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Haley Joel Osment expresses ‘deep admiration’ for ‘Sixth Sense’ co-star Bruce Willis following aphasia diagnosis

Osment and Willis’ former co-stars and collaborators have shared posts honoring the “Die Hard” star after learning he is stepping away from acting. 
/ Source: TODAY

Haley Joel Osment, who co-starred with Bruce Willis in the 1999 thriller “The Sixth Sense,” is sharing how grateful he is for the “Die Hard” star following news of his aphasia diagnosis.Osment, 33, uploaded a throwback photo of Willis, 67, on his Instagram on Thursday. He began the caption with, “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.” 

Bruce Willis with Haley Joel Osment at the preview of the film "The Sixth Sense."Ronald Siemoneit / Sygma via Getty Images

He praised Willis for being “a true legend who has enriched all of our lives with a singular career that spans nearly half a century.”

“The Kominsky Method” actor added, “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.”

At the end of the heartfelt post, 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.”

On Wednesday, Willis’ family announced that he would retire from acting after being diagnosed with aphasia, a medical condition that can affect cognitive abilities. 

The surprising news led to an outpouring of social media posts from fans and former collaborators that celebrated the prolific actor. 

“The Sixth Sense” director and writer M. Night Shyamalan, 51, shared his “love and respect” for his “big brother Bruce Willis” on Twitter.

“I know his wonderful family is surrounding him with support and strength,” he wrote. “He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as (a) kid.”

John Travolta, 68, uploaded a couple photos of him and Willis together on Instagram on Thursday.  

In the caption, Travolta said that the two have been “good friends” ever since they appeared together in the hit films “Pulp Fiction” and “Look Who’s Talking.” 

Years after co-starring in the movies, Travolta said Willis told him, “‘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,” Travolta wrote. “I love you Bruce.” 

According to the National Aphasia Association, the cognitive disorder can cause damage to the brain that impairs speaking, reading, writing and understanding others.

Willis’ daughter Rumer uploaded an Instagram message about his diagnosis on Wednesday that was signed by her sisters Evelyn, Scout, Tallulah and Mabel, as well as Willis' wife Emma Heming Willis and ex-wife Demi Moore. 

“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,” the message read. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”

After seeing the countless posts from fans supporting their father, Rumer, 33, also shared a few childhood photos of them together.

Younger sister Scout, 30, posted a recent snap of her sitting with her "daddio."

She also wrote on her Instagram Story, “The exquisite outpouring of love that I am experiencing right now is just blowing me away. Thank you all for showing up with so much tenderness and stunning Love for my daddio and my whole family!”