Sad news to reports this morning as it has been reported that actor Bill Paxton has passed away. The Texas-born performer distinguished for his grizzled countenance and longtime working collaboration with director James Cameron, died due to complications from heart surgery. Paxton maintained a prominent 40-plus year in Hollywood that spanned both the silver and small screen. A statement from Paxton’s family relayed, “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.” He was 61.
Paxton made his film debut with an un-credited turn in Crazy Mama (1975), an early film from Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme. What followed were small roles in notable films such as Stripes (1981), Streets of Fire (1984) and Weird Science (1985). Paxton made an appearance in James Cameron’s iconic science fiction film The Terminator (1984) and further gained fame for his turn as Private Hudson in Cameron’s iconic Aliens (1986). Paxton continued working with Cameron on his blockbuster True Lies (1994) as well as his Oscar-winning epic Titanic (1997).
Paxton was a apart of the Screen Actors Guild award winning ensemble cast of Ron Howard’s Oscar-winning Apollo 13 (1995); he followed that film with the 1996 disaster blockbuster Twister and a nuanced turn in Sam Raimi’s thriller A Simple Plan (1998), a performance that earned Paxton some of his strongest reviews. Further extending his range, Paxton both directed and co-starred in the 2000 mystery Frailty, which netted a four-star review from Roger Ebert, who wrote, “Perhaps only a first-time director, an actor who does not depend on directing for his next job, would have had the nerve to make this movie. It is uncompromised.”
He notably made recent runs on television with the HBO cult hit Big Love and the Emmy-winning mini-series Hatfield and McCoys. Paxton most recently appeared on screen in Nightcrawler and Edge of Tomorrow. He will next be seen in James Ponsoldt’s upcoming science fiction thriller The Circle opposite his Apollo 13 co-star Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.
Below are reactions from Hollywood:
Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man… Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) February 26, 2017
You were a great friend to me, Bill. AND one of the finest actors to share a set with. Sending so much love to Bill Paxton’s family.
— Charlize Theron (@CharlizeAfrica) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton could play any role, but he was best at being Bill – a great human being with a huge heart. My thoughts are with his family.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 26, 2017
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) February 26, 2017