Haley Joel Osment Shares Touching Tribute to The Sixth Sense Co-Star Bruce Willis

Haley Joel Osment shared a heartfelt tribute expressing “respect and deep admiration” for his The Sixth Sense co-star Bruce Willis, who is retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia. Willis’ family on Wednesday announced the Die Hard actor and Emmy winner was recently diagnosed with aphasia, “which is impacting his cognitive abilities,” his daughter Rumer wrote on Instagram. Since making the diagnosis public, Willis has seen support from fans and colleagues alike, including collaborators M. Night Shyamalan, Kevin Smith, and Sylvester Stallone.

“It’s been difficult to find the right words for someone I’ve always looked up to — first on the big screen, and then by some wild stroke of luck, in person,” Osment captioned a photo of Willis posted to Instagram. “He’s a true legend who has enriched all of our lives with a singular career that spans nearly half a century. 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.”

A post shared by Haley Joel Osment (@hjosment)

He concluded, “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.”

Osment starred opposite Willis in Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense in the role of Cole Sear, a young boy who has the uncanny ability to see dead people. The supernatural thriller, released in 1999, grossed nearly $700 million worldwide — the second highest-grossing film of the year, behind only George Lucas’ Star Wars prequel Episode I – The Phantom Menace.

The Sixth Sense was a departure for Willis, known for roles in action-heavy films like the blockbuster Die Hard franchise, The Fifth Element, and Armageddon. Willis would go on to collaborate with Shyamalan on 2000’s Unbreakable, 2016’s Split, and 2019’s Glass.

“All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis,” Shyamalan tweeted in response to news of Willis’ diagnosis. “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 kid.”

In a statement from Willis’ wife, Emma Heming, his ex-wife Demi Moore, and his children Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, and Evelyn, the Willis family said the actor was retiring after a career spanning four decades.

“To Bruce’s amazing supporters, 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. 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’s statement reads. “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.”


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