It's been three decades since "Die Hard" debuted on July 15, 1988. Bruce Willis starred in the action flick — which spawned four sequels — as John McClane, an NYPD officer who confronts German terrorists at his estranged wife's office Christmas party. In honor of the film's 30th anniversary, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at the star's life in pictures. Keep reading to relive the highlights of Bruce's life caught on camera…
Bruce Willis — who was born Walter Bruce Willis — posed for a yearbook photo during his senior year at Penns Grove High School in Penns Grove, New Jersey, in 1973. The future star was born in West Germany (where his father was stationed) on March 19, 1955. The family moved to the Garden State when Bruce was just a baby.
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Bruce Willis — who moved from New Jersey to New York and then to Los Angeles to pursue his career — appeared alongside Philip Michael Thomas (seen here in a grainy still photo) in a 1984 episode of "Miami Vice." It was his first on-camera speaking role after cutting his teeth in Hollywood as an extra. (He was an uncredited extra in 1980's "The First Deadly Sin" and in 1982's "The Verdict.")
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"Moonlighting," on which Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd starred as mismatched partners running a private detective agency, debuted on ABC in March 1985. The dramedy was a huge hit and ran for five seasons until May 1989. Bruce earned two Emmy nominations and three Golden Globe nominations for his work on the show.
Bruce Willis enjoyed a brief career as a pop star during the late '80s. In January 1987, he released his debut album, "The Return of Bruno," which featured the hit single "Respect Yourself," as well as a coordinating HBO mockumentary of the same name. Bruce — seen here in a promotional photo for the album — portrayed fictitious rock legend Bruno Radolini, who influenced Elton John, Jon Bon Jovi, Phil Collins and more. (Many of music's biggest stars contributed interviews to the faux documentary.) Bruce's sophomore album, "If It Don't Kill You, It Just Makes You Stronger," arrived in 1989.
Bruce Willis made his feature-film debut opposite Kim Basinger in the 1987 romantic comedy "Blind Date." Though the film tanked with critics, it opened at No. 1 at the box office, signaling good things to come for the rising star.
Bruce Willis won his first Emmy (best actor in a drama series) in 1987 for his work as David Addison on "Moonlighting." (That same year, he won his first and only Golden Globe for his performance on the ABC series.) But there's another major reason why the 1987 Emmys were especially noteworthy for the actor…
Bruce Willis attended the 1987 Emmys that Sept. 20 with his new girlfriend of mere weeks, Demi Moore. (The duo reportedly met at a screening of "Stakeout," which starred her ex-fiancé, Emilio Estevez, and debuted in August 1987.) Two months later, they tied the knot at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
Bruce Willis made his debut as John McClane in "Die Hard" in 1988, sealing his fate as he became one of the biggest action stars of the '80s.
Bruce Willis starred as a PTSD-afflicted Vietnam vet who bonds with his niece (Emily Lloyd) as she attempts to learn more about her late father in 1989's "In Country." He earned his fourth Golden Globe nomination for his performance in the drama.
Bruce Willis and then-wife Demi Moore shared the screen with Glenne Headly in 1991's "Mortal Thoughts," which failed to impress critics but performed modestly at the box office. (He played the abusive husband of Glenne's character, while Demi portrayed her best friend.) The duo have co-starred in two more movies since then: While they were still married, they both voiced characters in the 1996 animated comedy "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America," and a few years after they split, he had a cameo in 2003's "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle," in which she starred as the main antagonist.
Bruce Willis proved that he's better suited to work in front of the camera with 1991's "Hudson Hawk," which tanked at the box office and with critics. The actor co-created the idea for the action-comedy, in which he also starred as the titular cat burglar. The movie earned Razzie Awards for worst screenplay, worst director and worst picture. Nine years later, it earned a nomination for worst picture of the decade. Ouch! Bruce also earned a Razzie nomination for worst actor.
Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, who was pregnant with their daughter Scout Willis at the time, danced at a party for President George H. W. Bush in Los Angeles on June 15, 1991. (The actor, who has identified as a Republican over the years, supported Bush's unsuccessful bid for reelection.) Scout arrived the following month, on July 20, 1991. They added third daughter Tallulah Willis to their brood on Feb. 3, 1994.
Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone attended the grand opening of the first Planet Hollywood in New York City on Oct. 23, 1991. The trio, along with Bruce's then-wife Demi Moore and a few other stars, signed on as early investors in and promoters of the themed restaurant chain. (Nearly two decades later, the stars finally shared the big screen in 2010's "The Expendables.")
Of all the films in which Bruce Willis has starred, none has performed better with critics than 1994's "Pulp Fiction," which Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed. The Emmy winner starred as a champion boxer on the run from a gangster in the crime-drama, which scored a 94 percent fresh rating with critics on Rotten Tomatoes.
Bruce Willis placed his hands and feet in cement in the forecourt of the iconic Grauman's Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on May 18, 1995. His mother, Marlene Willis, held onto his elbow as he stepped his way into Hollywood history!
Bruce Willis returned to his alma mater, Montclair State University, to participate in commencement ceremonies at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on May 16, 1996. He studied drama at the university for a few years before dropping out in his junior year to pursue his career as an actor.
Bruce Willis joined Demi Moore at the premiere of Woody Allen's "Deconstructing Harry," in which she appeared, in Los Angeles on Dec. 5, 1997. It was the last time they posed together publicly as a married couple. They separated the following year and divorced in late 2000.
Bruce Willis starred as a deep-sea oil driller recruited by NASA to stop a massive asteroid from destroying Earth in Michael Bay's "Armageddon." The star-studded 1998 action flick had the biggest opening weekend of any film that year and is one of the top-grossing films of the actor's career.
