- NAME: Bruce Willis
- OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Television Actor
- BIRTH DATE: March 19, 1955 (Age: 58)
- EDUCATION: Montclair State University in New Jersey
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Idar-Oberstein, Germany
- Full Name: Walter Bruce Willison
- AKA: Bruce Willis
- AKA: Walter Willison
- Nickname: "Bruno"
- ZODIAC SIGN: Pisces
Best Known For
Bruce Willis first made a splash on TV in Moonlighting, costarring Cybill Shepherd, but his fame really grew with films such as Die Hard, The Sixth Sense and The Expendables.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
He didn't get the part, but in a decision that would prove to be incredibly smart, stuck around an extra day so that he could audition for a new romantic comedy called Moonlighting, set to debut the following March on ABC.
As the story goes, Willis dressed in combat fatigues and, donning a punk haircut, read for the part of David Addison, a wise-cracking private investigator. He wowed the TV executives with his gregariousness and charming attitude to beat out some 3,000 other actors.
Co-starring Cybill Shepherd, the show revolved around the complicated, crime-solving duo of Maddie Hayes (Shepherd) and Addison, who ran a down-and-out Los Angeles private investigation firm, The Blue Moon Detective Agency.
The show, which aired until May 1989, was a huge hit for ABC and an even bigger launching pad for Willis. "Women find him appealing, and guys have a fantasy that they could be like him," ABC talent vice-president Gary Pudney told People magazine. "That's why he's become such a valuable commodity to us so quickly."
In 1987 he returned to film when he was matched with Kim Bassinger in the comedy, Blind Date. That same year, the actor hitched himself to a future of tabloid gossip when he married another star, Demi Moore. The couple, who divorced in 2000, have three children together: Rumer Willis (b. 1988), Scout LaRue Willis (b. 1991) and Tallulah Belle Willis (b. 1994).
The same year as the release of Blind Date, Willis, an avid blues fan and harmonica player, stepped into the music studio for Motown Records to record Return to Bruno, a collection of bluesy soul songs that produced a modest sales return.
If his music failed to turn him into the star he dreamed of being, his next film choice wouldn't. In the summer of 1988, Die Hard, an action-packed flick that cast Willis as the muscle-pumping hero, John McClane, hit movie screens across the country with a bang. Even before its release, the film had managed to catch some notice, in part because both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger had turned down the McClane role. When movie executives settled on Willis, in part because he brought a level of warmth and humor to the character, they agreed to pay him $5 million, a huge sum for an actor many still considered a relative Hollywood novice.
The viewing public didn't care. With Willis doing his own stunts and whipping out memorable one-liners, Die Hard garnered an impressive $81 million at the domestic box office and later spawned three sequels. It was just the start for Willis, who in the ensuing decades has starred in films that have grossed more than $3 billion in ticket sales.
A year after Die Hard, Willis was at the wheel of another hit, and back in a full-on comedic role as the voice of Mikey, the ever-observant baby, in Look Who's Talking.
His role as the English tabloid journalist in Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) drew mixed reviews, and in 1991 the action movie Hudson Hawk, a vanity project of sorts, which Willis wrote and starred in, proved to be a box office failure.
profile name: Bruce Willis profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Despite their fame and fortune, celebrities aren't immune to all the problems that afflict ordinary people. The problems of drug and alcohol addiction plagues many stars, particularly those who enjoy hard-partying lifestyles. Fortunately, many talented individuals have been able to kick their addictions and lead healthy lives. Here are some celebs who have sobered up.
Sober Celebs 55 people in this group
Left-handed people are a rare breed—only 10 percent of the general population is a lefty. There isn't a definite scientific explanation of why people are left-handed, and although it might be an inconvenience for some, it's actually an advantage in sports. Legendary lefty athletes include baseball player Babe Ruth and basketball star Larry Bird. They're in good company with a wide variety of famous faces from President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey to composer Wolfgang Mozart and entrepreneur Bill Gates.
Famous Lefties 91 people in this group
Action movie stars are the heroes and heroines who get our adrenaline pumping. Early action stars include Douglas Fairbanks, the swashbuckling adventurer of the 1920s and '30s; John Wayne, the famous gunslinger of the 1940s and '50s; and Sean Connery, who played the debonair spy Bond—James Bond—in the 1960s. By the 1970s, however, a new maverick action star had hit the silver screen, with rogue cops played by Steve McQueen in Bullitt and Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry, as well as the military mercenary Rambo (Sylvester Stallone). By the 1980s, action movies were literally exploding on screen, with big budgets and big stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator) and Bruce Willis (Die Hard), leading to today's action-packed blockbusters. Here's a look at some of Hollywood's most famous action movie stars, who have kicked some major butt on the big screen.
Famous Action Movie Stars 45 people in this group