Bruce Willis Leaves Acting Amid Health Battle: Haley Joel Osment, Anthony Hopkins and More Show Support
By Miguel A. Melendez
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Bruce Willis is being showered with love and support after being diagnosed with aphasia. Some of the 67-year-old actor's closest colleagues and friends -- from Haley Joel Osment, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Sylvester Stallone to John Travolta, Lucy Liu and Maria Shriver -- posted touching tributes and throwback photos wishing him the best following his long and successful career in Hollywood.
Osment, the former child star who appeared opposite Willis in the 1999 thriller The Sixth Sense, said he struggled to find the right words for someone he's looked up to for so long, before paying homage to the actor on Instagram.
"He's a true legend who has enriched all of our lives with a singular career that spans nearly half a century," Osment wrote in part. "I am so grateful for what I got to witness firsthand, and for the enormous body of work he built for us to enjoy for years and years to come. I just wanted to express the respect and deep admiration I have for Bruce and his family as they move forward with the courage and high spirits that have always defined them."
M. Night Shyamalan, who directed The Sixth Sense, took to Twitter to send Willis "all my love and respect." He added, "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."
Hopkins on Instagram wrote, "Working with you was a special time in my life. My love and prayers are with you and your family."
Travolta shared, "Bruce and I became good friends when we shared 2 of our biggest hits together, Pulp Fiction and Look Who’s Talking. 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."
Sarah Paulson, who starred alongside Willis in Glass, commented on Rumer Willis' Instagram post, saying, "He was such an incredible acting partner to me, and is the loveliest, most gentle and hilarious man. He reigns supreme in my book."
"As a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has been experiencing some health issues and has recently been diagnosed with aphasia, which is impacting his cognitive abilities," the statement read. "As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him."
The family added, "This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and wanted to bring his fans in because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him."