Before Spike Jonze made feature films like Being John Malkovich,
After starting his career in the comedy-soap Moonlighting, and starring in comedies like Blind Date, Bruce Willis was launched into the stratosphere of superstardom when John McClane was born. Die Hard made Willis the megastar he is today. Willis’ career has been up and down, but his hits have been gigantic enough to keep him a big name.
Here are 11 things about Willis you may not have known…
1. Having worked as a bartender and waiter before his acting career and understanding the struggle, Willis has always been on the “best celebrity tippers” list.
2. As a young man, his personality was very much like that of the character that he portrayed on Moonlighting. He was always getting into trouble because of this and was physically removed from parties by the hosts for being obnoxious.
3. To that fact, Willis was arrested in 1987 after reportedly disturbing the peace and assaulting a police officer who was called to quiet a raucous party at his home. The charges were dropped after Willis agreed to apologize to his neighbors.
4. Along with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlton Heston, Willis was one of very few Hollywood celebrities to publicly support the Iraq war. While visiting the troops in 2003, he offered $1 million of his own money for the man who would capture Saddam Hussein. When Hussein was captured, it turned out that military rules prevent troops from collecting such a reward.
5. Willis’ wedding to Demi Moore was quite an interesting one: Little Richard presided over the ceremony, and Ally Sheedy was a bridesmaid. The wedding took place at The Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas.
6. He was in consideration for the part of Lester Burnham in American Beauty but Kevin Spacey was cast instead. Spacey would win an Oscar for Best Actor. Willis has never been nominated.
7. Willis flirted with a singing career, even releasing a semi-hit single and an album, The Return of Bruno, that sold a million copies in the U.K.
8. He became the first actor to guest star on Friends and win an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Guest Actor category for their performance.
9. He was the only celebrity that attended Julia Roberts’ wedding to Daniel Moder. Their friendship is referred to in Ocean’s Twelve, when he mistakes Tess Ocean for Julia Roberts and asks her about “Danny.”
10. Willis recommended Michael Clarke Duncan to Frank Darabont to play the role of John Coffey in The Green Mile.
11. Turned down the role of Sam Wheat in Ghost because he didn’t think the plot would work and that playing a ghost would be detrimental to his career. Ironically, he played a ghost in The Sixth Sense, which was a critical success and is widely regarded as one of his best performances.