The last few years have been a great time to appreciate everything that Bruce Willis contributed to mainstream American culture. He was one of the great movie stars of the '80s and '90s, and following a health update that made it clear he would no longer be acting, many began to look back on the totality of his career.
Arnold Schwarzenegger got in on that reminiscing during a recent interview, and in the process, he may have inadvertently led some people to believe that Bruce has died. So, is Bruce Willis still alive? Here's what we know.
Is Bruce Willis still alive?
Bruce has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, which is a fairly severe form of brain degeneration. Despite the diagnosis, we've received no indication that Bruce has died. Instead, he's simply spending all of his time with family and away from the public eye, in part because his diagnosis makes it impossible for him to act. Bruce's diagnosis was a tragedy for his many fans, but the actor is still alive.
Why do people think that Bruce might have died? The rumor started after a recent interview that Arnold Schwarzenegger, a friend and contemporary of Bruce's, gave to CinemaBlend. In the interview, Arnold discussed Bruce in the past tense in a way that confused some readers.
"I think that he's fantastic," the Terminator star said. "He was, always for years and years, is a huge, huge star. And I think that he will always be remembered as a great, great star."
"And a kind man," he added. "I understand that under his circumstances, health-wise, that he had to retire. But in general, you know, we never really retire. Action heroes, they reload."
This phrasing may have been confusing, but Arnold was simply referring to Bruce's movie career in the past tense, not the actor himself. Bruce is still alive, and when he eventually does die, it will be a major news story.
Bruce's diagnosis was first announced in 2022.
In a post on Instagram, Bruce's daughter Rumer Willis announced that her father had been diagnosed with aphasia and would be stepping away from his acting career as a result.
"We wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities," she said. "As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him."
Bruce and Arnold were contemporaries and competitors.
Bruce, Arnold, and Sylvester Stallone were widely regarded as the three great action heroes of their era, and they even teamed up to launch the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain. Clearly, Arnold still has a great deal of affection for Bruce, and the two event starred in both The Expendables and The Expendables 2 later in their careers.
Bruce's diagnosis has limited his ability to continue performing, but Arnold and Sylvester are still working. In fact, Arnold is currently promoting his new series, FUBAR, which is on Netflix now.