Actor Bill Paxton has Died at age 61 Due to Complications from Surgery

Paxton at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International. Photo by: By Gage Skidmore, Via: https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27440114

Actor Bill Paxton has died at age 61 due to complications from surgery, People magazine reported.

“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” a family representative said in a statement. Paxton underwent heart surgery and had complications post-op and suffered a fatal stroke.

“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 (the child seen raised above the crowd) before JFK emerges from Hotel Texas on November 22, 1963. Photo from the Ray Cooper Collection, KTVT-TV.

William “Bill” Paxton was born May 17, 1955. Paxton was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton. His father was a businessman, lumber wholesaler, museum executive, and occasional actor. His mother was Roman Catholic, and he and his siblings were raised in her faith. Paxton was in the crowd when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas on the morning of his assassination on November 22, 1963. Photographs of an eight-year-old Paxton being lifted above the crowd are on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas.

Some of Paxton’s earliest roles included a minor role as a punk thug in The Terminator (1984) and a supporting role as the lead protagonist’s bullying older brother in John Hughes’ Weird Science (1985). He also appeared in Aliens (1986) as the sarcastic Private Hudson; except for Lance Henriksen, Paxton is the only actor to play characters confronted by a Terminator (The Terminator), a Xenomorph (Aliens), and a Predator (Predator 2). Paxton worked with director James Cameron on True Lies (1994) and Titanic (1997), which was the highest-grossing film of all time at its release. Four years after appearing in Titanic, he joined James Cameron on an expedition to the actual Titanic. A film about this trip, Ghosts of the Abyss, was released in 2003.

Some of Paxton’s notable performances include playing Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead role in the successful Twister (1996), lead roles in dark dramas such as One False Move (1992) and A Simple Plan (1998), and, more recently, a supporting role in Edge of Tomorrow (2014).

Paxton received acclaim for some of his television performances. Most notably, he had the lead role in HBO’s Big Love (2006-2011), for which Paxton received three Golden Globe nominations.

Paxton also received attention for his performance in the History Channel’s miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012), for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, alongside co-star Kevin Costner. He directed a number of short films, including Fish Heads, which aired during Saturday Night Live‘s low-rated 1980–1981 season. He directed the feature films Frailty (2001), in which he starred, and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).

Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt star in Twister (1996) Warner Bros./Universal Pictures

He was cast in a music video for the 1982 Pat Benatar song “Shadows of the Night”, in which he appeared as a Nazi radio officer. He appears in the Limp Bizkit video Eat You Alive. In 1988, he and vocalist/guitarist Andrew Todd Rosenthal formed a short-lived rock duo Martini Ranch.

In 2014, he played the role of the villainous John Garrett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. He stars alongside Jon Bernthal, Rose McGowan, and John Malkovich as a playable character in the 2014 video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (downloadable “Exo Zombies” mode).
In February 2016, Paxton was cast as Detective Frank Roarke for Training Day, a crime-thriller television series set 15 years after the events of the eponymous 2001 movie; it premiered a year later.

Paxton was married from 1979-1980 to Kelly Rowan. In 1987, he married Louise Newbury; together, they had two children, James and Lydia Paxton. On February 25, 2017, Paxton died at age 61 due to complications from surgery.

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