Bruce Willis

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Bruce Willis (2018)

Walter Bruce Willis (born March 19, 1955 in Idar-Oberstein , Germany ) is an American actor , film producer , musician / composer and screenwriter . He had his breakthrough as an actor in 1988 with the box office hit Die Hard .


Bruce Willis (1989)

Childhood and youth

Bruce Willis was born in Idar-Oberstein (Rhineland-Palatinate) in 1955 as the son of the American soldier David Willis and his German wife Marlene from Kaufungen near Kassel . He spent the first two years with his parents in Germany before the family moved to the United States in 1957. Together with his three younger siblings Florence, producers David and Robert, who died in 2001, he grew up in New Jersey . As a therapy against his stuttering , he came to acting while still at school. After graduating from high school , he took acting classes at Montclair State College. In order to be able to finance this, he also worked in a chemical factory.

Acting career

Bruce Willis (2002)

He gained his first experience as an actor in New York theaters and as a performer in commercials . From 1985 he played the leading role in the detective series The Model and the Sniffer (Moonlighting) , which was awarded, among other things, with an Emmy and a Golden Globe . He had a guest role in Miami Vice .

He then worked twice with the director Blake Edwards , before his breakthrough in 1988 with the big- screen hit Die Hard . The role of the policeman John McClane, who only follows his own rules and always has a casual saying on his lips, was tailor-made for Willis and made him the star of the action film . Apart from action films like Die Hard 2 and Last Boy Scout , Willis had little commercial success until the mid-1990s, which was partly due to the fact that he tried his action by roles in comedies like Death Suits Her - Get rid of image . In 1994, the role of boxer Butch in Pulp Fiction was cast by Quentin Tarantino with Willis, whose portrayal received critical acclaim. Other box office hits such as 12 Monkeys , The Fifth Element or Armageddon - The Last Judgment followed . With films like The Sixth Sense or Unbreakable - Unzerbrechlich , he then increasingly devoted himself to dramas .

In October 2006 Bruce Willis was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame . According to Forbes Magazine, Willis is one of the highest paid actors in Hollywood . Between June 2007 and June 2008, he received fees totaling 41 million US dollars, ranking sixth behind Will Smith , Johnny Depp , Eddie Murphy , Mike Myers and Leonardo DiCaprio .

Further cinema productions followed, but since 2008 Willis has been increasingly appearing in films that have only limited or no theatrical release at all. In addition, he often only appears as a supporting actor in such productions. Steven C. Miller is a director with whom he worked several times.

further activities

Willis also works as a stage actor and producer. He also released two very successful LPs / CDs: The Return of Bruno , which went platinum , and If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger . He reached chart positions with the singles Respect Yourself , the cover of a song by the Staple Singers , and Under the Boardwalk . He still appears sporadically today with his band. In 2010, Willis made a guest appearance in the music video for Stylo , the 2010 single by Gorillaz .

He is co-founder of the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain . In 2007 the city of Idar-Oberstein named Willis, who was born here, as a special ambassador.

Private life

Handprints at Planet Hollywood in London

Bruce Willis has three daughters with the actress Demi Moore , with whom he was married from 1987 to 2000: Rumer (* 1988), Scout LaRue (* 1991) and Tallulah Belle (* 1994). All of the daughters have been in front of the camera themselves, initially in films in which one of the parents also played. Rumer was seen at the side of her father in Hostage ; Scout LaRue and Tallulah Belle first starred in the movie The Scarlet Letter , then in 2001 in Bandits! .

At the Sundance Film Festival in Utah in January 2008, Willis presented himself with his new partner, model Emma Heming . Their wedding took place on March 21, 2009 in the Caicos Islands . Their first daughter was born on April 1, 2012. On May 5, 2014, the couple had another daughter.

Statements on politics and current affairs

In an interview in early 2006, Willis denied the rumor that he was a supporter of the George W. Bush administration . He said he was not a Republican and hates governments: “We cannot influence our politicians. They don't give a damn about us. ”He also justified himself in advocating the war in Iraq :“ I'm not a violent person. But we live in a violent world. This country was built on violence. ”On the occasion of the film Die Hard 4.0 , he said in an interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung that he is a politically difficult person who thinks differently.

