Bruce Willis faces ‘really difficult times’ with aphasia, says pal Sylvester Stallone

Actors Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis
Actors Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis arrive at a screening of “RED” at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood in 2010.
(Kevin Winter / Getty Images)

Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis used to be attached at the hip, but the “Tulsa King” actor said he hadn’t spoken to his “Expendables” co-star much since Willis’ aphasia diagnosis.

“Bruce is going through some really, really difficult times,” Stallone said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter published Monday. “So he’s been sort of incommunicado.”

The “Rocky” actor added that not speaking to Willis “kills me” and “it’s so sad.”

Stallone’s comments come months after Willis’ daughter, Rumer Willis, announced in March that the “Die Hard” actor was diagnosed with the cognitive disorder and would step away from his acting career.


‘Die Hard’ and ‘Pulp Fiction’ actor Bruce Willis ends his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, his family announces.

March 30, 2022

According to the National Aphasia Assn., aphasia is an acquired communication disorder that impairs the ability to process language but does not affect intelligence.

When news of Willis’ aphasia diagnosis broke, Stallone showed support on his Instagram page, posting pictures of their friendship over the years.

“We go back a long way, praying for the best for you and your wonderful family,” Stallone captioned his March post.

In interviews with The Times this month, nearly two dozen people who were on set with the actor expressed concern about Willis’ well-being.

March 30, 2022

Not long after the shocking announcement, The Times reported that Willis exhibited signs of decline in recent years. Filmmakers who worked with him said he had difficulty remembering his lines and could not perform action scenes.

“After the first day of working with Bruce, I could see it firsthand and I realized that there was a bigger issue at stake here and why I had been asked to shorten his lines,” said “Out of Death” director Mike Burns.

Bruce Willis brought fans joy by playing the blues on harmonica just months after his aphasia diagnosis. His wife posted video of the jam session.

Aug. 16, 2022


The condition might have halted Willis’ career, but the actor is still expressing his talent in other ways.

In August, Willis’ wife, Emma Heming Willis, shared a video of the actor playing the blues on his harmonica with musician Derek Richard Thomas.

“Their talent is speaking for itself,” Heming Willis captioned her Instagram post.

After nearly 30 years of romance, Sylvester Stallone and Jennifer Flavin are divorcing.

Aug. 24, 2022

Elsewhere in his Hollywood Reporter interview, Stallone spoke about his feud with “Rocky” producer Irwin Winkler and his marriage with Jennifer Flavin. In August, Flavin filed for divorce, but the two have since reconciled.

“Hopefully, you’re involved with people who understand the foibles of life and the fragility of it and how rare a real good relationship is,” Stallone told THR. “Sometimes I put the work ahead of [my family], and that is a tragic mistake which won’t happen again.”