Jennifer Aniston Devastated Over Pal Bruce Willis’ Dementia Diagnosis: ‘It’s Too Real’

Jennifer Aniston has been tearing up about the loss of Matthew Perry as of late, but a source says she’s equally impacted by the sad decline of Bruce Willis, with whom she’s enjoyed a special friendship that dates back several decades.

“Jen has looked up to Bruce since the beginning of her career, and in a lot of ways, followed in his footsteps,” a source close to Jen, 55, exclusively tells Closer. “Like Bruce, Jen worked a bunch of dead-end jobs during her New York years before she finally broke into network television. Even though she came from something of a showbiz family, she didn't get any breaks because of her somewhat famous father and had to prove herself while juggling pretty humiliating day jobs back in the early ‘90s.”

Jen starred on Friends for 10 seasons, getting to work with a slew of high-profile guest stars during her time on the show. Bruce, 69, portrayed Paul Stevens in three episodes of Friends, earning an Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2000.

“It was a big deal when Bruce came on Friends, and Bruce was a big part of Matthew Perry's career later during the show because of their Whole Nine Yards franchise,” the source adds. “Bruce was just part of their universe, and everybody on the cast loved him.”

Bruce was married to Demi Moore from 1987 to 2000, and they share three daughters: Rumer, Scout and Tallulah. He married his second wife, Emma Heming Willis, in 2009, and they welcomed daughters Mabel and Evelyn.

In March 2022, the Die Hard actor’s family announced that he was diagnosed with aphasia and would be stepping back from acting.

“This is a really challenging time for our family, and we are so appreciative of your continued love, compassion and support,” they wrote in a statement. “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.”

Jennifer Aniston Devastated Over Pal Bruce Willis' Dementia Diagnosis

Jennifer Aniston Devastated Over Pal Bruce Willis' Dementia Diagnosis

One year later, Bruce’s family provided fans with an update on his condition as he continued to live out of the public eye.

“Since we announced Bruce’s diagnosis of aphasia in spring 2022, Bruce’s condition has progressed and we now have a more specific diagnosis: frontotemporal dementia (known as FTD). Unfortunately, challenges with communication are just one symptom of the disease Bruce faces. While this is painful, it is a relief to finally have a clear diagnosis,” his family shared in a statement.

Bruce has had his Hollywood colleagues, fans and family rallying behind him since his dementia diagnosis was made public. For Jen, seeing the Paradise City actor’s health deteriorate has been extremely tough. The Emmy winner is still grieving the loss of Matthew, who was found dead in his California home in October 2023 at age 54.

“Because Jen has a genuine friendship with Demi Moore over the years, she would see Bruce socially pretty regularly and when Bruce finally became too ill to act or even socialize, Jen felt for Bruce and his family deeply, and it was just as much of an end of an era for her as Matthew's untimely death,” the insider says. “For all her success with The Morning Show over the last five years, Jen reacts to bad news the same way everybody else does: it's too real for Jen and she absolutely hates it.”

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