Bruce Willis is a bona fide megastar, but did you know that he was thanked by Blink 182 in the liner notes of Enema of the State?
Check out more cool facts throughout this article!
You can check out more cool facts from the sources at the end of this article.
1. If only we all could have that chance.
He has been in three movies where he meets a younger version of himself: Twelve Monkeys (1995), The Kid (2000) and Looper (2012).
2. Wow, what timing…
His “Inside the Actors Studio” interview was taped on September 10, 2001. The episode was respectfully dedicated by Willis and the Actors Studio Drama School “to the heroes who fell September 11th – and to the heroes who fight on.”
3. Dang that’s a lot of thin mints…
His daughter suggested giving Girl Scout cookies to troops. He bought 12,000 boxes and delivered them to troops stationed throughout the Middle East.
4. And a star is born.
When Schwarzenegger turned down the planned sequel to Commando, it was reworked to star Bruce Willis and was retitled Die Hard.
5. I need to see a documentary about this.
Bruce Willis was once a private investigator.
6. Interesting to think about how that character would have turned out with another actor.
Willis was chosen to play John McClane in Die Hard (1988) because the producers felt he brought warmth and humor to an otherwise cold and humorless character. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone had turned down the role.
7. Germany is a place and that is a fact.
He was born on a military base in Germany. His mother, Marlene, was German, and was born in Kassel, Germany. His father, David Willis, was American-born, and had English, and smaller amounts of Dutch, French, Irish and Welsh ancestry.
8. I’m gonna need to see the video on this…
He has appeared on Late Show with David Letterman (1993) to advertise for Demi Moore’s Striptease (1996) by doing his own undressing act (1996).
9. Big trouble.
As a young man, his personality was very much like that of the character that he portrayed on Moonlighting (1985). He was always getting into trouble because of this and was bodily ejected from parties by the hosts for being obnoxious.
10. Mind your business, Dole!
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 role in the movie Striptease (1996).
11. So that’s where it all began.
Was the first actor to ever “act” in a video game (Apocalypse (1998)). No one before had ever done voice work along with having their likeness and movements digitally added to the game, as well as receiving prominent billing on the game’s cover.
12. What a great way to work through something like that.
Acting helped him to overcome a debilitating childhood stutter. In an interview with GQ magazine [March 2013], Willis revealed: “I had a terrible stutter. But then I did some theater in high school and when I memorized words, I didn’t stutter, which was just miraculous. That was the beginning of the gradual dispelling of my stutter. I thought I was handicapped. I couldn’t talk at all. I still stutter around some people now.”
13. So sad.
His younger brother Robert Willis died of pancreatic cancer at age 42 (2001).
14. SO that’s how he became a superhero.
He actually worked in a chemical factory before going to college.
15. Put me in, coach!
He filled in as a last-minute host for David Letterman on February 26, 2003, a show he was supposed to be the guest for. This was Letterman’s first “sick day” in 20 years (other than his time off for heart surgery).
16. Good potatoes out there.
He lives in Hailey, Idaho, where he owns the Mint bar and the Liberty Theater. He also owns the old Hailey Drug Store, but the building has been vacant and unused since the early 1990s.
17. You’re kidding me!!!!
He ad-libbed many of John McClane’s one-liners in the “Die Hard” films.
18. And a star is born… again!
He recommended Michael Clarke Duncan to play the role of John Coffey in The Green Mile (1999).
19. That’s pretty cute, to be honest.
France awarded him Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters in April 2005. “France pays homage to an actor who represents the force of American cinema and the power of emotions that he invites us to share on screens throughout the world”, Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres said. “I’m nervous. Bonjour Paris”, he replied.
20. They must like him.
Ten directors cast him at least twice in their films: Blake Edwards, Amy Heckerling, Rob Reiner, Robert Benton, John McTiernan, Alan Rudolph, ‘M. Night Shyamalan’, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez and Barry Levinson.
21. Now we can only think of what could have been.
Served as a delegate at the Republican National Convention in 1992. In 2000, he was unable to narrate a biographical film of previous presidents to be shown at the RNC due to scheduling conflicts.
22. That’s a lot of dough.
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.
In November 2005, he offered $1 million of his own money to anyone who turns in al-Qaeda terror leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri or ‘Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi’, the alleged brains behind the 9/11 attacks. Willis announced his reward on the American television show Rita Cosby Live & Direct (2005), where he also criticized what he claimed to be “biased” media coverage of the Iraq war.
24. An important position.
He was appointed by President George W. Bush as national spokesman for Children in Foster Care.
25. Two very different kinds of ghosts, though.
Turned down the role of Sam Wheat in Ghost (1990) because he did not think the plot would work and that playing a ghost would be detrimental to his career. Ironically, he played a ghost in The Sixth Sense (1999), which was a critical success and is widely regarded as one of his best performances.
26. That’s a good group of dudes.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6915 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California on October 16, 2006. The ceremony was attended by his friends Don Johnson, Sylvester Stallone and Kevin Costner.
27. This is a great quality.
Often supports the careers of other actors he has met on set, and asks they be given supporting roles on later films, most famously Michael Clarke Duncan, whom he worked with on The Whole Nine Yards (2000), asked for him on Armageddon (1998) and suggested him to the producers of The Green Mile (1999). Other actors include Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon (1998), Bandits (2003)), Johnny Messner (Tears of the Sun (2003), The Whole Ten Yards (2004)), Nick Chinlund (Tears of the Sun (2003), The Kid (2000)) and Cole Hauser (Hart’s War (2002), Tears of the Sun (2003)). Met and befriended Matthew Perry on the set of The Whole Nine Yards (2000) and then appeared on Friends (1994) at Perry’s request.
28. In good company.
He was the only celebrity that attended Julia Roberts’ wedding to Daniel Moder. Their friendship is referred to in Ocean’s Twelve (2004), when he mistakes Tess Ocean for Julia Roberts, and asks her about ‘Danny’.
29. All the small things.
He was thanked by the rock band Blink 182 in the liner notes of their album “Enema of the State” (1999).
30. An interesting assortment of human beings.
He visited Michael Jackson on the set of filming the “Smooth Criminal” segment for Moonwalker (1988). Also visiting the set were Gregory Peck and Robert De Niro.
31. What a role!
Willis was in consideration for the role of Lester Burnham in American Beauty (1999) but Kevin Spacey, who went on to win a Best Actor Oscar for his performance, was cast instead.
32. Lefty loosey.
Is left-handed and is displayed in most of his films. In The Sixth Sense (1999), he learned to write with his right hand so this would not be so easily noticeable that his character was not wearing his wedding ring.
33. An admirable quality.
Has regularly been named on “Best Celebrity Tippers” lists over the years. This is largely due to his early “struggling” waiter/bartender days.
34. I’m glad they came back!
He has played five characters more than once in the movies: Hartigan from the Sin City films, John McClane from the Die Hard films, Frank from the Red films, Church from the Expendables films, and Jimmy “The Tulip” Tudeski from the Whole Nine Yard films.
35. Sometimes things move fast!
Met Demi Moore at a screening of Emilio Estevez’s film, Stakeout (1987). Although she was seeing Estevez at the time, they were married four months later.
36. And then he won an award for it…
It’s rumored that Mathew Perry made a bet with Bruce Willis that if The Whole Nine Yards (a movie in which both co-starred) opened at No 1 at the box office, Willis would have do a guest-appearance in Friends for free. Willis lost, and guest-starred in Friends.