Bruce Willis’ acting career began when he played Detective David Addison in the 1980s TV hit “Moonlighting”. In 1988, he became a movie star following the success of the action blockbuster “Die Hard”. Appearances in subsequent hits such as “Pulp Fiction” and “The Sixth Sense”, as well as his marriage to actress Demi Moore, made Willis one of the best-known actors of his generation.
What is Bruce Willis’ net worth?
At the time this article is written the American actor, producer, and less-known musician, Bruce Willis has a net worth of $250 million. He has consistently been one of the highest-paid leading men actors in Hollywood during his career. Bruce has made millions of dollars only from salaries between the 1980s and the present.
Thanks to a noble cut of the movie’s gross, Bruce Willis earned $114 million for the movie “The Sixth Sense” in 1999. He had an upfront salary of $14 million, and at the time this article is written, that is the second most money ever made by an actor for a film. Even though the record was earned by Keanu Reeves, who earned $156 million for two Matrix movies, the largest payday in Hollywood history was Bruce’s “Sixth Sense”.
Salary per movie
Bruce Willis’ biggest career days were definitely during the making of “The Sixth Sense”. He received an upfront salary of $14 million for the movie, plus a huge percentage of the gross receipts. Bruce ended up earning over $100 million from this movie. Since the late 1980s, he has been earning eight-figures salaries.
He earned $5 million for a movie in 1988 (today that would be around $10 million).
In 1999, Bruce was paid $10 million for “Look Who’s Talking” (today that would be $20 million). One year later he earned another $10 million for the sequel.
In 1991, Bruce earned $14 million for the movie “The Last Boy Scout”.
In 1995, he was paid $15 million for “Die Hard: With a Vengeance”.
In 1996, Bruce earned $16.5 million for “Last Man Standing” and in 1998 was paid $14.8 million for “Armageddon”.
In 2000 Bruce Willis earned around $55 million, mainly from the films “Unbreakable” and “The Kid” (around $20 million upfront for each).
In 2001 he earned $70 million and in 2002 he made $46 million.
Bruce Willis can easily earn at least $20 million per year from movies.
Childhood and teenage years
At his birth, on March 19, 1955, in Idar-Oberstein, West Germany, his parents christened him Walter Bruce Willis. When he was born, his father was stationed in the US Army. Willis is the eldest of four children of David and Marlene Willis and grew up with one sister and two brothers. In 1957, after his father’s discharge from the military, Willis moved with his family to Carney’s Point, New Jersey.
By all accounts, Willis, nicknamed “Bruno” by his friends, was a popular kid with a great sense of humor, which is why he was elected Student Council president in high school. He liked pranks and often got into all kinds of trouble.
After graduating from high school, Willis found work as a handyman, first in a chemical plant and then as a security guard. All this before returning to the classroom as a theater student at Montclair State University in New Jersey. Willis’ interest in acting never weaned, but eager to develop on his own, he dropped out of school after his sophomore year and moved to New York to try to become an actor.
Bruce Willis made his acting debut in the early 1980s when he played supporting roles in several films, including Sidney Lumet’s “The Verdict”. His career experienced an explosive rise in the second half of that decade thanks to his main role in the series “Moonlighting”, produced by the ABC station in which he played alongside Cybill Shepherd, and to the interpretation of the policeman John McLane in the action “Die Hard” from 1988.
Bruce Willis has demonstrated his incredible versatility in a career that has included extremely diverse roles, from the boxer in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction”, the effeminate contractor in Robert Benton’s “Nobody’s Fool”, the brave space traveler in Terry Gilliam’s “12 Monkeys”, the traumatized Vietnam veteran in Norman Jewison’s “In Country”, the compassionate psychologist in M. Night Shyamalan’s Oscar-nominated, “The Sixth Sense” and – of course – his iconic role, detective John McClane in the “Die Hard” film series.
