Glenn Gordon Caron Says Bruce Willis Isn’t ‘Totally Verbal’ But ‘He’s Still Bruce’ Amid Dementia Battle

Bruce Willis was about to turn 30 years old when he was cast as David Addison Jr. in Moonlighting – a comedy-drama TV series created by Glenn Gordon Caron that ran from 1985 to 1989. Willis only had a few acting credits to his name, but he managed to beat out 3,000+ other actors interested in the role. 

That role – his first main role – would end up putting Willis on the map. Over the next five years, he won a Golden Globe for Best Actor in a TV Series (4 nominations), a People’s Choice Award for Favorite Male TV Performer (3 nominations), and an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama (2 nominations). 

Over the next three decades, Willis would become one of the most beloved and sought-after actors in all of Hollywood. From the Die Hard franchise to In Country (1989), Pulp Fiction (1994), Armageddon (1998), The Sixth Sense (1999), and Unbreakable (2000), he was everywhere and his movies were always a hit.

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Today, things look a little bit different. Bruce Willis, who turned 68 years old in May, was diagnosed with aphasia in March 2022 and later diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia in February 2023. While his condition continues to worsen, he has been supported by fans, friends, and most importantly, his family. 

And while it has been almost 40 years since he and Glenn Gordon Caron first worked together, the 69-year-old writer, director, and producer still keeps in touch with his old friend, Bruce, to this day – in fact, he tries to visit him once per month and recently talked to him about Moonlighting streaming on Hulu now.

“I know he’s really happy that the show is going to be available for people, even though he can’t tell me that,” Caron said in an interview with the New York Post – adding that he has been in touch with Bruce throughout that process. “When I got to spend time with him we talked about it and I know he’s excited.”

Not only does he try to keep in contact with Bruce and his wife, Emma Heming Willis, but he says he has a ‘casual relationship with his three older children’ – Rumer Glenn Willis, 35, Scout LaRue Willis, 32, and Tallulah Belle Willis, 29. “I have tried very hard to stay in his life. He’s an extraordinary person.”

Glenn Gordon Caron Still Trying to Make Sense of Bruce Willis’ Disease

While he admits he isn’t ‘always quite that good’ about visiting as often as he would like, Glenn Gordon Caron makes an honest effort to maintain a presence around Bruce Willis and his family. With that being said, he does admit to struggling to understand his disease and describes it as ‘mindblowing’ to witness. 

“The thing that makes [his disease] so mind-blowing is [that] if you’ve ever spent time with Bruce Willis, there is no one who had any more joie de vivre than he. He loved life and … just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest,” Gordon Caron says in his interview – the harsh reality of it. 

He goes on to explain that, while Bruce usually recognizes him when they do meet, that only lasts a couple of minutes – especially since he has a hard time communicating as his condition worsens. It’s a horrific way to spend the final years of your life, but he has the right support system around him always.

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“ He’s not totally verbal; he used to be a voracious reader — he didn’t want anyone to know that — and he’s not reading now. All those language skills are no longer available to him, and yet he’s still Bruce,” Gordon Caron said – adding his ‘joie de vivre is gone,’ but he’s ‘Bruce and you’re grateful that he’s there.’ 

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