Bruce Willis is reportedly suffering from frontotemporal dementia, a rare and incurable brain disorder that affects his personality, behavior and speech.
The Die Hard star, 66, was diagnosed with the condition earlier this year, according to a source close to the actor.
The source told Daily Mail that Willis has become ‘more irritable, forgetful and confused’ as the disease progresses, and that he has ‘lost his sense of humor and his charm’.
‘He’s not the same Bruce we all know and love,’ the source said. ‘He’s struggling with everyday tasks and has trouble remembering things. He often repeats himself and asks the same questions over and over.’
The source also claimed that Willis has become ‘difficult to work with’ on set, and that he has ‘alienated some of his co-stars and crew members with his erratic behavior’.
‘He sometimes snaps at people for no reason, or makes inappropriate jokes that fall flat,’ the source said. ‘He doesn’t seem to care about his appearance or his hygiene. He’s lost a lot of weight and looks frail and gaunt.’
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a group of disorders that affect the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain, which are responsible for personality, behavior, language and memory.
According to Health.com, FTD affects about 50,000 to 60,000 people in the US, and usually strikes between the ages of 45 and 65. It is often misdiagnosed as Alzheimer’s disease, depression or bipolar disorder.
There is no cure for FTD, and the average life expectancy after diagnosis is six to eight years. The cause of FTD is unknown, but it may be linked to genetic mutations or environmental factors.
Willis’ diagnosis comes after he made headlines for refusing to wear a mask in a Los Angeles pharmacy in January, and for walking out of an interview with British journalist Cat Deeley in April.
The actor has not publicly commented on his condition, but his ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah have been supportive of him, the source said.
‘They are very worried about him and want him to get the best care possible,’ the source said. ‘They are trying to keep his spirits up and make him feel loved.’
Willis also has two young daughters Mabel and Evelyn with his current wife Emma Heming, who has been by his side throughout his ordeal.
The source said that Willis is still working on some projects, but that he has scaled back his schedule and is taking things day by day.
‘He’s not giving up,’ the source said. ‘He still loves acting and wants to keep doing it as long as he can. He’s a fighter and a legend.’