Friends actor Matthew Perry says Bruce Willis will “remain in my prayers for a long time” following the announcement the 67-year-old will step back from his acting career.
The actor, who has recently been diagnosed with the cognitive condition aphasia, made cameo appearances in three episodes of the hit US sitcom.
Willis has starred in hit films including the Die Hard series, Pulp Fiction, Armageddon, Moonrise Kingdom, 12 Monkeys and Looper.
According to the NHS, aphasia is more common in people over the age of 65.
Writing on Twitter, Perry said Willis was “still the coolest man I’ve met in my entire life”.
“Dear Bruce Willis, I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through, but you’re still the coolest man I’ve met in my entire life.
“You will remain in my prayers for a long long time. Maybe we should get together and watch the whole 10 yards and get a couple of hours of sleep,” Perry said, in reference to the pair’s critically panned 2004 comedy film.
Willis’s Friends cameos included The One Where Ross Meets Elizabeth’s Dad, in which he played overprotective father Paul Stevens, whose daughter is going out with David Schwimmer’s hapless Ross Geller.
Willis’s character eventually ends up in a relationship with Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston.
Many of Hollywood’s biggest stars also sent messages of support for the “awesome badass” actor following the announcement.
Director M Night Shyamalan, Breaking Bad star Dean Norris, Seth Green and Jamie Lee Curtis were among the famous faces rallying around the Willis family.
Shyamalan, who directed the actor in the 2019 superhero thriller Glass, paid tribute to Willis as the “hero on that poster on my wall as a kid”.
“All my love and respect to my big brother Bruce Willis,” he said.
“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 a kid.”
Disclosing the news on social media on Wednesday, Willis’s family said it had been a “really challenging time” for them and thanked fans for their “continued love, compassion and support”.
Willis married actress Demi Moore in 1987 and had his three eldest children, Rumer, Scout and Tallulah.
The pair separated in 2000 but remained on amicable terms and Willis married actress Emma Heming in 2009.
Willis and Heming also share two daughters, Mabel and Evelyn.