Happy birthday to Hollywood veteran, actor Bruce Willis. He turns 62 years old today.
Willis is mostly known for starring in action flicks, from his coveted Die Hard series to Armageddon to Red and its sequel; however, his popularity in that genre comes from balancing the brawn with a lightheartedness and sensitivity.
This mixture of hard and soft started at a young age for Willis when he was considered a prankster in school, sometimes getting into trouble, and yet he wasn't afraid to be a theatre geek and express himself on stage. After graduating high school, Biography reports that Willis found blue collar work, first in a chemical factory and then as a security guard. Once again proving that he did not have one-dimensional qualities, Willis quit his rough, laborious jobs and entered Montclair State University in New Jersey as a drama student.
Eager to strike out on his own, Willis left during his sophomore year to pursue acting in the Big Apple, and a few years after his arrival, debuted in the off-Broadway play Heaven and Earth. Next, he earned a few uncredited roles in movies and scored a small, one-episode part on Miami Vice. He even replaced Ed Harris in another off-Broadway play called Fool for Love.
Willis shifted his career to Hollywood in the mid-1980's, heading out to the West Coast to audition for the Madonna film, Desperately Seeking Susan. Though he did not get the role, Willis stayed an extra day in Los Angeles to tryout for another part, this time in a TV series.
Willis was auditioning for the role of a wisecracking private investigator named David Addison in Moonlighting. To stand out, he wore combat fatigues with a punk haircut as a joke and his sense of humor charmed executives into offering him the part. Starring alongside Cybill Shepard, Willis had found his break big and was on Moonlighting for four years.
This success allowed Willis to transition into significant roles on film. In 1988, he was cast as John McClane, a character that would stay with him for years to come. Both Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger had turned down the role, but it was evident the right man got the job. Willis played McClane the only way he knew how: a complete bad ass with a bit of warmth and humor.
Since that time, Willis has appeared in more than 60 films, including the four Die Hard sequels, Pulp Fiction, The Sixth Sense, The Whole Nine Yards, The Expendables 2 and Sin City. He also has been a guest star on the television series Mad About You, Ally McBeal and Friends. Coming up, it is rumored by IMDb that he will star in another Die Hard film, and has three other movie roles in the works.
In his personal life, Willis has five daughters: three with former wife Demi Moore and two with current wife Emma Heming. Willis and Moore were married from 1987 to 2000, and he and Heming tied the knot in 2009.