Happy Birthday to Bruce Willis, Plus 10 Curious Facts We Never Knew About the Icon
Happy Birthday to Bruce Willis! The actor was born on March 19, 1955, and today he turns 68. Although he recently retired due to serious health issues, his legacy will always inspire us. With a career spanning over 4 decades, Willis has left a forever mark on the entertainment industry. In honor of his special day, we’ve uncovered some lesser-known facts about him that gave us a peek into the iconic actor’s life.
Bruce Willis moved to the US when he was 2 years old.
Bruce Willis and his mother, Marlene, 1995
Walter Bruce Willis was born in Idar-Oberstein, a small town in Germany, to a German mother, Marlene, and an American father, David. When he was 2 years old, his family moved to the US where they welcomed the actor’s 3 younger siblings, 2 brothers and a sister.
Bruce Willis was teased for his stutter all throughout school.
Until his twenties, Willis struggled with a stutter, and others would often troll him for it. Because of this painful experience, he avoided discussing his childhood in interviews. To cope with this negative challenge, he became the class prankster, trying to fit in.
Willis shared that having a stutter was scary, explaining, “It wasn’t until I took on the role of a character in a play that I lost my babbling. It was phenomenal.” This was all thanks to his drama teacher, who suggested that Willis see a speech therapist, who, through exercises, helped him lose his stammer and build his confidence.
Some of Willis’s pre-acting gigs served as inspiration for his future movies.
Right after high school, Willis worked as a security guard at a power plant and transported factory workers to and from work. A lesser-known fact is that he also worked as a private investigator, a real-life experience that helped in his breakout roles, like on the TV show, Moonlighting, and in the movie, The Last Boy Scout.
Willis dropped out of college.
The Die Hard hero took a few strange jobs after graduating high school, trying to save some money. A few years later, he went on to Montclair State College, but he dropped out, moved to New York, and began working on his acting career, appearing in off-Broadway plays and TV commercials.
He suffered permanent hearing loss.
The actor has partial hearing loss in one ear as a result of an accident that occurred while filming Die Hard. He has shared that he experiences difficulty hearing and sometimes has to ask people to repeat themselves.
Unfortunately, injuries on movie sets are not uncommon. In fact, as far back as 1930, over a period of 5 years, 11,000 people sustained injuries while working on movie sets. However, safety standards have improved significantly since then, and the risk has been greatly reduced.
Other fun facts about Bruce Willis
- Before fame, the actor used to be one of the best bartenders in New York City. Fellow actor John Goodman talked about him, saying, “He kept an entire joint entertained all night. He just kept the show going. He was amazing.”
- In 1990, Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry made a bet about their movie, The Whole Nine Yards. Perry believed it would be a hit, but Willis didn’t. The movie was successful, and Willis lost the bet. True to his word, the actor made a cameo on Friends and gave away his paycheck to a good cause.
- Willis is left-handed, and for The Sixth Sense film, he had to learn to write with his right hand, so as not to give the ending away.
- He was a national spokesman for Children in Foster Care, raising awareness around children’s issues and needs while encouraging others to get involved and help.
- When asked how he’d like to be remembered, Willis shared, “As a guy who didn’t always succeed, but who tried as hard as he could to do the best job that he could.”
If you want to celebrate the actor’s birthday by reading more about him, check out our other articles:
Bruce Willis Hangs Up His Acting Hat and All We Can Do Is Thank Him for Everything
Bruce Willis Revealed How Raising 5 Girls Has Taught Him to “Resist the Urge to Speak”
“Demi and I Made a Choice to Put the Kids First,” Bruce Willis Proves That a Blended Family Can Be Happy Too
Bruce Willis Is Becoming a Grandpa at 67 as Daughter Announces Her Pregnancy, and Demi’s Reaction Is Priceless
Bruce Willis’ Family Announces He’s Been Diagnosed With Dementia