In 1999, when the internet was still prehistoric and streaming platforms were something no one could imagine, the world went to the movies to watch Bruce Willis take on the role of a child psychiatrist who meets young boy Cole in The Sixth Sense. It was a mystery film that, while the concept of “spoilers” had not yet been coined, was strictly forbidden to talk about the ending. The release was a huge success: it cost $40 million at the time, and only in its opening weekend took in $26 million at the US box office. In total, her earnings totaled $673 million worldwide.
Some quotes and scenes from the movie — which was nominated for six Academy Awards — have burned into the collective consciousness, and the on-screen partnership between Willis and the little boy, played by Haley Joel Osment, will always be remembered. Today, Osment is about to turn 34, and he’s still in the acting business, albeit more focused these days on television. When his former co-star Bruce Willis recently announced that he’s retiring from acting due to aphasia – a language disorder that can affect sufferers’ ability to communicate – Osment wanted to dedicate some kind words to the 67-year-old.
Osment wrote on Instagram, along with a black and white photo of Willis. “He is a true legend who has enriched our entire lives with a unique career spanning nearly half a century. I am so grateful for what I witnessed for myself, and for the tremendous body of work that he has built for us to enjoy for years and years to come. I just wanted to express the respect and deep admiration I have for Bruce and his family as they march forward with courage. and the high spirits that have always distinguished them.”
It was March 30 when the Willis family released a statement confirming that he was retiring from acting. “To the amazing Bruce fans, as a family we wanted to share that our beloved Bruce has some health issues and was recently diagnosed with aphasia, which affects his cognitive abilities. As a result of this and in a big sense, Bruce is walking away from a career that meant so much to him,” read a post on His daughter Rumer Willis’ Instagram account. “This is a challenging time for our family and we deeply appreciate your continued love, sympathy and support. We are moving through this as a strong family unit, and we wanted to attract his fans because we know how much he means to you, as you do to him. As Bruce always says, “Live it up” and we plan together. To do exactly that. Love, Emma, Demi, Rumer, Scout, Tallulah, Mabel, & Evelyn.”
Aphasia can cause problems understanding and expressing language, and it can usually occur quickly after brain damage such as a stroke. After Willis’ diagnosis and retirement, many of his friends, relatives and fans wanted to show their affection and support. Everyone sent messages from his ex-wife Demi Moore and his daughters to his colleagues in the industry. Sending love and support to my dearest Demi,” former star Melanie Griffith said. “Grace and courage! Love you all!” Actress Jamie Lee Curtis wrote.