Bruce Willis is a well known Hollywood action movie star. With over 3 decades and counting in the industry, the Die Hard star has shown no signs of slowing down.
He is also a movie producer and has enjoyed moderate success as a singer. His net worth stemming from his works in Hollywood as well as his business ventures is estimated at $180 million.
The Early Days of His Life
Walter Bruce Willis was born on March 19, 1955, in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany as the first child of an American father who was a soldier and a German mother who was a bank teller. After his father’s stint with the army ended in 1957, the family moved back to Carneys Point Township, New Jersey.
Willis enrolled in Penns Grove High where he became popular for his good sense of humour as well as serving as the student council president. In high school, Willis’ speech was marred by stuttering which earned him the nick “Buck-Buck”. However, the stuttering abruptly disappeared while he was performing before a large crowd. One couldn’t wish for a better clarity for a “calling”. He then spent the rest of his high school days as an active member of the drama club.
After high school graduation, Willis, 18, decided to take up a blue collar job following what had become a regular for his family as Senior Willis worked as a factory worker, welder and master mechanic. Willis first worked in a chemical factory but chickened out after a colleague died on the job. Still interested in the blue collar line, Willis took up another job as a security guard.
He went back to the classroom to study drama at Montclair State University but dropped out in his sophomore year and moved to New York in order to pursue an active acting career. While in New York, Willis supported himself by working as a bartender and waiter. He soon landed off-Broadway roles and received moderate TV exposure with shows like “Miami Vice”. He also had minor roles in films like Frank Sinatra’s “The First Deadly Sin” and Sidney Lumet’s “The Verdict”.
In search of bigger roles, Bruce headed to Hollywood in 1984 where he auditioned for the lead role of David Addison Jr in ABC detective-comedy series “Moonlight”. Willis’ performance wowed the execs enough to land him the job which was aspired for by 3,000 others. The series which co-starred already-established actress Cybill Shepherd immediately became a success winning Willis an Emmy and Golden Globe award for his role as well as establishing him as a movie star. His fame netted him a $6 million advertising gig with Seagram’s Golden Wine Cooler products which lasted for two years.
While still on the Moonlight series which lasted for 4 seasons ending in May 1989, Willis landed major roles in two Blake Edwards films- “Blind Date”(1987) and “Sunset”(1988). During this period, he also launched a music career releasing his debut album “The Return of Bruno” which spawned a successful single and generally enjoyed moderate success. He later released two other albums in 1989 and 2001.
His Net Worth, Business Ventures and Properties
Willis established himself as an action hero with the 1998 action-packed blockbuster “Die Hard”. The film generated much buzz after popular action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone previously turned down the lead roles. Die Hard was a smash hit, grossing almost $140 million. Willis reportedly received $5 million for the acclaimed role. Die Hard has spurned about 4 sequels which have all enjoyed critical acclaim and commercial success grossing over $1 billion and earning Willis over $80 million.
Since then, Bruce Willis has starred in popular buzz-generating blockbusters. However, like every Hollywood actor, Willis has had a few flops like “The Bonfire of the Vanities” (1990) “Striking Distance” (1993) and “Breakfast of Champions” (1999).
Here’s a look at Bruce Willis earnings from some of his top-rated movies;
The Last Boy Scout (1991) – $14 million
Pulp Fiction (1994) – $800,000
Last Man Standing (1996) – $16.5 million
Armageddon (highest-grossing film of 1998) – $14.8 million
The Sixth Sense (1999) – $14 million
The Kid (2000) – $20 million
Unbreakable (2000) – $20 million
In the year 2000, Willis made a total of $54.5 million from all his endeavours. The following year in 2001, he snapped his second Emmy for his guest role in TV series “Friends”.
Hart’s War (2002) – $22.5 million
In North America alone, over 60 of Willis-featured films have grossed over $3 billion to grant him the 8th spot on the list of highest-grossing lead actors. Meanwhile, Bruce has also ventured into producing some of his movies, his recent works include; “Precious Cargo”, “Marauders The Bombing” and “Going Under”.
Willis nets an estimated value of $180 million. Alongside fellow action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone, Willis is a co-owner of theme restaurant Planet Hollywood which was established on October 22, 1991, in New York. Willis since 2009 owns about 3.3% shares in French Belvédère’s Sobieski Vodka. He also owns The Liberty Theater and The Mint Bar businesses in Hailey, Idaho. He owns a self-named line of perfumes as well as a female collection named “Lovingly” in collaboration with LR.
Bruce Willis has an enviable real estate collection. He owns several properties in Sun Valley, Idaho, mansions in Penns Grove, New Jersey, Los Angeles, Malibu, California, a beach house in Parrot Cay in Turks and Caicos and a ranch in Montana. He also owns a rented apartment in the famous Trump Tower.
Details Of His Wife And Kids
Bruce Willis married actress Demi Moore on November 21, 1987, but separated on June 24, 1998, after 11 years together. The divorce cost Willis a whopping $90 million.
Their marriage produced three daughters Rumer (1988), Scout (1991) and Tallulah Willis (1994).
The actor remarried again on March 21, 2009, to model Emma Heming. Together, they share two daughters Mabel (2012) and Evelyn (2014).
Why People Thought He Was Dead
Bruce Willis has also been a victim of a celebrity death hoax in the past. In 2014 the actor was reported dead by some sources causing many fans to take to social media to express their sympathy as a Facebook page was also created in his memory. But it was found later that it was all a hoax.