Tallulah Willis, daughter of actor Bruce Willis, could tell her father was dealing with something long before his diagnosis with frontotemporal dementia, she shared in a new essay.
The 29-year-old wrote for Vogue that she initially approached her dad’s symptoms with “avoidance and denial” as she dealt with her own health issues.
“I‘ve known that something was wrong for a long time,” Tallulah wrote. “It started out with a kind of vague unresponsiveness, which the family chalked up to Hollywood hearing loss: ‘Speak up! Die Hard messed with Dad’s ears.’ Later that unresponsiveness broadened.”
Bruce, who starred as NYPD detective John McClane in the Die Hard film franchise, stepped away from acting last year after being diagnosed with the cognitive disorder aphasia. This year, the family announced Bruce, 68, has frontotemporal dementia, which currently has no treatment.
Tallulah — the youngest of Bruce’s three daughters with actress Demi Moore — wrote about her own battles with body dysmorphia, ADHD and borderline personality disorder. She’s feeling better now, she says, and is eager to support her father.
“These days, my dad can be reliably found on the first floor of the house, somewhere in the big open plan of the kitchen-dining-living room, or in his office. Thankfully, dementia has not affected his mobility,” Tallulah wrote.
“He still knows who I am and lights up when I enter the room.... I keep flipping between the present and the past when I talk about Bruce: he is, he was, he is, he was. That’s because I have hopes for my father that I’m so reluctant to let go of.”
Bruce was married to Moore from 1987 to 2000. He also has two daughters, ages nine and 11, with wife Emma Heming Willis, whom he wed in 2009. – New York Daily News/Tribune News Service