Bruce Willis (born Walter Bruce Willis, 19.03.1955)
Bruce Willis is an American actor best known for his action movie roles and, in particular, his role as John McClane in the 'Die Hard' movie series.
Bruce Willis: Childhood
Bruce Willis was born in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany where his father David Willis served as a soldier.
They moved to Carneys Point, New Jersey when he was discharged in 1957 and David went on to be a welder, master mechanic and factory worker while his German mother Marlene K. worked in a bank.
Bruce attended Penns Grove High School and began to suffer from a stutter for which he was nicknamed Buck-Buck. However, he lost it through performing on stage and his extra-curricular activities included drama club and being the student council president.
He went on be a security guard at Salem Nuclear Power Plant after high school before embarking on a career as a private investigator.
He later went back to acting, enrolling at Montclair State University's drama program but he left in his junior year and moved to New York where he earned a living as a bartender.
Bruce Willis: Acting Career
Bruce Willis' breakthrough in acting came with parts in theatre productions 'Heaven and Earth' and 'Fool for Love' as well as appearing in a Levi's commercial.
He left New York for California to audition for TV roles and landed parts in an episode of 'Miami Vice' in 1984 and the first episode of 'The Twilight Zone' in 1985. He soon won his first lead role as David Addison Jr. in 1985-89 TV series 'Moonlighting' which won him an Emmy and a Golden Globe.
He was hired as a pitchman for Seagram's Golden Wine Cooler products earning him $5-7 million but he decided against renewing his contract after quitting alcohol in 1988.
His film debut came with the 1987 Blake Edwards film 'Blind Date' alongside Kim Basinger and John Larroquette and he later played cowboy Tom Mix in 1988's 'Sunset'.
In 1988, his major Hollywood breakthrough came with 'Die Hard' in which he landed the lead role as John McClane and performed most of his own stunts. The movie grossed $138,708,852 worldwide and was followed by sequels 'Die Hard 2: Die Harder' in 1990, 'Die Hard with a Vengeance' in 1995, 'Live Free or Die Hard' in 2007) and, most recently, 'A Good Day to Die Hard' in 2013.
His other successes included roles in Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' in 1994, 1995's 'Twelve Monkeys', 'The Fifth Element' in 1997, M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense' in 1999 and Michael Bay's 'Armageddon' in 1998.
He has also had his fair share of box office failures including 'The Bonfire of the Vanities', 'Striking Distance' and 'Hudson Hawk' which he co-wrote.
In 2000, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series after appearing in 'Friends' and also appeared in 'The Whole Nine Yards' with Matthew Perry.
In 2007, he worked with Robert Rodriguez for a second time following 'Sin City' with Grindhouse double feature half 'Planet Terror'.
Also in the 2000s, he had roles in 'Perfect Stranger', 'Alpha Dog', 'Cop Out', 'Red' and even made a cameo in 'The Expendables'. His most recent roles include 2012's 'Moonrise Kingdom', an expanded role in 'The Expendables 2', an a co-starring role in 'Looper'.
Bruce Willis: Other Career Ventures
Bruce Willis has had some successes as a recording artist releasing debut album 'The Return of Bruno' in the late eighties with hit single 'Respect Yourself'. He also got to number 2 in the UK Top 40 with his cover of the Drifters' 'Under The Boardwalk'.
He has appeared on 'The Late Show with David Letterman' many times, often staging over-the-top jokes mocking himself and other celebrities.
He appeared in the video for 'Stylo' by Gorillaz.
He owns several properties in locations including LA, Trump Towers in New York City, Malibu California, Montana, Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos and Sun Valley, Idaho.
He co-founded production company Cheyenne Enterprises and owns several businesses in Hailey, Idaho including The Mint Bar and The Liberty Theatre. He also co-founded Planet Hollywood with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.
Bruce Willis: Personal Life
Bruce Willis married Demi Moore on November 21st 1987 after meeting her at the 'Stakeout' film premiere. They have 3 daughters; 24-year-old Rumer Willis, 21-year-old Scout LaRue Willis and 19-year-old Tallulah Belle Willis; but they divorced on October 18th 2000 for reasons unknown.
He was engaged to Brooke Burns for 10 months before splitting in 2004.
He has been married to model Emma Heming since March 21st 2009 with whom he has a baby daughter named Mabel Ray Willis.
He used to be Lutheran but doesn't practise the religion anymore and though he has a lot of republican political views, he doesn't like to class himself as having any particular affiliation.
He is a big defender of gun rights despite claiming to be a pacifist.