Maria Shriver, Jake Tapper, And Father Of The Bride Star Kimberly Williams-Paisley Share Personal Stories And Send Support To Bruce Willis Amidst Official Diagnosis
This is devastating news.
The close-knit Hollywood community received a jolt back in March 2022 when Demi Moore posted on her social media accounts that her former husband, and A-list superstar Bruce Willis, was retiring effective immediately due to a diagnosis of aphasia. At the time, close friends and colleagues like John Travolta and Sylvester Stallone shared emotional messages about their love of Willis and his impact on the industry. In the weeks and months that followed, Willis’s wife Emma Heming kept fans updated on his progress and shared sweet insights into the star’s home life with his loved ones. But the latest story was far from positive, and it prompted more supportive messages from celebrities who knew Willis, and connected with his suffering.
We spoke with Quentin Tarantino about Bruce Willis and his legacy, including their collaboration on the iconic Pulp Fiction. Here's what he had to say.
The Willis family released a statement on Thursday explaining that the actor’s condition had been further clarified to them, and he was now diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, or FTD. The family went on to explain:
As one might imagine, an outpouring of love and support followed the revelation. Maria Shriver, who ran in the same circles as Willis and Demi Moore during her lengthy marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tweeted:
My heart goes out to Bruce Willis and his family, & also my gratitude for shining a much needed light on this disease. When people step forward it helps all of us. When people get a diagnosis it’s extremely difficult, but also for most a relief to get a diagnosis. pic.twitter.com/macAukMe7UFebruary 16, 2023
In the process of reporting the heartbreaking story, CNN anchor Jake Tapper also touched on a personal experience with FTD, which he called “a profoundly cruel disease” in this Tweet:
Bruce Willis has been diagnosed with Frontotemporal Dementia, his family says. FTD is a profoundly cruel disease, my beloved father in law Tom suffered from it for years before he died. Sending all my love and prayers to their family pic.twitter.com/IoBuS21FolFebruary 16, 2023
Too many seem to have personal connections to FTD, and were willing to share their difficult memories with the disease. Father of the Bride star Kimberly Williams-Paisley posted a comment of solidarity underneath People’s reporting of the Willis diagnosis, simply stating:
Bruce Willis has an arduous journey ahead of himself. But as he and his family members pointed out in their statement, they hope that media coverage of his diagnosis and battle shine a brighter light on the condition, and the work that might be going into finding a cure.
Willis has enjoyed the type of career few can only dream of. If you have fallen behind on some of his best movies, use that guide to help program your weekend, and then enjoy sentimental memories from the likes of Looper director Rian Johnson and Friends co-star Matthew Perry, who made two comedies with Bruce around 2000. These are the stories we want to use to use to celebrate the man’s accomplishments, because the road going forward is only going to get harder, not better.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. He's frequently found on Twitter at @Sean_OConnell. ReelBlend cohost. A movie junkie who's Infatuated with comic-book films. Helped get the Snyder Cut released, then wrote a book about it.