Filmography (selection)



year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1987 The Return of Bruno

(28 weeks)UK

(29 weeks)US
R&B27 (13 weeks)
First published: January 20, 1987
Producer: Robert Kraft
1989 If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger
- - -
First published: August 20, 1989
Producer: Robert Kraft


  • 1997: Bruce Willis
  • 1999: Classic Bruce Willis: The Universal Masters Collection
  • 2000: Millennium Series
  • 2000: Master Series
  • 2005: Ultimate Collection


year Title
Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, album , rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
1987 Respect Yourself
The Return of Bruno
UK7 (10 weeks)
US5 (14 weeks)
R&B20 (11 weeks)
First published: January 1987
Authors: Luther Ingram , Mack Rice
Original: The Staple Singers , 1971
Young Blood
The Return of Bruno
- US68 (5 weeks)
First published: April 1987
Authors: Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller , Doc Pomus
Original: The Coasters , 1957
Under the Boardwalk
The Return of Bruno

(15 weeks)UK
US59 (7 weeks)
R&B72 (6 weeks)
First published: May 1987
Aurors: Kenny Young, Arthur Resnick
Original: The Drifters , 1964
Secret Agent Man - James Bond Is Back
The Return of Bruno
UK43 (4 weeks)
- -
First published: September 1987
Author and original: John Barry , 1963
1988 Comin 'Right Up
The Return of Bruno
UK73 (3 weeks)
- -
First published: December 1987
Author: Brock Walsh
1989 Save the Last Dance for Me
If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger
UK80 (2 weeks)
- -
First published: November 1989
Authors: Doc Pomus , Mort Shuman
Original: The Drifters , 1960
1990 Turn It Up (A Little Louder)
If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger
- - -
First published: 1990
Authors: Bruce Willis, Robben Ford , Robert Kraft

Awards for music sales

Platinum record

  • CanadaCanada Canada
    • 1987: for the album The Return of Bruno

Note: Awards in countries from the chart tables or chart boxes can be found in these.

Country / Region Silver record icon.svg silver Gold record icon.svg gold Platinum record icon.svg platinum Sales swell
Awards for music sales
(country / region, awards, sales, sources)
Canada (MC) Canada (MC) 0! S.- 0! G- Platinum record icon.svg platinum1 100,000
United States (RIAA) United States (RIAA) 0! S.- Gold record icon.svg gold1 0! P- 500,000
United Kingdom (BPI) United Kingdom (BPI) Silver record icon.svg silver1 Gold record icon.svg gold1 0! P- 350,000
All in all Silver record icon.svg silver1 Gold record icon.svg 2 × gold2 Platinum record icon.svg platinum1

German dubbing voices

Ronald Nitschke lent him his voice in The Model and the Snoop , Death Suits Her , Blind Date and Four Rooms . In almost all other films he is dubbed by Manfred Lehmann . In Die Hard: Now, for once , he got the voice of Thomas Danneberg , since Lehmann was busy shooting at that time.


Bruce Willis (2007)


Individual evidence

  1. Wesley Johnson: Hollywood's Top Earners . In: Press Association Newsfile, Jul 23, 2008 at 4:38 PM BST.
  2. Ludwig Siegele: Faded Glamor. The restaurant chain Planet Hollywood is fighting for survival . In: Zeit Online , May 27, 1999.
  3. Lord Mayor Zimmer met Bruce Willis. In: June 22, 2007, accessed October 6, 2019 .
  4. Bruce Willis: Action Star Again Under the Hood . In: Focus Online , March 22, 2009.
  5. Kimberley Dadds: First picture: Tough guy Bruce Willis shows his soft side as he cradles newborn daughter Mabel Ray . In: Daily Mail , May 10, 2012.
  6. : Fifth daughter for Bruce Willis , accessed on May 8, 2014
  7. Bruce Willis "hates governments" ( December 11, 2013 memento in the Internet Archive ). In: , April 6, 2006.
  8. Alexander Gorkow: Bruce Willis in "Die hard 4.0": "The Internet is a place of hunting" . Interview with Bruce Willis in the Süddeutsche Zeitung , June 23, 2007.
  9. a b Chart sources: Singles Albums UK Billboard 200
  10. a b Gold / Platinum databases: UK US
  11. ^ Joel Whitburn : Top R&B Albums 1965–1998, ISBN 0-89820-134-9 .
  12. ^ Joel Whitburn : Hot R&B Songs 1942–2010: 6th Edition, ISBN 978-0-89820-186-4 .
  13. ^ Willis Receives French Honor . In: Internet Movie Database , April 14, 2005, accessed July 31, 2010.

Web links

Commons : Bruce Willis  - Collection of images, videos and audio files