Bill Paxton, who starred in such films as The Terminator, Weird Science, Aliens, Apollo 13, Titanic, and Nightcrawler, as well as the star of the HBO hit series Big Love, died on February 25 at the age of 61.
A representative from the family gave the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery. A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”
Paxton had a minor role as a punk in James Cameron’s 1984 classic The Terminator. He would reunite with Cameron a couple years later as Private Hudson in Aliens. He would go on to work with Cameron again in True Lies, and Titanic. Paxton would have more supporting roles in Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 and the blockbuster Twister. From 2006 to 2011 he was the patriarch of a Utah based polygamist family, Bill Henrickson in HBO’s hit Big Love.
Marvel cast him in a supporting role in Agents of Shield on ABC and this year he was working on a TV reboot of Training Day, only thirteen episodes of which have been filmed and its future is uncertain.
Paxton was born in 1955 in Fort Worth, TX. A year after graduating high school, he moved to Los Angeles to get into film, working on the technical side of the industry. Paxton spent two years at New York University but dropped out to return to Los Angeles in order to continue with his acting career.
Hardly ever the lead in a film, Paxton was never bitter about his career as a supporting actor.
“It’s easy to get jaded. It’s easy to get lazy. It’s easy to get too self-centric, like, ‘Why me? What about my needs?’ It has nothing to do with that. But you see, you are the thing you are selling whether you are a director or an actor in this business. It’s very tough. The town doesn’t realize that its greatest resource is its people.”
Paxton is survived by his wife Louise and children James and Lydia.