as Willis’ health declined, he remained in high demand.

 

March 30, 2022

His involvement in films — even if for a fleeting few minutes — helped low-budget independent filmmakers sell their films internationally. Having Willis’ face on a movie poster or a lineup of streaming service thumbnails helped draw viewers to his films. In recent years, Willis worked primarily for two film production companies: Los Angeles-based Emmett/Furla Oasis and 308 Entertainment Inc., a Vancouver company backed by actor and producer Corey Large, according to IMDb.com.

In January 2020, actress Lala Kent, a star of Bravo’s “Vanderpump Rules” reality show, was cast as the action hero’s daughter in “Hard Kill.” In one scene, Kent said, Willis’ character was scripted to step in and protect her from villains.

“I’m supposed to think my life is about to end, and then my dad steps in to save the day,” Kent said, describing how her back was to Willis in the scene. Willis was meant to deliver a line that served as Kent’s cue to duck before he fired the weapon at a bad guy. Instead, he shot the gun before delivering the line — and the actress was unable to duck.

“Because my back was to him, I wasn’t aware of what was happening behind me. But the first time, it was like, ‘No big deal, let’s reset,’” she said.

Kent said she asked director Matt Eskandari to remind Willis to say his line before firing the gun.

But on the second take, the same thing happened, Kent said. Eskandari did not respond to calls seeking comment, but a second crew member said he remembered Kent being shaken that day. A third crew member, who also was not authorized to comment publicly, said he recalled a situation in which Willis “did fire the gun on the wrong line.”

But the crew member added: “We always made sure no one was in the line of fire when he was handling guns.”

Randall Emmett, co-founder of Emmett/Furla Oasis, who has worked on 20 Willis movies, declined to comment on Willis’ condition, citing medical privacy laws. But Emmett, who is Kent’s former fiance, disputed that Willis fired a gun prematurely. The film’s armorer denied that the incident occurred.

In a statement, Emmett said: “I fully support Bruce and his family during this challenging time and admire him for his courage in battling this difficult medical condition. Bruce will always be a part of our family.”

Willis had a large entourage that accompanied him on set, and its members were protective of the actor, according to several filmmakers.

Eads, who began working with Willis as his assistant in the 1990s, served as his on-set handler.

“The guy guided Bruce everywhere,” one crew member on 2020’s “Hard Kill” said of Eads. “He carted him around and kept an eye on him.”

For his work, he is credited as a producer on Willis’ films. In December 2018, Eads entered into a three-picture deal with the now-defunct MoviePass Films for which Eads received $200,000 per picture, according to a contract reviewed by the The Times.

“We look forward to continuing our long relationship with you on these and other films to come,” read the deal sent to Eads by Emmett, the chief executive of the production company. Just over a year later, Eads entered into a new certificate of engagement for $200,000 with Georgia Film Fund 70 LLC — another of Emmett’s companies — to work on “Hard Kill,” then called “Open Source.” Eads did not respond to requests for comment.

In addition, actor Adam Huel Potter was guaranteed bit roles in Willis films and served as Willis’ prompter, providing the actor his lines through the ear piece. Potter was paid $4,150 per week, according to Willis’ contract on “Open Source.” He was offered “an on-screen speaking role” and provided with accommodations in Willis’ hotel, according to the document. Potter did not respond to inquiries from The Times about this arrangement.

One of Willis’ final larger-scale films, “Paradise City,” was filmed on the Hawaiian island of Maui last May, after the pandemic delayed production for a year. Chuck Russell, the film’s director, and a second crew member said Willis was thrilled to be reunited with a fellow “Pulp Fiction” star in Hawaii. (The film is scheduled for release this summer.)

“He was excited to work with John Travolta, and you could see the old Bruce Willis charm was still there,” Russell said. “He really brought his A game, and we made sure that he and John had a great experience filming together.”

But the filmmakers who spoke with The Times said they were alarmed by his condition.

“He just looked so lost, and he would say, ‘I’ll do my best.’ He always tried his best,” Terri Martin, the production supervisor on “White Elephant,” said Wednesday. “He is one of the all-time greats, and I have the utmost admiration and respect for his body of work, but it was time for him to retire.”

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This is an article by Jemima Skelley posted last year regarding the '80s television series that made Bruce Willis a star

Moonlighting stars Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd's 30-year feud explained

While social media beef and Twitter fights are all well and good, lovers of celebrity gossip know that the best drama can be found in the long-term actor feuds that have been going on for decades. Take, for example, Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd. 

The pair's feud began when they both starred in the beloved '80s TV series Moonlighting, fuelled by diva antics and an alleged secret relationship. Behind-the-scenes stories tell of petty behaviour that would put Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj to shame. 

https%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2Ffs%2Fbac4e572-c9e7-4974-bfba-e70a811ddea4 Willis and Shepherd on the set of 'Moonlighting'. (ABC)

Here's everything we know about Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd, and the feud that's been going strong for 30 years. 

