Bruce Willis. Date Unknown.
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Bruce Willis
Forecourt Ceremony held on Thursday, May 18, 1995
Born: March 19, 1955, in Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland-Palatinate, (West) Germany
Age at the time of the ceremony: 40
Bruce Willis is a genuine international movie-star. Personable and easy-going, he has been cast in a wide range of films, only to become pidgeonholed into headlining action movies.

Willis was born to an American soldier stationed in Germany and his German-born wife, Marlene. When Bruce was two, the family relocated to Carney's Point Township New Jersey. While in high school, Willis gravitated toward drama classes to overcome a stutter. After graduation, he worked as a security guard and private detective — something which would come in handy later.

Turning to acting, Bruce attended Montclair State University, but dropped out and headed for New York, where he worked as a bartender. His first screen credit was as an extra in Frank Sinatra's The First Deadly Sin (released in October 1980).

Moving to Los Angeles, Willis got a hefty guest role on Miami Vice, with his episode airing over NBC in November 1984. He was chosen from over 3,000 actors to play David Addison, Jr. in 60 episodes of Moonlighting with Cybil Sheperd, from March 1985 to May 1989. The private detective show would win Willis an Emmy, and made the actor a worldwide celebrity.

The first movie director to utilize Willis on the big screen was Blake Edwards, who cast him in the lead for Blind Date (released in March 1987). The film did well enough for Edwards to ask Willis to play Tom Mix in Sunset (released in April 1988). It bombed.

His turn in the action movie Die Hard (released in July 1988), helped the film become a crossover hit, forever casting Willis as an action star — something he takes full advantage of, but he still finds time for other types of films — Bruce Willis likes to work.

After doing the voice of the talking baby Mikey in Look Who's Talking (released in October 1989), Willis went way out on a limb, starring in Die Hard 2 (released in July 1990), scoring a bigger hit than the first film. He then was cast as the reporter Peter Fallow in The Bonfire of the Vanities (released in December 1990). The film "underperformed," and led to the astounding flop Hundson Hawk (released in May 1991).

The Last Boy Scout (which played the Chinese in December 1991), was another action film on the downward spiral, while the decidedly offbeat Death Becomes Her (released in July 1992), didn't help.

It was for director Quentin Taratino to cast Willis in Pulp Fiction (which played the Chinese in October 1994); the film pulled Willis out of his slump, but Color of Night (released in August 1994), was perhaps his biggest flop; the film is an "acquired taste."

Willis was asked to stop by the Chinese to make his imprints to promote Die Hard with a Vengeance (which played the Chinese in May 1995); the film lit up the box office all summer. Sci-fi and fantasy was Willis's next stop with 12 Monkeys (which played the Chinese in January 1996), The Fifth Element (released in May 1997) and Armageddon (released in July 1998).

While the film adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's novel Breakfast of Champions (which had its premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, 1999), went nowhere, Willis delivered his biggest hit ever with director M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense (released in August 1990). After appearing in the crime comedy The Whole Nine Yards (released in February 2000), Willis teamed up with M. Night Shyamalan once more in Unbreakable (released in November 2000).

In the early 2000's Willis went on a binge of action films trying to be different: the caper film Bandits (released in October 2001), the World War II drama Hart's War (released in February 2002) and the Special Ops actioner Tears of the Sun (released in March 2003). He played a hostage negotiator in a film called — surprise! — Hostage (released in March 2005).

These were followed by his turn in Sin City (released in April 2005), which is now viewed as a classic, Lucky Number Slevin (released in April 2006), which has become an underground favorite, and 16 Blocks (which played the Chinese in March 2006).

These were followed by the fourth installment of the Die Hard series Live Free or Die Hard (released in June 2007), which is the fifth biggest grossing film in Willis's career. After Kevin Smith's comedy Cop Out (released in February 2010), and another Special Ops film RED (released in October 2010), Willis agreed to headline in director Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (released in June 2012).

Back in action mode, Willis got into the cast of The Expendables 2 (released in August 2012), did the fifth Die Hard film, A Good Day to Die Hard (released in February 2013), then went into that zone of filmmaking where there is only one word for the title of the picture: Vice (released in January 2015), Extraction (released in December 2015), Marauders (released in July 2016); he did a walk-on in M. Night Shyamalan's Split (released in January 2017). His remake of Death Wish (released in March 2018), has not fared especially well.

Willis has been busy. Director M. Night Shyamalan gave him a prominent role in Glass (which played the Chinese in January 2019) with James McAvoy, Edward Norton gave him a part in his nior film Motherless Brooklyn (released in November 2019), then back to low-budget thriller mode in 10 Minutes Gone (released in September 2019), and Trauma Center (released in December 2019) with Nicky Whelan. Somebody put Willis in a sci-fi Noah's Ark and called it Breach (released in December 2020).

2021 saw the release of a number of Willis films, starting with Cosmic Sin in February, Midnight in the Switchgrass in June, Out of Death in July, Surviving the Game in October, Apex in November, Hair of the Dog in November, Deadlock in December, and Fortress in December. Many directors were having trouble with getting performances out of the actor.

In March 2022 Willis' family announced that Bruce was retiring, due to a diagnosis of aphasia. A whole string of his films were awaiting release, but inFebruary 2023,it was announced that Willis had frontotemporal dementia, making communication especially difficult.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Bruce Willis Forecourt block. Executed by unknown, Thursday, May 18, 1995. 49 x 43 inches.
Mann's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, California. Bruce Willis Forecourt ceremony, Thursday, May 18, 1995. With his mother Marlene standing beside him, Bruce Willis waves to the cameras. Photo by Jim Smeal.
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