German born, New Jersey raised US actor and musician well known for his film appearances as wise cracking or hard edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts. The young Willis picked up an interest for the dramatic arts in high school, and was allegedly "discovered" whilst working in a café in NYC and then appeared in a couple of off-Broadway productions.
After countless auditions, Willis contributed minor film appearances, usually uncredited, before landing the role of private eye "David Addison" alongside sultry Cybill Shepherd in the hit romantic comedy TV series "Moonlighting" (1985). The series firmly established Bruce Willis as a hot new talent, and his sarcastic & wise cracking PI was in effect a dry run for the role of hard boiled, NYC detective "John McClane" in the monster hit of 1988, Die Hard (1988). This superbly paced action film balanced laconic humor and wholesale destruction as Willis' character single handedly battles a gang of ruthless international thieves in a Los Angeles skyscraper. Willis reprized the role of tough guy cop "John McClane" in the eagerly anticipated sequel Die Hard 2 (1990) set at snow bound Washington's Dulles International Airport as a group of renegade Special Forces soldiers seek to repatriate a corrupt South American general. Excellent box office returns demanded a further sequel Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995) this time also starring Samuel L. Jackson as a cynical Harlem shop owner unwittingly thrust into assisting McClane during a terrorist bombing campaign on a sweltering day in NYC.
Willis found time out from all the action mayhem to provide the voice of "Mikey" the baby in the very popular family comedies Look Who's Talking (1989), and its sequel Look Who's Talking Too (1990) also starring John Travolta and Kirstie Alley. Over the next decade, Willis starred in some very successful films, some very offbeat films and some unfortunate box office flops. The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990) and Hudson Hawk (1991) were both large scale financial disasters that were savaged by the critics, and both are arguably best left off the CVs of all the actors involved, however Willis was still popular with movie audiences and selling plenty of theatre tickets with the hyper violent The Last Boy Scout (1991), the darkly humored Death Becomes Her (1992) and the mediocre police thriller Striking Distance (1993). During the 1990s, Willis also appeared in several independent and low budget productions that won him new fans and praise from the critics for his intriguing performances working with some very diverse film directors. He appeared in the oddly appealing North (1994), as a cagey prize fighter in the Quentin Tarantino directed mega-hit Pulp Fiction (1994), the Terry Gilliam directed apocalyptic thriller Twelve Monkeys (1995), the Luc Besson directed sci-fi opus The Fifth Element (1997) and the M. Night Shyamalan directed spine tingling epic The Sixth Sense (1999).
Willis next starred in the gangster comedy _Whole Nine Yards, The (2000)_qv), worked again with "hot" director M. Night Shyamalan in the less gripping Unbreakable (2000), and in two military dramas, Hart's War (2002) and _Tears of the Sun (2003)_qv) that both failed to really fire with movie audiences or critics alike. However, Willis bounced back into the spotlight in the critically applauded Frank Miller graphic novel turned movie Sin City (2005), the voice of "RJ" the scheming raccoon in the animated hit Over the Hedge (2006) and "Die Hard" fans rejoiced to see "John McClane" return to the big screen in the high tech Live Free or Die Hard (2007) aka Die Hard 4.0.
Willis appeared on the 2008 Blues Traveler album North Hollywood Shootout, giving a spoken word performance over an instrumental blues-rock jam on the track Free Willis (Ruminations from Behind Uncle Bob's Machine Shop). In early 2009, he appeared in an advertising campaign to publicize the insurance company Norwich Union's change of name to Aviva.
Willis starred with Tracy Morgan in the comedy Cop Out, directed by Kevin Smith and about two police detectives investigating the theft of a baseball card. The film was released in February 2010.
At the premiere for the film Stakeout, Willis met actress Demi Moore, who was dating actor Emilio Estevez at the time. Willis married Moore on November 21, 1987 and had three daughters: Rumer Willis (b. August 16, 1988), Scout LaRue Willis (b. July 20, 1991) and Tallulah Belle Willis (b. February 3, 1994) before the couple divorced on October 18, 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." He credited actor Will Smith for helping him cope with the situation. After their breakup, rumors persisted that the couple planned to re-marry, until Moore married the actor Ashton Kutcher. Willis has maintained a close relationship with both Moore and Kutcher, even attending their wedding. Willis and Moore currently share custody of their daughters.
Since the divorce he has dated models Maria Bravo Rosado and Emily Sandberg; he was engaged to Brooke Burns until they broke up in 2004 after ten months together. He married Emma Heming in Turks and Caicos on March 21, 2009;guests included his three daughters, Moore, and Kutcher. The ceremony was not legally binding, so the couple wed again in a civil ceremony in Beverly Hills six days later.Willis has expressed interest in having more children.