According to the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), this is “a rare form of rapidly progressing dementia” in which nerve cells in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain die. The disease cannot be cured.

“Unfortunately, communication problems are just one of the symptoms of the illness Bruce suffers from,” the 67-year-old actor’s family said. “While this is painful, it’s also a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis.” The family added: “Today there are no treatment options for this disease, a fact that we hope may change in the years to come.”

The actor’s family announced in March 2022 that the action star suffers from what is known as aphasia. This is a speech disorder that can result from a stroke. “Because of this, and after careful consideration, Bruce is retiring from the career that has meant so much to him,” the family said at the time.

Willis, born in 1955 in Idar-Oberstein in Rhineland-Palatinate as the son of a US soldier and a German mother, had become a superstar in 1988 with “Die Hard”. In the action-packed adventure, Willis plays a tough New York cop who takes on a group of terrorists who have taken hostages in a high-rise building.

Four more Die Hard films were later added. The actor with the distinctive bald head was also seen in the cult film “Pulp Fiction” by director Quentin Tarantino, in “The Fifth Element”, “Armageddon” and “The Sixth Sense”.

Willis was now considered one of the biggest Hollywood stars. He has received awards including a Golden Globe and two Emmys.