Celebrities and friends rally behind Bruce Willis after aphasia announcement

Bruce Willis’ family announced this week that the actor was diagnosed with aphasia, and ended his career. Several friends and celebrities are now sharing their memories with Willis and words of encouragement for the actor and his family.

The 67-year-old’s family members – including ex-wife Demi Moore, daughter Rumer Willis, wife Emma Heming – have all released a statement on Instagram explaining the illness is affecting his cognitive abilities. Aphasia is a condition in which patients have difficulty understanding speech and communicating.

“This is a truly challenging time for our family and we are so grateful for your continued love, compassion and support,” the family statement said. “We’re moving through this as a strong family unit and wanted to include his fans because we know how much he means to you, just as you do to him. As Bruce always says, ‘live it up,’ and together we plan this just do this.”

The message was signed by Heming, Moore and his children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel and Evelyn.

The family’s Instagram posts were inundated with comments from well-known friends. “Grace and courage! Love to you all!” Jamie Lee Curtis wrote.

“We love Bruce so much❤️ Sending love to him and your family. Bruce gave us sooo much! What an amazing career. May he rest and recover,” commented actress Debi Mazar.

“My heart goes out to Bruce and all the family. I am so thankful that you shared this with us. We keep you all in our prayers,” wrote actress and producer Rita Wilson, who starred opposite Willis in Story of Us.

“Sending love and support Demi dearest,” commented Willis’ former co-star Melanie Griffith.

M. Night Shyamalan, who directed Willis on ‘Sixth Sense’ and ‘Unbreakable,’ tweeted, “All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis. I know that his wonderful family surrounds him with support and strength. He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as a kid.”

M. Night Shyamalan, who directed Willis in “Sixth Sense” and “Unbreakable,” shared a message on social media.

M. Night Shyamalan

Comedian and Saturday Night Live graduate said Rachel Dratch Willis was the first celebrity she ever met “back in the ’90s when she was touring with Second City at a show in Sun Valley, ID.”

“Imagine our delight when we found out he was in the audience! He came backstage and couldn’t have been sweeter to us wannabes,” she said of the star, who showed up for her enhanced comedy show.

Former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, an Arizona Democrat who campaigns for aphasia and suffered a brain injury in an assassination attempt in 2011, also tweeted about the actor.

“I’m thinking of Bruce Willis and his family today. Aphasia makes it difficult for me to find the right words. It can be lonely and isolating, however @FriendsAphasia trying to change that,” she said, referring to the Arizona-based charity. “For anyone living with aphasia, I’m here for you. We have that.”

Colleague Arizona Megan McCain, whose father, the late John McCain, was a senator for 31 years, also shared words of encouragement. “So much love, light, prayers and strength for Bruce Willis, his wife, his children, [Demi Moore] and her whole family at this time”, McCain tweeted.

“Have faith, there is hope and incredible geniuses at Mayo Clinic and NIH who work in neurology and study brains. Breakthroughs really do happen every day,” she said. Her father was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor, in 2017 and died in 2018.

Actor Seth Green tweeted: “I have so much love for Bruce Willis and am grateful for every character he gave us. Hugs and love to all the family – thank you for sharing it with all of us.”

“When Bruce Willis was there, few were better. An underestimated dramatic power, an unlikely comedic presence, a superb leading actor. He could do anything and did everything in the movies. I will miss seeing him on screen”, film critic Robert Daniels tweeted.

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