Actor Profile: Bruce Willis

We look at the varied career of Bruce Willis – ranging from films such as Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense and Looper.

Born in West Germany, Bruce Willis has become one of the most revered stars in the film industry, with his career still blooming many years after its commencement. After trivial film appearances, Willis landed his first major role alongside the fierce Cybil Shepherd in the 1985 hit romantic comedy television series Moonlighting. The retorting and witty detective character generated plenty of attention for the young, rising star which in turn gained him the role of John McClane in the monstrous knockout Die Hard, which revolves around tough cop McClane battling ruthless criminals completely solo. After the action-packed film hit theatres, Bruce Willis’ career really did take off – spawning a keenly anticipated sequel Die Hard 2 followed by an equally eagerly awaited third film Die Hard: With a Vengeance which starred Samuel L. Jackson as scornful Harlem shop owner Zeus Carver alongside resilient cop John McClane in a race against time to defeat a German bomber.

Bruce Willis of course didn’t stop there… amidst all the action mayhem he still had the time to meet other acting demands, thus broadening his natural abilities even further. He completed roles in the fun Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking Too, sparking additional interest not only from film-makers but amongst a broader selection of the public too.

The next few years were a bountiful time for Willis’s career, they established him as something more than just a mere action star. Over the course of his career Bruce Willis has showcased numerous impressive roles in an outstanding repertoire of cult films.  He played jittery mortician in the dark comedy Death Becomes Her followed by acclaimed director Quentin Tarantino’s ingenious motion picture Pulp Fiction where he played trophy rebel fighter Butch Coolidge. The 90s were excellent years for the gifted actor – Bruce Willis certainly established himself as an actor to look out for when he appeared in diverse, critically acclaimed roles working with various filmmakers. Following the success of Pulp Fiction, Willis appeared in futuristic thriller Twelve Monkey’s which also featured talent Brad Pitt, in the sci-fi epic The Fifth Element alongside Mila Jovovich and Gary Oldman, he starred in the disaster adventure Armageddon with Ben Affleck and in M. Night Shyamalan’s gripping feat The Sixth Sense.

In 2000 Bruce Willis turned his hand to Disney, in their heart-warming family fantasy The Kid. Showcasing his adaptability even further, he immediately followed this with Unbreakable, another intense and engrossing M. Night Shyamalan blockbuster.

The 2000s brought some dark times for Willis’s acting career when he starred in critically bashed Tears of the Sun, he featured alongside Mathew Perry in the failed sequel The Whole Ten Yards which was a fail amongst critics and fans alike and in 2005 Willis starred in clichéd drama Hostage which also did no favours for the talented star. Shortly after the disastrous few years, Bruce Willis’s career sprang back to life in 2005 when he starred in critically praised graphic novel adaptation Sin City followed by equally epic hit Planet Terror – thankfully Bruce Willis’s career was back on track. He returned as John McClane once more in 2007 in the fourth instalment in the Die Hard series Die Hard 4.0.

As Bruce Willis’s career grew so did the demands for much bigger, higher-budget films – in 2010 Bruce Willis starred in the electrifying comedy Red combined with a much revered cast. In 2012 the eagerly awaited Looper finally hit theatres starring Willis as Old Joe alongside with extremely gifted Joseph Gordon Levitt who portrayed his younger character. Looper was a highlight in Willis’s career.

However his career took a much bleaker turn when he appeared in disappointments such as A Good Day to Die Hard which so far proved to be the worst of the Die Hard series spawning much distaste in critics and Bruce Willis fans alike. The sixth instalment of the draining series has been announced for 2015 with Bruce Willis once again returning as John McClane.

Bruce Willis certainly holds a very impressive, distinguished career that is far from over. He is highly praised for his diverse and unique performing style – his roles varying from one extreme to the other.  He is now set to return as John Hartigan in the keenly awaited Sin City: A Dame to Kill For that is due to come out late 2013, which is certainly one to look out for.

Discussion feed

Up next in movies