Bruce Willis continues to face challenges with this health.
The Die Hard actor—who was diagnosed with the language disorder aphasia in 2022 and frontotemporal dementia earlier this year—is now "not totally verbal," according to friend Glenn Gordon Caron, the creator of the '80s TV show Moonlighting, which co-starred Willis and Cybill Shepherd.
"My sense is the first one to three minutes he knows who I am," Caron told the New York Post in an article published Oct. 12. "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."
"When you're with him you know that he's Bruce and you're grateful that he's there," he continued, "but the joie de vivre is gone."
According to Caron, who said he occasionally communicates with Willis' wife Emma Heming Willis and his older children, "it means a lot" to Willis that Moonlighting was recently made available for streaming online.
"I know he's really happy that the show is going to be available for people," he noted, "even though he can't tell me that."
Explaining the move to streaming has been in the works for a while, Carson said he was able to spend time with Willis, 68, and discuss it before the action star's condition advanced.
"I know he's excited," Caron shared. "I was able to communicate with him, before the disease rendered him as incommunicative as he is now, about hoping to get the show back in front of people."
Caron went on to praise the Pulp Fiction actor—who retired from Hollywood last year for health reasons—as an "extraordinary" person who "loved life."
According to the Medium producer, Willis "just adored waking up every morning and trying to live life to its fullest."
"So the idea that he now sees life through a screen door, if you will, makes very little sense," he added. "He's really an amazing guy."
In February, Willis' wife Emma, ex-wife Demi Moore and kids Rumer Willis, 35, Scout Willis, 32, Tallulah Willis, 29, Mabel Willis, 11, and Evelyn Willis, 9, shared in a joint statement on social media that the patriarch's condition had progressed.
"Our family wanted to start by expressing our deepest gratitude for the incredible outpouring of love, support and wonderful stories we have all received since sharing Bruce's original diagnosis," read the statement. "In the spirit of that, we wanted to give you an update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing."
Explaining he'd been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia—which can cause trouble communicating and difficulty walking, among other conditions—they shared, "Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis."
To look back on his most precious family moments over the years, read on: