Capital: € 160 million
Age: 65
Born: 3/19/1955
Country of origin: Germany
Source of wealth: actor
Last updated: 2024

Short introduction

Bruce Willis is a legend as an actor and one of Hollywood’s top earners. His fees are often in the tens of millions. He celebrated his greatest success to date with leading roles in action films. In addition, he not only appeared successfully as a film producer, screenwriter and musician, he is also one of the founders of the international restaurant chain “Planet Hollywood”.

Early life

Bruce Willis was born in 1955 in the small German town of Idar-Oberstein. His father, David Willis, comes from the USA and was stationed in Germany at the time as a soldier. His mother Marlene comes from near Kassel. Bruce Willis spent the first two years of his life in Germany before moving to the United States with his parents. He then grew up with three younger siblings in New Jersey. A handicap in his childhood turned out to be a stroke of luck: he stuttered while speaking. In order to treat this disorder, his parents sent him to acting classes early on. After Willis graduated from high school, he worked temporarily in a chemical plant – thereby financing his acting studies at Montclair State College.


As a young man, Willis initially worked in the theater and in commercials, before appearing in the television series “The Model and the Sniffer” from 1985. He made his Hollywood debut in 1987 alongside Kim Basinger in the comedy “Blind Date”. About a year later he made the breakthrough with the leading role in the action film “Die Slowly”. In it Willis plays the headstrong police officer John Mclane, who has the right saying in every situation. This role, tailor-made for him, for which he earned a fee of $ 5 million, brought him worldwide fame overnight. Since then, Bruce Willis has been one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. However, there was an ups and downs in his career as an actor he didn’t just want to focus on the action genre. The result was that some of his films flopped – such as “Hudson Hawk – The Master Thief”. Willis went to new heights when he convinced critics and audiences in “Pulp Fiction”. In the cult film by Quentin Tarantino, he embodies a boxer named Butch Cooligde. He only received $ 800,000 for this role, but it gave his acting career a good boost.

Career highlights

Many years after pulp fiction, Bruce Willis filmed one blockbuster after another. In 1995, he slipped into the role of policeman John McLane for the third time in “Die Hard: Now All the More” for $ 15 million. He had previously starred in the end-time thriller “12 Monkeys”: a cult film by director Terry Gilliam. In 1997 Willis appeared in the science fiction film “The Fifth Element” by Luc Besson. The disaster film “Armageddon”, in which he appeared in 1998, is one of the highlights of his career. A little later he shone in the box office hit “The Sixth Sense”. For his appearances in “The Kid” and “Unbreakable”, he received a fee of $ 20 million for the first time in 2000. He was able to surpass this mark in 2002 when he took the lead in the war drama “The Tribunal”. Three years later, he played an important role in the comic book adaptation “Sin City” – another film that quickly achieved cult status. At the age of 51, in October 2006, Bruce Willis was honored for his life’s work: he received his star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Before and after, Bruce Willis made some less successful films, but with “Die Slow 4.0” he landed another hit in 2007. For this he received a payment of $ 25 million. Given such sums, it is not surprising that business magazine “Forbes” lists Bruce Willis among the highest paid Hollywood actors. Further highlights of his career followed in 2010 with appearances in action films such as “The Expendables” and “RED – Older, Harder, Better”.

Famous quotes

“I like having the clay to come and go as I please.”

“I am shaken by the question of what it’s like to be a multimillionaire. I always have to remember that it is me. ”

“I was always confident. Before I became famous, this self-confidence got me into trouble. After I got famous, I only got more trouble. ”

Amazing facts

In 1998 Willis was the first actor to act in a video game. No one had ever acted as a speaker in a video game before. In addition, the developers digitally added his appearance and movements, and he was placed on the game’s cover.

In November 2005, Willis offered a $ 1 million bounty out of his own fortune for Al Qaeda terrorist leaders Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. He announced the reward on the television show “Rita Cosby Live & Direct”.


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