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Arnold Schwarzenegger calls Bruce Willis ‘a huge star’ amid actor’s retirement

"I think that he will always be remembered as a great, great star."
/ Source: TODAY

The Terminator has John McClane's back.

After working together for the movie franchise "The Expendables," Arnold Schwarzenegger is expressing his admiration for co-star Bruce Willis as the lauded action star retires.

In an interview with CinemaBlend, the "FUBAR" actor said he thinks Willis is "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," Schwarzenegger said.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis Join Sylvester Stallone toCelebrate His 60th Birthday at His Soon-To-Open Planet Hollywood
Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger join Sylvester Stallone to celebrate his 60th birthday at Planet Hollywood in 2006.Denise Truscello / WireImage

He added that the "Die Hard" star is "a kind man."

As the dominant action stars of the '80's and '90's, Schwarzenegger and Willis, along with "Rambo" actor Sylvester Stallone, were considered to be rivals in the acting world and part of a "holy trinity" in the action genre.

The trio were famously considered friends and in 1991 they backed the opening of the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood together.

When asked about Willis' legacy, Schwarzenegger added, "I understand that under his circumstances, health-wise, that he had to retire. But in general, you know, we never really retire. Action heroes, they reload."

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis at the opening of Planet Hollywood July 25, 1994 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis at the opening of Planet Hollywood July 25, 1994 in Las Vegas, Nevada.Scott Harrison / Getty Images

In March 2022, Willis' family — wife Emma Heming Willis, ex-wife Demi Moore and his three daughters with Moore — announced that the actor was retiring from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, which is caused by damage to the part of the brain that controls language. Willis last starred in "Assassin," which premiered this March.

Earlier this year, the family shared that his condition "progressed," leading to a more specific diagnosis of frontotemporal dementia.

The neurodegenerative disease affects the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain and affects how people speak and interact with others.

"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 family's statement read, which was signed "Ladies of Willis/Moore."

In the wake of the news of Willis' retirement, several actors shared tributes to their former co-star and friend.

John Travolta, who worked with Willis in "Pulp Fiction," posted two throwback photos of the duo to Instagram last April.

“Bruce and I became good friends when we shared 2 of our biggest hits together, 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Look Who’s Talking',” Travolta wrote in the caption. “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."

Haley Joel Osment, who played 9-year-old Cole in the 1999 thriller “The Sixth Sense,” expressed his gratitude for Willis in an Instagram post.

"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," he wrote. "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."