50 interesting things you didn't know about Bruce Willis: born in Germany, first actor in a videogame

Bruce Willis is an Emmy and Golden Globe-award winning actor who first made a splash on TV in Moonlighting, costarring Cybill Shepherd, but his fame really grew with films such as Die Hard, Armageddon, The Sixth Sense and The Expendables.

  1. His full name is Walter Bruce Willison.

  2. Bruce Willis was born on March 19, 1955, in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany.

  3. His mother was German and his father was an American soldier who met his mom while stationed in West Germany. Bruce didn't come to America until he was around two-years-old when his father left the military and brought his family back with him to New Jersey.

  4. Despite being a talented actor and outgoing, he had a severed stutter growing up. According to an interview he gave to Reader's Digest, Willis discovered a way to overcome his stutter by accident - he tried out for a part in his high school's drama club production of 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court' and as soon as he took the stage, he noticed his stutter was gone. "When I stepped off the stage, I started stuttering again," Willis said. "And I went, 'This is a miracle. I've got to investigate this more.'"

  5. While in High School he served on the student council as the Class President.

  6. He was a talented wrestler in his high school days, but suffered a serious sprain that needed a surgery and left a scar on his right shoulder.

  7. After high school, Willis took a job as a security guard at the Salem Nuclear Power Plant and also transported work crews at the DuPont Chambers Works factory in Deepwater, New Jersey.

  8. After working as a private investigator, Willis turned to acting. He enrolled in the drama program at Montclair State University, where he was cast in the class production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

  9. He met a producer when he was tending a bar in Cafe Central, NY. He became a bartender after showing lack of skill in being a waiter.

  10. Willis started pursuing acting work in New York City and eventually earned the interest of producers for the Madonna film 'Desperately Seeking Susan.' He didn't get the part but the day before he left, he tried out in a large casting call for the lead male role on ABC's 'Moonlighting.'

  11. His claim to fame was as David Addison Jr. in TV series Moonlighting.

  12. The success of 'Moonlighting' helped Willis score a lucrative spokesperson gig with Seagrams. This resulted in one of the cheesiest ads of the '80s, where Bruce and some pals hang out on the porch and sing into wine cooler bottles as manly men do. Unfortunately (or fortunately for us), a drunk driving bust put the kibosh on Bruce's days as a singing spokesman.

  13. Willis made his film debut in the 1987 Blake Edwards film Blind Date, with Kim Basinger and John Larroquette.

  14. His album "The Return of Bruno" (1987) became a surprise seller after the single "Respect Yourself" hit # 5 in early 1987.

  15. That same year, he got married to another rising star, Demi Moore. They have three children together: Rumer Willis (b. 1988), Scout LaRue Willis (b. 1991) and Tallulah Belle Willis (b. 1994). Unfortunately, the marriage didn't last and they divorced in 2000. The couple gave no public reason for their breakup. Regarding the divorce, Willis stated, "I felt I had failed as a father and a husband by not being able to make it work."

  16. Moore and Willis were married in Las Vegas by Little Richard who became a religious minister later in his career, shortly after the death of his mother. The flamboyant singer has also conducted nuptials for such celebrities as Cindy Lauper and Bruce Springsteen.

  17. Bruce Willis accepted the iconic role of John McClane in "Die Hard" after both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone turned the project down. The movie went on to become a huge hit and today, nobody can imagine the role being played by anyone other than Bruce Willis.

  18. Despite the movie being a great hit and setting him on the international stage, he did suffer some hearing loss. In the famous "table scene" in which McClane kills one of the baddies by shooting from underneath a long table was so loud and close to Willis' ears that he lost two-thirds of his hearing in his left ear.

  19. He personally suggested to use Bonnie Bedelia as his on-screen wife in "Die Hard".

  20. Bruce was arrested on Memorial Day 1987 after reportedly disturbing the peace and assaulting a police officer who was called to quiet a raucous party at his home. The charges were dropped after Willis agreed to apologize to his neighbors.

  21. Bruce provided the voice for a talking baby in Look Who's Talking, as well as its sequel Look Who's Talking Too.

  22. Bruce Willis turned down the lead role in the film "Ghost", which starred his ex-wife, Demi Moore. He didn't believe that it would be a good choice for his career and that playing a ghost would not work in the film. The role went to Patrick Swayze and the movie went on to become a huge hit.

