Daily Dirt: Illness forces Bruce Willis to step away from his career, but let’s always remember his cinematic triumphs

Bruce Willis

Bruce Willis in his breakout role as Detective John McClane in Die Hard (1988). 20th Century Fox

Daily Dirt for Sunday, April 3, 2022

I can remember openly cheering at some of the movies Bruce Willis has provided us over the years, and that’s why his medical issues are so sad. We’re losing a great talent … Welcome to Vol. 250 of The Daily Dirt.

1. Bruce Willis has always been one of my favorite performers, dating to his days on “Moonlighting” with Cybill Shepherd to his action movies and his ability to deliver one-liners as good or better than any other actor in Hollywood.

That’s why it was so sad to hear the recent disclosure from his family and friends that Willis us suffering from the cognitive disorder aphasia. Additional reports indicate this has been a growing problem for years, eventually forcing Willis to step away from his career.

Here’s my own personal tribute to Bruce Willis — my five favorite films that featured him as the central star:

1. “Die Hard” (1988): “He didn’t have the physique of an Arnold Schwarzenegger or the training of a Jean-Claude Van Damme, but he was a man of the people, and the people have loved his various everyman heroes over the ensuring years,” writes Jeff Sneider of collider.com. Willis played New York City Detective John McClane, who took town a terrorist group. Co-Star Alan Rickman helped make this movie a classic.

2. “The Sixth Sense” (1999): This one had me shaking my head at the end — and I mean that in a good way. Of all the films Willis made, this one might have been the strangest — and I mean that in a good way.

3. “Die Hard 2” (1990): Not as good as the original, but that’s like complaining that Babe Ruth didn’t quite as many home runs as Hank Aaron or Barry Bonds.

4. “Die Hard With A Vengeance” (1995): Willis and Samuel L. Jackson, an unbeatable combination.

5. “Armageddon” (1998): A crazy storyline, but the special effects and supporting cast (Billy Bob Thornton, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler) all provided a perfect compliment to the talent of Willis.

2. Found on Facebook:

“A pessimist sees a dark tunnel. An optimist sees light at the end of the tunnel. A realist sees a freight train. The train driver sees three idiots standing on the tracks.”

3. For those who think MLB is a level playing field, think again.

Here’s a look at the 2022 payrolls of the prime-time teams, the bottom feeders and those of local interest fouynd in between:

Top 5
1. Los Angeles Dodgers, $274,808,333: Los Angeles not only spends a lot of money, they normally spend it wisely, unlike, say, the Yankees. The Dodgers have a dynamite pitching staff and offensive lineup. There is no reason they don’t win 100-plus games and enter the postseason as the team to beat.

2. New York Mets, $251,719,999: Max Scherzer will make $59.3 million of his three-year, $130 million contract this season. That is more than the payroll of four MLB teams.

3. New York Yankees, $239,100,714: Despite the money the Yankees spend on an annual basis, they have not won the World Series since 2009. And they won’t this year either.

4. Philadelphia Phillies, $221,738,462: Philadelphia has four players making more than #20 million this season and nine at better than $10 million. And they could easily finish last in the NL East.

5. San Diego Padres, $198,272,618: Ownership has spent big in recent years trying to contend with the Dodgers and Giants, and they arguably have the most exciting player in the game (when he’s healthy) in Fernando Tatis Jr … but as of right now, they are still the third-best team in the division. 

Bottom 5

26. Miami Marlins, $67,450,000: You could probably count on one hand the number of people in Florida who truly care about this team, which is sad. Miami has a bona fide, grade-A quality rotation, but not much to support it, including fans.

27. Oakland A’s, $42,648,334: Every few years the A’s must try to reinvent themselves due to a lack of money. This is one of those years. Might be a long year.

28. Pittsburgh Pirates, $37,875,000: The Pirates are actually (re)building a competitive organization, but the area they are in the shortest supply is pitching. If they can figure that out, the NL Central is a division Pittsburgh could emerge as a legitimate contender in the next two or three years. If the Pirates were in the NL East or NL West there would be no hope. None. Nada. Zilch.

29. Cleveland Guardians, $37,410,000: Despite this embarrassing payroll (and an equally embarrassing offensive lineup), there is an excellent chance the Guardians make the playoffs because of their outstanding starting rotation.

30. Baltimore Orioles: $31,071,166: There is absolutely nothing outstanding about this bunch. The next time the Orioles are contending for anything but fourth place my two youngest grandkids (ages 4 and 2, respectively) will likely have families of their own.

Others of interest

7. Chicago White Sox, $184,738,334: I’ll give the Chisox credit. They have spent, scouted and built wisely — and should be a force for the rest of the decade.

12. St. Louis Cardinals, $149,546,666: I’ve learned after living in Quincy for 20-plus years that many Cardinals fans have a difficult time looking at their beloved EL Birdos in an objective fashion. I’ve tried to warn them that the nagging injury to Jack Flaherty and Adam Wainwright’s age (he’ll be 41 this summer) could spell major trouble. Personally, I love Flaherty’s gritty resolve on the mound, and Wainwright seems like a great, great guy, but … 

15. Chicago Cubs, $130,110,000: I look at the Cubs’ roster, offseason moves, etc., and I have no idea what the blueprint is at Wrigley Field.

23. Kansas City Royals, $78,410,000: If there is one word that seems to describe this team more years than not it is … blah.(Salaries supplied by Spotrac.com)

Steve Eighinger writes daily for Muddy River News. His Guardians will not make the MLB playoffs.

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