This one hurts. Actor Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with aphasia and it sounds horrible. The condition affects the brain and robs the patient of their ability to communicate. According to the Mayo Clinic it can do all of the following:

Leave you unable to form complete sentences

Make you substitute correct words with incorrect words

Speak in unrecognizable words and gibberish sentences

Not understand other people’s words

Unable to write coherent sentences

For an actor and great storyteller, this is doomsday. Bruce Willis has been at his craft for over 40 years and he’s calling it quits as he faces this terrible decline.

His family must be already grieving. His admirers are in shock. Another Jersey guy in the business, director Kevin Smith, sent condolences via Twitter saying he was a longtime Willis fan and that “he loved to act and sing and the loss of that has to be devastating for him.”

screengrab from Twitter
screengrab from Twitter

As true fans know Bruce Willis was an army brat. He was born on an Army base in Idar-Oberstein, Germany where his father was stationed. But at 2 he moved to New Jersey and grew up in Penns Grove. He graduated high school there.

He was inducted into the NJ Hall of Fame early on, in 2011 in the same year as John Travolta who he would later kill. (Well, his character would kill Travolta’s character in “Pulp Fiction.”)

As far as that singing Kevin Smith mentioned? Oh yeah, he could indeed. Here’s a great video from the late '80s of Bruce Willis performing with The Temptations.

This is a guy who often used the phrase ‘live it up’ and boy did he. He will of course be greatly missed by Hollywood as he walks away. Here are 7 of his best films.

“Pulp Fiction”

Cool as they come as Butch the boxer who’s on the run from Marseilles Wallace. But Quentin Tarantino originally wanted Matt Dillon in the role. Can you even imagine anyone else now?

“Moonrise Kingdom”

This movie is a gem by director Wes Anderson and not the role you’d normally see Bruce Willis take on. In fact, it’s not a leading man role at all but a smaller part that Willis flexes his acting muscle with in a more subdued manner as Captain Sharp.

“Die Hard”

Bruce himself said it’s not a Christmas movie, but you can have that debate another day. It’s a classic and Willis played the role in a manner other action heroes wouldn’t have. When he had to run barefoot across broken glass, his character John McClane DID yell in pain, he WAS human, but does it without losing an ounce of cool.

“Sin City”

Only one thing can be grittier and cooler than a graphic novel turned into a movie and titled “Sin City” and that’s Bruce Willis playing the lead. He’s an aging cop trying to stop a serial killer of children and he plays it to perfection.

“The Sixth Sense”

This movie proved Willis could do just about anything. Not an action hero but a child psychologist who tries to help a troubled boy who ends up helping him instead.

“12 Monkeys”

Time travel, a psychiatric hospital, a plague, Bruce Willis and an awesome ending. What’s not to like?

“Death Becomes Her”

A black comedy that had Willis playing completely against type as an awkward and mild-mannered plastic surgeon. He gets caught in a murderous love triangle with a supernatural twist.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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