Bruce Willis News: How Hollywood Is Reacting to His Aphasia Diagnosis

The movies just won’t be the same without Bruce Willis. Even though he never won an Oscar, he had several roles that proved he had the acting chops that made him more than an action star. Willis is stepping away from acting because of his aphasia diagnosis, but with nearly 40 years as a TV and movie star, he leaves plenty of work to remember his career.

Willis had plenty of co-stars during that long career, and many of them publicly showed their support for him as he faces his next life challenge.

Bruce Willis and John Travolta at the 2007 MTV movie awards, years after they worked together on three movies.
Bruce Willis and John Travolta | Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc./Getty Images

Willis receives love from ‘The Sixth Sense’ team

Willis and filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan teamed up three times: The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Glass (though Willis had an uncredited part in Shyamalan’s Split). The Sixth Sense displayed Willis’ dramatic acting chops, and it put Shyamalan on the map. It did the same for young co-star Haley Joel Osment, who earned a best supporting actor nomination at the Academy Awards.

So it shouldn’t come as any surprise that they both paid tribute to Willis when they heard about his aphasia diagnosis.

Shyamalan tweeted about his lifelong admiration for Willis: “All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis. I know his wonderful family is surrounding him with support and strength. He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as [a] kid.”

Osment called Willis a legend in a tweet that included a lengthy note and a black and white photo of Willis.

John Travolta writes from the heart

Travolta and Willis shared the bill on three movies. Travolta had the lead role in 1989’s Look Who’s Talking, and Willis provided the voice of a baby Mikey’s internal monologue in what proved to be one of Willis’ biggest box office winners. They teamed up again for the sequel (Look Who’s Talking Too) the following year, and then they shined in Pulp Fiction in 1994.

Travolta’s Instagram post talked about their friendship and provided an example of how deep that friendship was: “Years later he said to me, ‘John, I just want you to know that when something good happens to you, I feel like it’s happening to me.’ That’s how generous a soul he is. I love you, Bruce.”

Kirstie Alley starred in the Look Who’s Talking movies. Her tweet expressed condolences for his devastating news, gratitude for his support system, and called him a great guy and a great actor.

Matthew Perry keeps it sincere — and lighthearted

Perry and Willis shared the set three times — once when Willis had a guest run on Friends and twice on the big screen in The Whole Nine Yards and The Whole Ten Yards. Perry expressed condolences, called Willis the coolest person he ever met, then joked about watching The Whole Ten Yards so they could get some rest.

Willis receives love and support from all corners of the entertainment world

Even actors that seldom or never worked with Willis took to social media to offer support.

Sylvester Stallone kept it short and sweet with his Twitter post: “We go back a long way, praying for the best for you and your wonderful family.”

Seth Green quote-tweeted a user who shared an image of his family’s Instagram post and added his own message of love and thanks for a wonderful career.

Former Saturday Night Live cast member and frequent 30 Rock guest star Rachel Dratch revealed in a tweet what happened the first time she met Willis. He attended an improv show in Idaho, and instead of fleeing when it was over, he took the time to speak with the cast backstage.

Treat Williams’ tweet mentioned Willis’ acting career, but he focused more on the pair’s fun game of paintball back in the day.

While fans are certain to miss Willis the actor, the reactions by his Hollywood brethren reveal there was more to like about him than what we saw on screen.

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