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Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis has demonstrated remarkable versatility in a career that has included such diverse roles as the prizefighter in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction; the philandering contractor in Robert Benton's Nobody's Fool; the heroic time traveler in Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys; his Golden Globe-nominated portrayal of the traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison's In Country; and the compassionate child psychologist in M. Night Shyamalan's Oscar-nominated The Sixth Sense, for which Willis won the People's Choice Award. He has also starred in what could be considered his signature role, detective John McClane, in the blockbuster Die Hard film franchise: Die Hard, Die Hard 2: Die Harder, 1995's global box office champion Die Hard: With a Vengeance and Live Free or Die Hard.

Willis will be seen later this year in Sylvester Stallone's action adventure thriller The Expendables, and in Robert Schwentke's Red, also starring Morgan Freeman and based on the graphic novel from Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner. His wide array of film credits also includes Michael Bay's Armageddon; Sin City, directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, as well as Rodriguez's Grind House; Antoine Fuqua's Tears of the Sun; Barry Levinson's Bandits and What Just Happened; Unbreakable, which reunited him with director Shyamalan; Jon Turteltaub's The Kid; Rob Reiner's The Story of Us; Breakfast of Champions and Mortal Thoughts, both for director Alan Rudolph; Edward Zwick's The Siege; Luc Besson's The Fifth Element; Walter Hill's Last Man Standing; Robert Zemeckis's Death Becomes Her; and Blake Edwards' Blind Date.

His additional film credits include The Jackal; Mercury Rising; Hart's War; The Whole Nine Yards and its sequel, The Whole Ten Yards; Hostage; 16 Blocks; Alpha Dog; Lucky Number Slevin; and Perfect Stranger. He also provided the voice of the wise-cracking baby in Look Who's Talking and Look Who's Talking Too, and more recently lent his voice to the animated features Over the Hedge and Rugrats Go Wild!

In addition to his work before the cameras, Willis produced Hostage and The Whole Nine Yards and executive produced Breakfast of Champions, adapted from Kurt Vonnegut's bestselling novel. With brother David Willis and business partner Stephen Eads, he co-founded Willis Brothers Films, a film production company based in Los Angeles.

Willis first achieved international stardom when he won the starring role of irreverent private eye David Addison on the groundbreaking hit television series Moonlighting. His work on the show brought him several acting honors, including an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe Award. In 2000, Willis won another Emmy for his guest appearance on Friends.

A native of New Jersey, Willis studied with Montclair State College's prestigious theatre program and began his career on the stage. His first major leading role came in the 1984 off-Broadway production of Sam Shepard's Fool for Love, which ran for 100 performances. Still maintaining a hand in the theatre, Willis co-founded A Company of Fools, a non-profit theatre troupe committed to developing and sustaining stage work in the Wood River Valley of Idaho and throughout the U.S. He also starred in and directed a staging of Shepard's dark comedy True West at the Liberty Theater in Hailey, Idaho. The play, which depicts the troubled relationship between two brothers, was aired on Showtime and is dedicated to Willis' late brother, Robert.

An accomplished musician, Willis recorded the 1986 Motown album The Return of Bruno, which went platinum and featured the #5 Billboard hit Respect Yourself. Three years later, he recorded a second album, titled If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. In 2002, he launched a U.S. club tour with his music group, Bruce Willis and the Blues Band, and traveled to Iraq to play for U.S. troops.

Note: This profile was written in or before 2010.
Read earlier biographies on this page.

Bruce Willis Facts

Birth NameWalter Bruce Willis
BirthdayMarch 19, 1955 (68)
BirthplaceIdar-Oberstein, Germany
Height5' 11½" (1m82)  How tall is Bruce Willis compared to you?
Awards2000 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series (for Friends)
1987 Golden Globe Awards: Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy (for Moonlighting)

Selected Filmography

The Escort
Precious Cargo
Live Free or Die Hard
The Fifth Element
Michael Cera
Over the Hedge
Alpha Dog
Red 2
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