Arnold Schwarzenegger Praises Pal Bruce Willis For His ‘Fantastic’ Legacy & ‘Kind’ Ways

Jun 02, 2023 by apost team

Bruce Willis' family announced he was retiring from acting in March 2022 after being diagnosed with aphasia; they have all banded together around him to love and support him through his difficult transition. They have also come together to announce that aside from the debilitating disease that he has acquired, he was also diagnosed with dementia. 

Willis is one of the most legendary Hollywood actors of all time. He is most famous for his roles in action films but has also shown to have quite a diverse set of talents, appearing in films and television shows in a variety of genres and even showing off his skills as a singer. 

He has been a pivotal figure in the acting world for more than 40 years, which is why fans and loved ones were left heartbroken when they heard the news that he was retiring from the field. 

Willis had his breakthrough in 1985 with the TV series "Moonlighting," and has since appeared in many films. Some of his most popular films include "Pulp Fiction," "Armageddon," "The Sixth Sense," "Looper" and the "Die Hard" franchise.

As John McClane, Willis shaped the image of the American action hero. The dirty undershirt he wore as the character actually turned into a piece of cultural property and can now be seen in the National Museum of American History.

Aside from the said films, the “The Expendables” franchise is one of the most associated movies to him – as he appeared with action superstars like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. 

Willis’ friend Schwarzenegger has since opened up about Willis’ retirement and shared just how wonderful of an actor — and friend — Willis will always be known as.

Bruce Willis (2019), (Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

On March 30, 2022, the world was left heartbroken at the announcement of Willis’ retirement. Willis’ current wife, Emma Heming, and ex-wife Demi Moore posted the same picture and caption on their respective Instagram accounts, explaining that Willis was diagnosed with aphasia and therefore needed to take a step away from acting.

According to John Hopkins, aphasia is a language disorder caused by damage in a specific area of the brain that controls language expression and comprehension. This disorder leaves a person unable to communicate with others effectively and can sometimes even cause the afflicted to no longer understand the speech of others correctly.

According to Page Six, Willis was having cognitive issues prior to his family stepping in "to take care of him." He struggled to remember his lines and was actually unable to do so. A source explained: "He was having cognitive problems, they all knew Bruce was having problems. Everybody knew, the cast and crew. His family has stepped in, they moved in to take care of him."

On Feb. 16, 2023, Willis’ family again pulled together to deliver a crushing update on the star's health condition. Simultaneously on the Instagram accounts of Heming, Moore, and his children, the women shared an "update about our beloved husband, father and friend since we now have a deeper understanding of what he is experiencing."

"Since we announced Bruce's diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce's condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” the post read.

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger (1991), (Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Given the worsening health condition of Willis, his family has mounted various efforts to come up with ways to keep the 68-year-old actor sharp and still active. 

Radar Online source revealed that Willis’ family isn’t alone in battling the debilitating condition of their patriarch. Turns out, they have round-the-clock support from all of Hollywood, the actor’s fans, and his best buddies. 

“Sly Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, of course, and Jason Statham and so many others are right there at the front of the line offering to do anything they can, 24/7,” the insider source told the outlet. “It's a huge comfort for Bruce and his loved ones that he'd got so much goodwill and love to count on. The guy is a hero among his Hollywood peers, even if this situation is unbearably tough for all concerned."

The same outlet reported that the family has decided to gather the Award-winning actor’s peers and former co-stars to have a screening of Willis’ old television shows and movies in their lavish Beverly Hills Mansion. 

Turns out, the effort to screen his old shows is an effort to keep his memory “sharp and stimulated as possible.”

“It may be a Hail Mary pass, but at this stage, they’re willing to try anything to keep Bruce’s memory intact for as long as they can,” the insider continued

Aside from SchwarzeneggerStallone and Jason Statham, Willis’ on-screen wives and beaus Cybill Shepherd and Bonnie Bedelia have already signed up for the concerted effort for their dear friend. 

The same outlet, in a different report, also dished out that the actor is “determined to stay coherent and lucid” as long as possible to be present and active for his grandchildren and the entire family.  

Arnold Schwarzenegger (2012), (Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images)

In May 2023, Schwarzenegger spoke with Cinema Blend about Willis’ retirement and current state. Willis officially retired in March 2022, but because of prior filming and production, he still had films released that same year and in 2023 as well. Some of those films include “Assassin” and “Detective Knight: Independence.” Based on his IMDb, it doesn’t appear that Willis has any future movies or shows.

Schwarzenegger and Willis forged a friendship several years ago and have even worked together in films, but it was still incredibly touching to hear that Schwarzenegger considered himself a Bruce Willis fan. Not only would Willis be remembered for his time on the big screen, but Schwarzenegger also said the action star would be remembered for who he is behind the scenes. He shared:

“I think that he's fantastic. He was, always for years and years, is a huge, huge star. And I think that he will always be remembered as a great, great star. And a kind man.”

Schwarzenegger went on to talk about how, even though Willis is retired, he will certainly never be forgotten in the world of action movies and action heroes. “I understand that under his circumstances, health-wise, that he had to retire,” he explained. “But in general, you know, we never really retire. Action heroes, they reload.”

Willis’ friends and family remain optimistic despite the heartbreaking reality. Still, it’s evident that even though Willis has stepped away from the big screen, his legacy will forever live on with the support of his family, friends, fans and other loved ones.

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis (2006), (Eric Charbonneau/WireImage via Getty Images for MGM)

Are you a fan of Bruce Willis? Do you have any wishes for him and his family? What can you say about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s kind words about him? Let us know, and pass this on to your family, friends, and other Bruce Willis fans!

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