For decades two of the biggest names in action movies (perhaps only rivaled by the likes of Arnold Schwarzenegger) were Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis. The two may have rivaled each other at the box office, but they were, in reality, close friends and, at one point, business partners. That was, of course, before the Willis family's heartbreaking announcement that the actor was retiring after being diagnosed with aphasia. In a recent career-spanning interview, Stallone gave a sad update about his friendship with Willis.
While speaking candidly to The Hollywood Reporter about his more than five-decade-spanning career, the subject soon turned to Stallone and Willis' relationship. When asked whether the two still keep in touch after The Die Hard star's life-changing diagnosis, Stallone revealed that they could no longer communicate due to Willis' struggle with the language disorder. The Cliffhanger actor said:
This is a gut-wrenching update on the Die Hard star's condition. Not being able to communicate with a lifelong friend would be very sad, and we feel for Sylvester Stallone. Many were affected by the action stars' health announcement because many celebrities, including Willis' ex-wife Demi Moore, spoke out in support.
Aphasia is an acquired language disorder that can result from damage to parts of the brain that help process language. This can occur from strokes, head injuries, brain tumors, and brain deterioration with age. While the Willis family has not gone public with the cause of the actor's diagnosis, his wife and caretaker, Emma Heming Willis, has spoken candidly about dealing with the disorder and how she's struggling with juggling the actor's health needs and the needs of their children.
Willis' predicament is a harrowing one that would make anyone wish to spend more time with their friends and loved ones when they have the opportunity, a priority many lose sight of whenever seeking a prominent career in Hollywood. A sentiment that Sylvester Stallone shares. In the same THR interview, the action headliner revealed one of his biggest regrets: not spending more time with his family because it's a luxury you cannot get back. He said:
The as-of-yet-unnamed Stallone family reality show has yet to have a premiere date, but when it does, you'll be able to enjoy it with a Paramount+ subscription. The series will document the actor's split with his wife, Jennifer Flavin, their divorce filing, and reconciliation. The actor also revealed he sees the reality show as the "ultimate" home movie, and it allows him to spend time with his kids under work conditions.
While I'm saddened Stallone hasn't been able to communicate with his friend Bruce Willis, it does my heart good to see the 76-year-old actor attempting to put his family first. That's time none of us can get back.
You can watch Sylvester Stallone starring in the upcoming Taylor Sheridan-created show, The Tulsa King, when it premieres on Paramount+ on November 13th. The actor is also reprising his role as Stakar Ogord in the upcoming Marvel movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.
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