Bruce Willis Biography

Gender: Male

Bruce Willis has demonstrated incredible versatility in a career that has included such diverse characterizations as the prizefighter in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction (1994 Palme D’Or winner at Cannes), the philandering contractor in Robert Benton’s Nobody’s Fool, the heroic time traveler in Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, the traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison’s In Country, the compassionate child psychologist in M. Night Shyamalan’s Oscar-nominated The Sixth Sense (for which he won the People’s Choice Award) and his signature role, Detective John McClane, in the Die Hard pentalogy. Following studies at Montclair State College’s prestigious theater program, the New Jersey native honed his craft in several stage plays and countless television commercials, before landing the leading role in Sam Shepard’s 1984 stage drama Fool for Love, a run which lasted for 100 performances off-Broadway. Willis next won international stardom and several acting awards, including Emmy and Golden Globe honors, for his starring role as private eye David Addison on the hit television series “Moonlighting,” winning the role over 3,000 other contenders. At the same time, he made his motion picture debut opposite Kim Basinger in Blake Edwards’ romantic comedy Blind Date. In 1988, he originated the role of John McClane in the blockbuster film, Die Hard, one of the highest-grossing releases of that year. He later reprised the character in four sequels: Die Hard: Die Harder (1990), Die Hard: With A Vengeance (1995’s global box-office champ), Live Free, Die Hard (one of the box-office hits of summer 2007) and a Good Day To Die Hard (2013). His wide array of film roles includes collaborations with such respected filmmakers as Michael Bay (Armageddon), M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable), Alan Rudolph (Mortal Thoughts, Breakfast of Champions), Walter Hill (Last Man Standing), Robert Benton (Billy Bathgate, Nobody’s Fool), Rob Reiner (The Story of Us), Edward Zwick (The Siege), Luc Besson (The Fifth Element), Barry Levinson (Bandits, What Just Happened), Robert Zemeckis (Death Becomes Her) and Robert Rodriguez (Sin City, Grind House). Other motion picture credits include Red, The Jackal, Mercury Rising, Hart’s War, The Whole Nine Yards (and its sequel The Whole Ten Yards), The Kid, Tears of the Sun, Hostage, 16 Blocks, Alpha Dog, Lucky Number Slevin and Perfect Stranger. He also voiced the character of the wise-cracking infant, Mikey, in Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too as well as the lead characters RJ & Spike in the animated hit features Over the Hedge and Rugrats Go Wild! In 2012, Willis successfully added to his credits, two critically acclaimed films: director Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, for which Willis and the film received Independent Film Award nominations, and director Rian Johnson’s sci-fi thriller Looper, co-starring Joseph Gordon Levitt. An accomplished musician as well, Willis recorded the 1986 Motown album The Return of Bruno, which went platinum and contained the No. 5 Billboard hit “Respect Yourself.” Three years later, he recorded a second album If It Don’t Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger. In 2002, he launched a U.S. club tour with his musical group, Bruce Willis and the Blues Band and he traveled to Iraq to play for U.S. servicemen.


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