Sylvester Stallone Is ‘Praying’ For Bruce Willis In Wake Of News That He’s Been Diagnosed With Aphasia

Sylvester Stallone is ‘praying’ for his friend-turned-costar Bruce Willis in wake of news that he’s been diagnosed with the degenerative brain condition aphasia and will step away from acting.

‘We go back a long way , praying for the best for you and your wonderful family …’ captioned Stallone, 75, who shared a slideshow of photos documenting their decades-long friendship to Instagram.

Stallone and Willis, 67, famously starred alongside one another in the 2010s action franchise The Expendables – a project that spawned the pair’s first and only public feud.

The first snap included in the Rambo star’s tribute post was a major throwback from 1992 and taken during Willis’ ex-wife Demi Moore’s 30th birthday celebration at Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park.

Stallone and Willis were aboard one of the park’s many thrill-seeking rides with model Brigitte Nielsen.

Another showed the duo mounted on motorcycles as they made a joint appearance on the David Letterman Show in 2008.

Stallone also threw in a shot of him and the Die Hard star mingling on the red carpet at the premiere of the HBO documentary His Way, which follows the career of legendary producer Jerry Weintraub, in 2011.

Last but not least, the Predator actor shared a behind-the-scenes snap taken during the filming of the first or second Expendables film.

The very first Expendables hit theaters in 2010, with the sequel premiering just two years later in the summer of 2012.

Willis, who played CIA operative Mr. Church, was set to star in the third installment but dropped out after an alleged ‘money demand’ that was not met.

Soon after the news broke – and Harrison Ford had signed on as Willis’ replacement – Stallone published an explosive tweet aimed at the Red star.

Despite the very public criticism, Stallone insisted in an interview that same September that he still considered Willis a ‘lifelong friend’ and that his tweet came out of ‘frustration.’

A little over a year later, Stallone took to Twitter to reveal that he and Willis had officially buried that hatchet.

‘Made up with BRUCE W. A stand up guy, my mistake…. ‘ he posted on November 2014.

Willis’ devastating diagnosis was revealed in a statement posted by his family, including ex-wife Demi Moore and their three daughters, to Instagram on Wednesday.

Bruce Willis 'stepping away' from acting because of health condition - KXLY

‘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,’ they wrote.

‘As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.’

The statement added: ‘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.

‘As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that,’ the statement, which was signed by his wife, model Emma Heming Willis, his ex-wife Demi and all of his children, concluded.

‘Gentle and hilarious: ‘He was such an incredible acting partner to me, and is the loveliest, most gentle and hilarious man. he reigns supreme in my book,’ the 47-year-old actress wrote on Instagram, followed by several red heart emojis

‘Gentle and hilarious: ‘He was such an incredible acting partner to me, and is the loveliest, most gentle and hilarious man. he reigns supreme in my book,’ the 47-year-old actress wrote on Instagram, followed by several red heart emojis

According to the National Aphasia Association, aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write.

The association reports the condition is always due to injury to the brain, most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals.

Head trauma, brain tumors or from infections can also cause aphasia.

Director M. Night Shyamalan, who directed Willis in the critically-acclaimed 1999 thriller The Sixth Sense and the 2019 Sc-fi thriller Glass, referred to the actor as his ‘big brother’ and sent ‘support and strength’ to him and his family.

‘All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis. 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,’ penned the 51-year-old.

American Horror Story star Sarah Paulson, who starred alongside Bruce in Glass, spoke about working with the actor and the impact he left on her.

‘He was such an incredible acting partner to me, and is the loveliest, most gentle and hilarious man. he reigns supreme in my book,’ the 47-year-old actress wrote on Instagram, followed by several red heart emojis.

Len Wiseman – who had the honor of directing Willis in 2007’s Live Free or Die Hard, the fourth installment in the iconic Die Hard franchise – also sent ‘strength’ to the legendary screen star.

‘Sending love and strength to you, Bruce and your lovely family ❤️’ commented the director under Willis’ daughter Rumer’s Instagram statement.

Alec Baldwin’s daughter Ireland Baldwin commented on his daughterTallulah Willis’ post that she is sending the family ‘all of my love today,’ while model Tommy Dorfman left a string of heart emojis and a simple ‘love you.’

‘Sending so much love and strength to your beautiful family,’ wrote supermodel Helena Christensen to Rumer on Instagram,

Actress Hilarie Burton, also commenting on Rumer’s post, sent ‘big hugs,’ while Jenna Dewan expressed that she was ‘sending love to you and your beautiful family.’

‘Sending so much love to you, your dad and your entire family,’ wrote Thor star Jamie Alexander.

Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son Patrick commented several heart emojis, while Tess Holiday also sent ‘love’ to the star and his family on Instagram.

Willis’ health announcement came more than one year after OK Magazine first speculated on his declining mental health, after he was seen leaving a California pharmacy without a facemask. The actor later apologized saying it was an ‘error in judgment,’ but unnamed sources told the magazine Willis ‘simply forgot’ to bring the bandana hanging from his neck up to his face.

The source said that, although Willis had not been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, ‘he’s been waging a personal war for a number of years.’

They said Willis had sold his New York property to spend more time with his wife and children in Los Angeles, and said that his wife, as well as ex-wife Demi Moore, were working together to take care of the famed actor.

‘His wife Emma has helped Demi Moore and the children Bruce shares with his ex-wife to make truces because they know he’s fading,’ the unnamed source told the magazine in January 2021.

‘Between Demi and Emma, the family has always ensured Bruce has the support and care he might needat any given time,’ the insider said. ‘It’s sad that people are making fun of him.’

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