Bruce Willis has been in the acting business way before his iconic role in the Die Hard (1988)franchise films. Willis has been known for portraying many roles throughout his career including in the films Pulp Fiction (1994), Armageddon (1998) and Red (2010). Not to mention, he was the leading role in the sci-fi film The Fifth Element (1997) with Milla Jovovich.
While Willis is recognized on-screen in film, there are various facts about him that any fan or film watcher wouldn't know about the famed Hollywood Star. For example, he originally started his career in off-Broadway shows in the 1970s. Willis later returned to the Broadway stage in Misery (2015) in the role of Paul Sheldon. If you want to know more about Bruce Willis keep reading.
10. WILLIS WAS BORN IN GERMANY
Bruce Willis is unarguably one of the great Hollywood actors in America. But Willis wasn't technically born in America. He was born in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany on March 19th, 1955. There is a reason for this. Willis's father, David Willis, was an American soldier stationed in West Germany.
There, David Willis met Bruce's mother Marlene who is a native to Kassel, Germany. In 1957, Willis's father was discharged from the military and relocated his family to Carneys Point Township in New Jersey.
9. HAD A STUTTER AS A CHILD
Growing up and all throughout high school, Willis was extremely outgoing and outspoken. Despite this, there was one thing that held him back. He developed a severe stutter at a young age. For any child, it's hard to overcome the common speech impediment. Willis had a severe stutter from the age of nine to seventeen.
He discovered in high school while auditioning for the play 'A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court', that his stutter would disappear while he was playing a role. He later saw a speech therapist at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Willis was even honored by the American Institute For Stuttering for speaking out on stuttering.
8. GOT HIS BIG BREAK IN MOONLIGHTING
After making his debut into the acting scene in off-Broadway shows, Willis finally got his big break. He auditioned for the role of David Addison Jr. in Moonlighting after quitting college in his junior year. The show's executives weren't initially sold on Willis playing the lead role.
During the audition, he sported a spiky updo, an earring and army fatigues. They weren't that impressed with his outfit. The shows creator, Glen Gordon Caron saw something worthwhile in Willis. Willis has screen-tested with the female lead Cybill Shepherd and there was more than enough chemistry to win him the part.
7. HE HAD A HIT SONG
Not many people would know that besides being an actor, Bruce Willis was also a successful singer. In 1987, he released the album The Return of Bruno. The album was released by Motown. The cover song, "Respect Yourself" peaked at number five on Billboard Hot 100. The song was a duet with June Pointer. The album had back up vocals including Booker T. Jones, The Pointer Sisters, and The Temptations.
That's right, Willis can serenade you and carry a tune. After his first album, he released his second album If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. The album had again an R&B sound with songs sung by Willis.
6. SUFFERED FROM HEARING LOSS IN DIE HARD
Bruce Willis became known for portraying the role of John McClane in the Die Hard franchise films. If you have ever noticed, Willis has a tendency to stretch his neck and ask "Whaa?" quite often. There is a reason for this. When filming Die Hard, Willis suffered 2/3rd hearing loss in his left year. He's not just being coy when he says "Whaa?", he actually can't hear well.
The scene in question is the scene in the film where John McClane is under the table. John McClane shoots a gang member from underneath the table. To get a realistic shot and sound, the crew filled McClane's gun with extra loud blanks. The close-range shot caused Willis's hearing loss.
5. WILLIS GAVE MICHAEL CLARKE DUNCAN HIS BIG BREAK
You might remember actor Michael Clarke Duncan for working alongside Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Steve Buscemi the science fiction disaster film, Armageddon (1998). Duncan's major breakthrough role in The Green Mile (1999) was all thanks to Bruce Willis. Duncan's role as John Coffey got him nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
Bruce Willis was given the script for The Green Mile and thought Duncan would be the perfect fit to play John Coffey and he was right. Willis personally called the film's writer/director Frank Darabont to recommend Duncan.
4. CO-FOUNDER OF PLANET HOLLYWOOD
Planet Hollywood is a well-recognized restaurant establishment that is themed around Hollywood. The company has franchise restaurants in various states in the United States and resorts. Planet Hollywood was originally created by businessman Robert Earl.
What some might not know is that famous Hollywood actors helped co-found and backed the restaurant. In 1991, Planet Hollywood opened in New York City with the backing of Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg. The franchise restaurant still goes strong with locations in New York, Los Angels, London and many more. It's also a hot spot for tourists.
3. LITTLE RICHARD MARRIED BRUCE WILLIS AND DEMI MOORE
One of Hollywoods' recognized famous couples was the marriage between Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Moore and Willis met in 1987 at the screening of the movie Stakeout. The couple married on November 27th, 1987. They got married in Las Vegas and were married by American singer/songwriter Little Richard.
Little Richard then became a religious minister after his mother's death. Richard also performed nuptials for Bruce Springsteen. Sadly, Willis and Moore didn't last and divorced in 1998.
2. FIRST ACTOR TO ACT IN A VIDEO GAME
The video game Apocalypse in 1998 allowed for a unique opportunity for Bruce Willis. Apocalypse was ahead of its time in the 90s. The game was meant to be a "buddy game" where Willis would be the AI sidekick to the main character. Some issued arose with trying to cohesively interact with the main character and the AI.
Instead, they scrapped the idea and made Bruce Willis the mains tar of the game. This was the first game not based on an already existing film. Bruce Willis became the first actor to act in a video game delivering the characters lines. His face was also molded to be used in the game.
1. HIS ROLE IN THE SIXTH SENSE WAS BECAUSE HE OWED DISNEY
One of the roles Bruce Willis is known for is playing psychologists Dr.Malcolm Crowe in The Sixth Sense (1999). The film is a horror film by writer/director M.Night Shyamalan. This was the first film where Willis worked with M.Night. The story is about a young boy (Haley Joel Osment) who can speak to the dead. Sear goes to child psychologist Dr.Malcolm Crowe.
What people may not know is that Willis was in the film because he had to be. Willis caused a major issue with another film project by Disney. He was set to star in the film The Broadway Brawler about hockey. At the time, Willis had some pull as one of the film's producers and got into an argument with the filmmakers.
Willis ended up firing the director and a good chunk of the crew. Being so early into the film's production, Willis walked away and subsequently ended the film. In order to make amends, Willis had to appear in two films with Mouse House and The Sixth Sense was one of them.
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