The long line of films in which he has acted includes productions signed by acclaimed directors such as Michael Bay (“Armageddon”), Robert Rodriguez (“Sin City” and “Grind House”), M. Night Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable”), Walter Hill (“Last Man Standing”), Robert Benton (“Billy Bathgate” and “Nobody’s Fool”), Alan Rudolph (“Mortal Thoughts” and “Breakfast of Champions”), Ed Zwick (“The Siege”), Rob Reiner (“The Story of Us”), Luc Besson (“The Fifth Element”), Barry Levinson (“Bandits” and “What Just Happened”) and Robert Zemeckis (“Death Becomes Her”).
Honors and awards
Bruce Willis was nominated five times for the Golden Globe, winning an award for his role in the series “Moonlighting”, and three times for the Primetime Emmy Awards, obtaining two trophies for his roles in “Moonlighting” and “Friends”.
He was awarded a star for his films, located in the north section, 6900th block, on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“Die Hard” earnings
In 1988 Bruce Willis played for the first time the role of John McClane in the movie “Die Hard”. This role brought him a lot of success and strengthened his status as a star. He was paid $5 million for the first “Die Hard”, earned $7.5 million for the second movie, $15 million for the third, and made $25 million for the fourth.
In total, Bruce Willis has earned around $52 million from the “Die Hard” franchise. If we take into account inflation, that would be $70 to $80 million.
Other important movies
In 1989 Bruce Willis earned $10 million for providing his voice acting skills for “Look Who’s Talking”. He was paid another $10 million for the sequel.
In 1994 Bruce Willis accepted only $800,000 for appearing in “Pulp Fiction” produced by Quentin Tarantino.
In 1998 “Armageddon” was the highest-grossing film, with profits of $553 million. Also, “The Sixth Sense” earned $673 million, making it the highest-grossing film up to this point.
In 1987, Bruce Willis married actress Demi Moore. The couple, who divorced in 2000, have three children together: Rumer Willis (b. 1988), Scout LaRue Willis (b. 1991), and Tallulah Belle Willis (b. 1994).
On March 21, 2009, Willis, who remains close to ex-wife Demi Moore (he attended her wedding to Ashton Kutcher in 2005), backtracked on his pledge not to get married again, so in 2009 he did it again, to actress-model Emma Heming. They did it in a civil ceremony at his home in California. Bruce Willis and Heming have two daughters together, Mabel Ray and Evelyn Penn.
Bruce Willis has owned several very valuable properties all over the world over time.
In 1990, he and his then-wife, Demi Moore, bought a 7,000-square-foot penthouse in Central Park’s San Remo building in New York City for $7 million. After that, they bought another apartment in the same building. When they divorced, Demi Moore received this apartment. She put it on sale in 2015 for $75 million but sold it for $45 million in 2017.
Bruce Willis sold his former Beverly Hills house in 2014 for $16.5 million. Also, he sold a New York City penthouse for $18 million in April 2018.
He put on sale an extensive estate in Turks and Caicos for $33 million in March 2019. This property is 7.4 acres large and features a 13,500 square-foot private compound with many guest houses, four pools, a yoga studio, beach volleyball, and kids’ play structures. Several months after the listing, Bruce Willis sold this estate for $27 million to the founder of the multibillion-dollar insurance company Goosehead Insurance. In February 2022, the new owners listed the estate for sale for $37.5 million.
Also, in 2019 Bruce Willis purchased a house in Brentwood, California for almost $10 million. A few months before that, he sold a house in Idaho for $5 million and listed a house in upstate New York for $13 million.
Who will actually inherit Bruce Willis’ net fortune?
The famous actor was diagnosed with aphasia, and his life has completely changed in recent years. However, before learning that he was ill, Bruce Willis made to leave everything in order.
The 67-year-old actor changed his will, and his fortune of $250 million was to be divided in an unexpected way. Although many expected that the actor’s three daughters from his marriage to Demi Moore would receive a large part of the fortune, things are completely different.
Most of Bruce Willis’ fortune will go to his current wife, Emma, but also to their daughters Mabel, 10, and Evelyn, who is just eight.
The actor’s three daughters from his marriage to Demi Moore will instead receive just 1% of the actor’s fortune. Specifically, Rumer, Scout, and Tallulah will only receive $1 million each.
Bruce Willis believed that his three daughters had all the financial support in the early part of their lives, so the actor had to make sure that his young daughters, too, would have a pretty good life.
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