The former child actor, who rocketed to fame with his supernatural performance in the M. Night Shyamalan film, paid tribute to the Hollywood legend on Thursday.
Bruce’s family shared a statement posted to Instagram on Wednesday that detailed the actor’s retirement, saying he would be “stepping away from” an impressive career “that has meant so much to him” due to a medical condition.
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Osment reacted on Instagram, posting a picture of Willis along with the caption: “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’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, and for the enormous body of work he built for us to enjoy for years and years to come,” he continued.
“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,” he eloquently concluded.
Longtime Willis collaborator Shyamalan had his own tribute to share.
“All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis. I know his wonderful family is surrounding him with support and strength,” Shyamalan tweeted.
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.
He concluded, “He will always be that hero on that poster on my wall as [a] kid.”
The “Die Hard” icon’s family initially shared the news via social media.
“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,” read the statement. “As a result of this and with much consideration Bruce is stepping away from the career that has meant so much to him.”
“This is a really challenging time for our family and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” it continued. “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.”
They concluded: “As Bruce always says, ‘Live it up’ and together we plan to do just that.”