  23. He is the co-founder of Planet Hollywood, , a theme restaurant inspired by the popular portrayal of Hollywood, along with actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Demi Moore.

  24. In 1996 he appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman". He was there to advertise on behalf of Demi Moore and her recent film at the time "Striptease". To promote the event, he stripped on the show much to the delight of the audience.

  25. He was the first star to act in a video game by he lending his voice and body movement for Trey Kincaide in action game "Apocalypse".

  26. He owns The Mint bar, the Liberty Theater and Hailey Drug Store in Hailey, Idaho, but the latter has gone idle since the early 1990s.

  27. Bruce was the only star to come in Julia Robert's wedding to photographer, Daniel Moder.

  28. Bruce has been very vocal in his support of almost every major Republican candidate in recent history except Bob Dole. He felt that presidential candidate Dole was out of line in his attacks on Demi Moore and her part in the movie "Striptease".

  29. In 1996, he was the executive producer of the cartoon Bruno the Kid which featured a CGI representation of himself.

  30. In 2001 Bruce Willis publicly stated that he would no longer appear in movies that featured violent action. He also stated that he would no longer appear in "save the world" films.

  31. Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlton Heston, Willis was one of very few Hollywood celebrities to publicly support the Iraq war. While visiting the troops in 2003, he offered $1 million of his own money for the man who would capture Saddam Hussein. When Hussein was captured, it turned out that military rules prevent troops from collecting such a reward.

  32. In the same year Bruce Willis was cast in the film "Ocean's Eleven" as Terry Benedict. He dropped out of the project for unknown reasons and the role went to Al Pacino.

  33. In 2002 George W. Bush appointed Bruce Willis as a national spokesman for Children in Foster Care.

  34. Bruce personally recommended Michael Clarke Duncan for The Green Mile after working with him in the action epic Armageddon.

  35. He starred in 'The Sixth Sense' because he owed Disney for sinking another film. One of Willis' most memorable performances in recent years was as child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe in M. Night Shyamalan's 'The Sixth Sense.' However, it wouldn't have happened if he hadn't caused the cancellation of another film project. Willis had been tapped to star in a Disney-backed hockey movie called 'The Broadway Brawler,' but tensions arose between Willis and the filmmakers.

  36. Seven of his films had numbers in them: "The First Deadly Sin" (1980), "Twelve Monkeys" (1995), "Four Rooms" (1995), "The Fifth Element" (1997), "The Sixth Sense" (1999), "The Whole Nine Yards" (2000), and "The Whole Ten Yards" (2004).

  37. Bruce was chosen as the special ambassador in his birth town Idar-Oberstein since his 50th birthday.

  38. Replaced David Letterman at the last minute as the host of "Late Night Show with David Letterman" on February 26, 2003 where he supposed to be the guest. It was the first sick day that Letterman had taken in 20 years.

  39. Bruce appeared in series six of sitcom "Friends" (1994-2004) as Rachel Green's short-term boyfriend. He won an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his role in the show.

  40. He also won an Emmy and a Golden Globe for Moonlighting.

  41. He attended the wedding of his ex-wife Demi Moore to Ashton Kutcher in 2005.

  42. Bruce married model-actress, Emma Heming at Willis's home on the Turks and Caicos Islands, in the West Indies on March 21, 2009. Guests included his three daughters, Demi Moore, and Ashton Kutcher. The ceremony was not legally binding, so the couple wed again in a civil ceremony in Beverly Hills, six days later.

  43. The couple has one daughter, born on April 1, 2012, named Mabel Ray Willis.

  44. Bruce wears four earrings in his left ear sometimes.

  45. He is the co-founder of Planet Hollywood, , a theme restaurant inspired by the popular portrayal of Hollywood, along with actors Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Demi Moore.

  46. In 2009 Willis signed a contract to become the international face of Belvedere SA's Sobieski Vodka in exchange for 3.3% ownership in the company.

  47. His personal acting role models are Gary Cooper, Robert De Niro, Steve McQueen, and John Wayne.

  48. Bruce Willis' net worth is $150 million.

  49. He is 6 ft (1.83 m) tall.

  50. The scar on his right shoulder is from surgery due to complications from a broken arm when he was 17.


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