The initial chemistry

Everyone who has watched Moonlighting knows David Addison (Willis) and Maddie Hayes (Shepherd) were the OG will-they-won't-they TV couple. Everyone wanted them to get together.

When the show first started filming, Willis hadn't yet exploded as a blockbuster film star. Die Hard was still three years off, and he was grateful for the role on Moonlighting, according to a producer on the show. Crew members say he was funny and laid-back, but when his fame started to grow, he was ready to move onwards and upwards. Apparently this was when his relationship with Shepherd became strained.

Moonlighting co-star Curtis Armstrong released a book a few years ago, Revenge Of The Nerd, in which he spilled a lot of behind-the-scenes goss about the pair. He stated things pretty plainly: "Yes, Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepard hated each other."

 
https%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2Ffs%2F9a144065-2c9e-43f8-982f-9771fb8db21d Willis and Shepherd's relationship started out pretty great, by all accounts. (Walt Disney Television via Getty)

In his book, Armstrong describes Bruce as a "partier" and a "swinger." The first time the pair met, Willis was hungover and barely dressed. "He'd been in a club most of the night and overslept. Rather than shower, he just fell naked into his swimming pool, threw some clothes on and actually arrived at his call time."

Meanwhile, Shepherd had a bit of a reputation for being a diva. Apparently, "if anyone ever said no to her, they were gone. That's why she was the way she was". Armstrong says that after Season 2, Shepherd allegedly threatened to leave the show unless show creator Glenn Caron was fired — and, if reports are to be believed, she got her way. Caron left the show.

The rumoured affair

Shepherd has said that her relationship with Willis started off pretty great — the couple had great chemistry which came across in their scenes.

In an interview with EW, Shepherd said that during the casting process she did script readings with 17 actors before Willis. "And I felt no spark with them. But with Bruce, the temperature in the room went 20 degrees higher. For me, anyway."

She went on to say point-blank that the pair ended up hating each other, but didn't give a reason why.

https%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2Ffs%2Ff8bab40d-b1b5-4dab-b24b-f9ba74608805 The characters on the show had a lot of explosive chemistry, which bled over into real life relationships. (Walt Disney Television via Getty)

It's never been confirmed, but many rumours have swirled that the whole reason for the long-standing feud is that the actors hooked up in the early days of the show. "[Bruce] intimated to me that there had been one disastrously ill-conceived 'thing' between him and Cybill, early on in the show's run," Armstrong wrote in his book. "While not going into explicit details, he made it clear that that kind of mistake was one I should be sure never to make."

The beginning of the feud

As the show went on, Willis and Shepherd's relationship just deteriorated more and more. Crew members had to "measure the distance between their two trailer doors to the stage entrance, so one actor wouldn't have to walk even a foot farther than the other," according to Armstrong.

Shepherd's pregnancy made scheduling and filming difficult, which angered Willis, who had to work longer hours to compensate. According to a producer, Shepherd also had worries about how she looked on camera as she was ageing. "[We would] try to shoot her out of scenes," he said. "That made Bruce work later. So there was some resentment about that. It was a constant give and take with both of them." Some scenes with the pair were shot with body doubles so they didn't have to be together.

Apparently, at one point the pair were filming a particularly heated scene which turned into a real-life fight between the actors. "The scene broke down and some sort of dispute began," Armstrong wrote in his book. "It escalated rapidly, ending with Cybill flinging a briefcase against the door with a force that shook the set."

https%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2Ffs%2Fb00039fd-a532-421c-a6f0-ae473da81963 The actors could hardly stand to be in the same room together after a few seasons of the show. (Walt Disney Television via Getty)

According to Armstrong, both of them acted like divas, refusing to be on set for a second longer than they needed to. That they would come and read through their lines then leave immediately, before the guest stars even had a chance to rehearse with them. But despite them both acting up in this way, Armstrong describes a real boys club atmosphere on set, where Shepherd was seen as a '****' but Willis as just one of the team. 

By the time they filmed the show's series finale after five years, things were so bad that the stars apparently couldn't look each other. Armstrong claims that the show's editors had to "artificially slow down to give the impression that they were looking into each other's eyes."

After Moonlighting

Since the show wrapped in 1989, the two stars have had basically no contact — but of course, they're often asked about the feud in interviews.

A year after the end of the show, Willis made it clear they were no longer in contact, but didn't have anything bad to say of his co-star.

In 2005, when Shepherd was asked about their frosty relationship, she didn't hold back. "I remember at one point in the show, it had gotten to where we just hated each other."

https%3A%2F%2Fprod.static9.net.au%2Ffs%2F8d2360b9-33d5-4cd7-b99e-a50906824af2 Shepherd on stage at the Bruce Willis Comedy Central roast. (WireImage)

In 2018, nearly three decades after the show aired, Shepherd took part in Willis' Comedy Central Roast. In her hilarious speech, she said: "Our characters on Moonlighting weren't much of a stretch. I played a former model, which I was, and he played an a–hole, which he is… I know we haven't had a conversation in 30 years, but we'll always have something more important: residuals."