Bruce Willis starred as a jaded psychiatrist counseling a little boy (Haley Joel Osment) who sees dead people in M. Night Shyamalan's "The Sixth Sense." The 1999 thriller was a massive hit with critics and at the box office, making more money than any other film in which the actor has appeared.
Bruce Willis and Spanish model and stock trader Maria Bravo — whom he romanced for about a year and a half starting in the spring of 1999 — kept close on the red carpet at the European premiere of "The Whole Nine Yards" in Munich, Germany, on April 15, 2000.
In 2000, Bruce Willis had a three-episode stint as Paul Stevens, an older man who woos Jennifer Aniston's Rachel Green, on "Friends." He won his second Emmy (best guest actor on a comedy series) for his work on the sitcom.
Bruce Willis was joined by ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters — Scout Willis, Tallulah Willis and Rumer Willis — at the premiere of "Bandits" in Los Angeles on Oct. 4, 2001. Scout and Tallulah both had small roles in the film. (Scout previously appeared in her dad's 1999 comedy "Breakfast of Champions" and Tallulah later had a role in Bruce's 2004 comedy "The Whole Ten Yards.")
Bruce Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore were joined by her then-new boyfriend, Ashton Kutcher, at the premiere of "Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle" in Hollywood on June 18, 2003. The amicable exes' three daughters — Rumer Willis, Scout Willis and Tallulah Willis — were also on hand. (Two years later, Bruce was among the guests when Demi and Ashton tied the knot.)
Bruce Willis met with the troops at Camp Arifjan near Kuwait City in Iraq on Sept. 28, 2003. He and his band, The Accelerators, visited the Middle East as part of a USO tour.
Bruce Willis cozied up to new girlfriend Brooke Burns during the World Series in New York City on Oct. 18, 2003. They'd reportedly started dating just weeks earlier.
Brooke Burns joined boyfriend Bruce Willis and his three daughters — Rumer Willis, Scout Willis and Tallulah Willis — at the premiere of his film "The Whole Ten Years" in Los Angeles on April 7, 2004. But it wasn't meant to be: The duo, who were reportedly engaged at one point, called it quits the following month.
Bruce Willis's oldest daughter, Rumer Willis, portrayed his character's daughter in 2005's "Hostage." The Emmy-winning actor starred as a former hostage negotiator whose family is kidnapped in the crime-drama, which bombed at the box office and with critics. (Rumer previously had an uncredited role as an extra in her dad's 2000 crime-comedy "The Whole Nine Yards.")
Bruce Willis's real-life leading ladies — daughters Tallulah Willis, Rumer Willis and Scout Willis and mother Marlene Willis — joined him as a he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Oct. 16, 2006. Ben Affleck, Sylvester Stallone, Billy Bob Thronton and Don Johnson also attended the ceremony, as did Bruce's ex-wife, Demi Moore, and her then-husband, Ashton Kutcher.
Bruce Willis and actress Tamara Feldman held hands at the premiere of "Perfect Stranger," in which he starred and she had a small role, in New York City on April 10, 2007. But their romance was to be short-lived. (His future bride, Emma Heming, also had a small role in the thriller.)
Emma Heming became a constant presence at Bruce Willis's side in early 2008. They were first photographed together at the Sundance Film Festival premiere of "What Just Happened?" in Park City, Utah, on Jan. 19, 2008. A year later, in March 2009, the duo tied the knot at the actor's home in Parrot Cay, Turks & Caicos.
One big happy extended family! Bruce Willis and then-girlfriend Emma Heming joined his ex-wife, Demi Moore, and her then-husband, Ashton Kutcher, at the premiere of daughter Rumer Willis's comedy "The House Bunny" in Los Angeles on Aug. 20, 2008. Their other two daughters, Tallulah Willis and Scout Willis, also attended, as did Rumer's then-boyfriend, actor Micah Alberti, and a blonde male guest.
Bruce Willis starred in Wes Anderson's 2012 dramedy "Moonrise Kingdom" as Police Captain Sharp, a surrogate father for troubled Scout Sam. The following year, he earned a Film Independent Spirt Award nomination for best supporting actor for his work in the lauded ensemble flick, which is one of the top-rated movies of his career.
Bruce Willis and wife Emma Heming welcomed their first child together, daughter Mabel Ray, on April 1, 2012. Later that year — on Oct. 17, 2012 — the actor was photographed toting his new baby girl outside a hotel in Paris.
It was an action-flick fantasy brought to life: After briefly sharing the screen in 2010's "The Expendables," Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger appeared alongside Sylvester Stallone with expanded roles in 2012's "The Expendables 2."
Bruce Willis rested his hand on wife Emma Heming's baby bump during Vanity Fair's Oscar Party in Los Angeles on March 2, 2014. The model-actress was pregnant with their second child together, daughter Evelyn Penn, who arrived on May 5, 2014.
Bruce Willis and Laurie Metcalf clasped hands on stage during the curtain call for the opening night of "Misery," an adaption of Stephen King's novel of the same name, at the Broadhurst Theatre in New York City on Nov. 15, 2015. It marked the actor's Broadway debut.
Up next, Bruce Willis stars as an ex-cop who teams up with his neighbor, a bank manager, to bring down a violent bank robber in "Reprisal," which debuts on Aug. 31, 2018. It'll be his third action flick of the year following "Acts of Violence," which debuted in January, and "Death Wish," which opened in theaters in March. He's also set to star in "Glass," a sequel connecting 2000's "Unbreakable" and 2016's "Split," Edward Norton's sophomore directorial effort (a '50s-set drama titled "Motherless Brooklyn"), a Rupert Friend-directed biopic about legendary boxing trainer Cus D'Amato ("Cornerman") and a rumored sixth installment in the "Die Hard" franchise.