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Celebrity biographies

Bruce Willis
Walter Bruce Willis was born on a military base in Idar-Oberstein (former West Germany), on March 19, 1955. His father David was a welder and factory worker who took the Willis family back to New Jersey after being discharged from the military in 1957.

Settling down in New Jersey, young Bruce, who was the eldest of four children, led an active childhood. Although he was always an outgoing youngster, Willis grew up with a stutter and found it easier to express himself while onstage, performing in front of an audience. This is why his high school days were marked with a drama club membership, as well as the student council presidency.

Rather than go to college after graduation, Willis took the route of his father as a blue-collar worker, transporting work crews at the Du Pont factory. He decided to quit after a colleague was killed on the job, and thereafter became a regular at several bars. Willis also discovered an innate knack for playing the harmonica, and did so for an R&B group, Loose Goose.

After a stint as a bodyguard (which he actually plays in his recent movie, Unbreakable), Willis returned to his original passion: acting. He enrolled in the drama program at Montclair State College, where he was cast in the class production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The ambitious junior finally decided to leave school in pursuit of more lucrative movie roles by heading for the Big Apple.

Willis returned to the bar scene, only this time for a part-time job and as a way to schmooze with New York celebrities. After countless auditions, Willis finally made his theater debut in the off-Broadway production of Heaven and Earth. He gained more experience and exposure in Fool for Love, a stint on television's Miami Vice, and a Levi's campaign.

But Willis got his big break when he was cast as smart-talking David Addison, in ABC's Moonlighting, despite network executives who wanted to hand the role to a more experienced thespian. Willis and Cybill Shepherd's chemistry made Moonlighting a sensation, and after 4 years of sexual tension and high ratings, Moonlighting's days were over.

After a bombing in the slapstick comedy Blind Date, Willis found what became his trademark role in 1988; detective John McClane in the actioner, Die Hard. He then lent his voice to the sleeper comedy Look Who's Talking a year later, and reprised his Die Hard role in the 1990 sequel.

Unfortunately, Willis' career was on its way to dying hard. He starred in consecutive bombs, such as The Bonfire of the Vanities, Hudson Hawk, Death Becomes Her, and Striking Distance (co-starring the lovely Sarah Jessica Parker), and was becoming more famous as the husband of "it" girl, Demi Moore.

Thankfully, his role in 1991's The Last Boy Scout featured Willis in the type of action role that gave him star power to begin with, which helped keep the actor's head above water. But it was his role as Butch Coolidge in the cult classic film, Pulp Fiction, that gave Willis the knockout punch that salvaged his career.

He followed up his 1994 Pulp role with an excellent performance in Nobody's Fool, and went back to basics with the blockbuster, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, the third installment of the successful franchise. It was uphill from thereon in, with hit movies Twelve Monkeys, co-starring Brad Pitt, 1997's Fifth Element, opposite the perfect Milla Jovovich, and the blockbuster Armageddon, which was more moneymaker than quality. The Jackal and Mercury Rising were neither.

In 1999, Willis starred in the film adaptation of the novel by the same name, Breakfast of Champions, and was welcomed into the $20 million club with his chilling role in The Sixth Sense. The record-breaking, critically acclaimed movie that featured Willis as child psychiatrist Dr. Malcolm Crowe can be considered one of his best roles to date. That same year, Willis co-starred with Michelle Pfeiffer in The Story of Us, and starred as hit man Jimmy "The Tulip" in the disappointing, The Whole Nine Yards.

It was on the set of the latter that Willis became chummy with Friends star Matthew Perry, which led to Willis' Emmy-winning recurring role in the hit NBC sitcom. Willis can add his Emmy to his mantle, where his 1987 Emmy for his role in Moonlighting, as well as his Golden Globe for Best Actor in a television series for the same role stand .

Willis was last seen in the summer Disney film, The Kid, and as invincible David Dunn in M. Night Shyamalan's Unbreakable.

A tabloid favorite since his Moonlighting days, Willis made headlines in 1998 when his 13-year marriage to Demi Moore, came to an end. The former couple have three daughters together, Rumer Glenn, Scout LaRue and Tallulah Belle. Willis was last romantically linked with Spanish model/businesswoman, Mario Bravo Rosado.

One of the stars to hold a stake in the dying Planet Hollywood restaurant chain and considered one of today's most powerful actors, Willis will next be seen in the films Hart's War and Bandits.


 

 

 

 

 

 


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