Big-screen tough-guy Bruce Willis is fine with fans walking all over him. That's because the two-time Emmy winner now has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, bestowed upon him as other Hollywood heavyweights including Armageddon costars Ben Affleck and Billy Bob Thornton, Sylvester Stallone, Kevin Costner, and Willis' ex-wife, Demi Moore, and her husband, Ashton Kutcher looked on at the Oct. 16, Grauman's Chinese Theater ceremony.
Master of ceremonies Johnny Grant, the "Honorary Mayor of Hollywood," entertained approximately 500 or so fans that turned out for the festivities with Tinseltown tidbits (for example, the nearby Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel was the site of the first Academy Awards, while devotees of the Die Hard franchise's star anxiously waited for Willis to arrive. "If I read his entire biography and list of credits, we'd be here until this evening," said Grant, who praised the actor/musician for "quietly taking his band [Bruce Willis & the Accelerators] to visit our troops [in] Iraq."
Affleck and Thornton spoke in support of their onetime costar. "Bruce Willis was the biggest star on earth [back] when I was wondering what it would be like to lose my virginity," Affleck stated, semi-shocking the crowd. "He's always been really, really good to me. I'd be [personally] flattered, except that I've seen him be that way to everyone."
Thornton recalled that he feared losing his role in 2001's Bandits after he became hospitalized. "The studio was going to recast.... Bruce said [to them], This is the guy I'm starring in the movie with. Period.' They said, 'How long do we wait?' Bruce said, "However long it takes.' I'll never forget him for that."
Leron Gubler, president and CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, offered up some insight into the city's stellar sidewalk. "Occasionally, I'll be asked by a reporter, 'What is it about the Walk of Fame that's so appealing to tourists?' I usually respond that the Walk of Fame is the fans' award. This is the one award that no matter what happens, it'll always remain accessible to the public."
Willis, who seemed genuinely humbled by the honor, spoke last at the morning ceremony. "This is better than my birthday," he enthused. "The most exciting thing is to see all you guys come out here and we're holding up traffic on Hollywood Boulevard!" Willis thanked the "people who got me here," including his mom, Marlene; Moore; Moonlighting creator Glenn Gordon Caron; his siblings; and daughters Rumer, Scout and Tallulah, who all got to cut school for the day.
Willis and Moore's children weren't the only ones playing hooky. "I took the morning off from work to be here," Julie, a Willis fan and Florida native who now lives in Hollywood, told TVGuide.com. "I'm such a big fan of everything he's done. I just got Moonlighting on DVD. I love Bruce's comedic timing and, of course, his action pictures!"
TV Guide Channel's special TV Watercooler coverage of Bruce Willis' Walk of Fame ceremony next airs Tuesday, Oct. 17, at 5 pm, and Wednesday at 12 am and 3 pm ET.
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