Walter Bruce Willis was born on March 19, 1955 in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany, to an American father (David Willis) and a German mother (Marlene Willis). He has 3 younger siblings. In 1957, his father moved the family to Penns Grove, New Jersey, where Willis grew up. He stuttered as a child, but he has outgrown that. In high school, Willis was a member of the drama club, and was school council president. After high school, he became a blue collar worker in Deepwater, New Jersey instead of going to college. However, when a co-worker was killed on the job, Willis quit and was unsure of his career path at that point. He hung out in bars and impressed friends with his talent for playing the harmonica, which he performed in a band called “Loose Goose”. Besides this, he also spent some time working as a bodyguard, but he was still interested in the idea of acting.
He entered Montclair State University and studied drama there for a while, but quit school to go to New York City and pursue an acting career. Working in a bar to pay the bills, he made his theater debut in “Heaven and Earth”, an off-Broadway play. He earned a guest spot on the show, Miami Vice
, and also got work in a Levi's jeans advertising campaign. Finally, he got his first starring role on the hit TV show, Moonlighting
(1985–89), which led to his role in the Die Hard
movie, and later its sequels. He was also the voice of little Mikey in the Look Who's Talking
films, and in the late1980s, achieved moderate success with his musical career as well.
He faced a career slump in the early 90s, starring in a string of unsuccessful films, but his supporting role in Quentin Tarantino
's acclaimed Pulp Fiction
(1994) helped revive his career. He also had success in films such as Armageddon
(1998), and director M. Night Shyamalan's first film, The Sixth Sense
. Around this time, he also had a guest role on the sitcom Friends
Willis married actress Demi Moore
in 1987, but they were divorced in October of 2000. They had three daughters during their thirteen-year marriage, named Rumer Glenn Willis (born 1988), Scout LaRue Willis (1991) and Tallulah Belle Willis (1994). Willis is currently single, and spends his time in Los Angeles, New York City, his ranch in Montana, and a home in Sun Valley, Idaho.