Given Roasts are generally done in good nature, we're hopeful this means the duo are on good terms now — or at least amicable.

It's hard to know exactly what happened between the pair to cause such a giant blow-out that lasted for so long. Though, as is the case with most celebrity feuds, it might have just been a battle of the egos.

https://celebrity.nine.com.au/tv/bruce-willis-cybill-shepherd-feud-moonlighting/69998019-050c-4849-9d43-8d87fa0122f7

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It’s been difficult to find the right words for someone I’ve always looked up to—first on the big screen, and then by some wild stroke of luck, in person. He’s a true legend who has enriched all of our lives with a singular career that spans nearly half a century. I am so grateful for what I got to witness firsthand, and for the enormous body of work he built for us to enjoy for years and years to come. I just wanted to express the respect and deep admiration I have for Bruce and his family as they move forward with the courage and high spirits that have always defined them.

--- Haley Joel Osment, co-star of The Sixth Sense, in reaction to this week's news

Haley Joel Osment Shares Touching Tribute to Bruce Willis After Retirement

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Oddly, I've never seen an episode of Moonlighting.  My first exposure to him and his acting was the so-so OK movie BLIND DATE, which he actually made watchable.  And his good voice-over work in LOOK WHO'S TALKING.  After that, I enjoyed many of his various roles.  I hope the best for him.  Oh, and......

YIPPIE KY-YAY motherf**ker!  ;) 

Sepiatone

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19 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Oddly, I've never seen an episode of Moonlighting. 

The link CinemaInternational posted above was my very favorite episode, but I'm sure it's best enjoyed when you already have a relationship with the Moonlighting charactors.

I like & admire the careers of both Cybill Shepherd & Bruce Willis. I know second-hand hand how difficult it is to be successful in Hollywood & how tenuous success is. It's one of the most primal hand-to-mouth careers you could choose and takes self centered focus &  determination. Those are not qualities conducive to good working relationships with those with the same focus, haha. 

I very much hope both have matured & grown to where they recognize & understand this. Also, once you've moved along, most of the emotional baggage (anger) is left behind too. 

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19 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Oddly, I've never seen an episode of Moonlighting.  My first exposure to him and his acting was the so-so OK movie BLIND DATE, which he actually made watchable.  And his good voice-over work in LOOK WHO'S TALKING.  After that, I enjoyed many of his various roles.  I hope the best for him.  Oh, and......

YIPPIE KY-YAY motherf**ker!  ;) 

Sepiatone

I've never watched an episode of MOONLIGHTING either. The only thing I heard was that he and Cybil Shepherd didn't get along. If that's true I also hope they made amends.

 

 

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I loved Moonlighting for the first three seasons it was in the air. One of the highlights of the series for me, in fact, probably the highlight, was in Season Two, The Dream Sequence Always Rings Twice, a clever homage to film noir which turns black and white during the dream sequences. Both Bruce and Cybill are terrific here with Shepherd's night club singer renditions of "Blue Moon" and "I Told You I Love You, Now Get Out" particular highlights. The episode is dedicated to Orson Welles who died shortly after introducing it. It was his last time before a camera.

If you've never seen an episode of Moonlighting you may be pleasantly surprised by the high gloss quality of this episode. Aside from the performances of its two leads the series had some great original, at times, outside the box, writing.

 

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I'd wondered why he was taking small roles in junk VOD crime movies in recent years--movies beneath his talent--until the newspaper stories about his cognitive problems were published. Moonlighting was a very creative show that is never rerun and The Fifth Element is a favorite.

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Bruce Willis pictured for first time since aphasia diagnosis reveal

Bruce Willis was all smiles as he snuggled with his wife in a pair of touching photos – his first public appearance since she announced his heartbreaking aphasia diagnosis.

Bruce Willis pictured for first time since aphasia diagnosis reveal

 

https://pagesix.com/2022/04/07/bruce-willis-pictured-for-first-time-since-aphasia-diagnosis-reveal/

 

Bruce Willis 'feels a sense of relief' after going public with health struggles: Report

The 67-year-old star recently announced he was stepping away from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia – which impedes a person’s ability to speak and write – and Bruce feels like he’s now “got that monkey off his back.”

https://torontosun.com/entertainment/celebrity/bruce-willis-feels-a-sense-of-relief-after-going-public-with-health-struggles-report

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Everybody remember the Disney movie The Kid?  Where he sees himself as a kid?  That’s a great movie too.  I think I kind of forget why he comes to himself as a kid.  Isn’t he kind of a little grouchy and he comes to himself to help him remember what it was actually like to be a kid and this movie’s probably old enough now for Lenoared Malton to have shown it for Treasures From The Disney Vault right?  I’m going to see this one again on Disney+.  Great movie.  Really wonderful actor too.  I really love him a whole lot.

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