Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis in A Good Day to Die Hard

Bruce Willis in “A Good Day to Die Hard”

Bruce Willis is not a hero; he just plays one in the movies. That didn’t stop him, of course, from offering up a million dollar bounty for the capture of Osama Bin Laden, but hey, at least he’s staying in character during his off time. Perhaps his extreme patriotism is due to the fact that he was born on a military base, in West Germany to be exact, in 1955. Only two years later, Bruce’s father was discharged from the military and the family was moved to New Jersey where he spent a majority of his childhood. After graduating from high school, where he was a member of the drama club, Bruce worked at a factory and played several bars with his R&B group Loose Goose. It was many years before he would actually return to acting, but when he finally did, it didn’t take long before his career skyrocketed.

After a short stint on “Miami Vice,” Bruce got his own starring role opposite Cybill Shepherd in the television series “Moonlighting,” and while the show only lasted four years, Bruce snagged both an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his performance. It wasn’t very long before he was cast in the role of John McClane in the very first “Die Hard” movie, and following its success, Bruce became an instant star. Follow-up roles in a “Die Hard” sequel, as well as “Hudson Hawk” and “The Last Boy Scout,” seemed to fit Bruce’s typecast as an action hero, but he also tried his hand at a few comedies, including the dark comedy “Death Becomes Her.” In 1994, Bruce got a career jolt with a supporting role in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction,” and managed to extend his fan base with cult films like “Twelve Monkeys” and “The Fifth Element.”

Following his work with Matthew Perry on “The Whole Nine Yards,” Bruce was invited to guest star on “Friends” in a recurring role as the father of Ross’ new girlfriend. His performance in the series led to him winning yet another Emmy, this time for Best Guest Star on a Television Series. Future roles in films like “The Kid” and a cameo role in “Ocean’s 12” could have led to his demise, but Bruce has since rebounded with great starring turns in “Hostage” and “Sin City,” and plenty of more on the way.

Bruce on the Screen

Bruce’s career began with the television series “Moonlighting,” but he’s perhaps best known for his work in the “Die Hard” films, with another one on the way. Other notable performances include roles in blockbusters like “Pulp Fiction,” “Armageddon,” “The Sixth Sense” and “The Whole Nine Yards,” while he’s also appeared in cult hits like “The Fifth Element, “Sin City” and “Unbreakable.” More recently, Bruce has appeared in such diverse films as “Red,” “The Expendables,” “Cop Out” and “Moonrise Kingdom.”

Bruce Says

On money:
“I’m staggered by the question of what it’s like to be a multimilionaire. I always have to remind myself that I am.”

On the pros and cons of being male:
“On the one hand, we’ll never experience childbirth. On the other hand, we can open all our own jars.”