Actor Bill Paxton – the Emmy-award winning star of iconic Hollywood movies like Aliens – has died, TMZ is reporting.
The actor, who also starred in such mega Hollywood hits as Titanic and Twister, was only 61-years-old. His roles in many of Hollywood’s biggest hits made him a familiar face to many.
He leaves behind a wife and two children, and Hollywood celebrities are expressing surprise and grief over the death of a man known for his passion for film and television. Prized for his versatility, Paxton also found acclaim when he starred as a polygamist husband on the HBO television series, Big Love.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Paxton Died of a Stroke From Complications of Heart Surgery
In a statement to TMZ, the Paxton family said, “It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery.” TMZ later added, “We’re told Paxton underwent heart surgery and had complications post-op and suffered a fatal stroke.”
TMZ reported that Paxton had died “suddenly” on February 25. Celebrities weighed in. Tom Hanks called Paxton a “wonderful man.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger and other celebrities praised Paxton’s warmth and big heart.
ABC confirmed that Paxton died and released a family statement.
“Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable,” the statement said. “We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”
2. Paxton’s Family Recalled His ‘Passion for the Arts’
The family statement, released by ABC, said that “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.”
The statement described Bill’s “tireless energy” and his “passion for the arts.”
His acting career began in 1975. He had minor roles in several films, including “Stripes” in 1981, “The Terminator” in 1984 and in a supporting role in 1985’s “Weird Science.” According to Daily Variety, “With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself playing military men and cowboys.”
3. Paxton Starred in a String of Hollywood Hits
Paxton has starred in dozens of movies, including “Aliens,” as Private Hudson, “Twister” as Bill Harding, “Titanic” as Brock Lovett and “Apollo 13” and “Apollo 13” as Fred Haise. According to ABC 7 New York, “He was, sci-fi fans like to point out, the only actor killed by a Predator, a Terminator and an Alien.”
He was the lead actor in the HBO series “Big Love” from 2006 to 2011.
Paxton was most recently seen in the CBS TV show “Training Day,” as Detective Frank Roark, and had roles in two movies in 2016, “Term Life” and “Mean Dreams.” His final film, “The Circle,” was completed this year.
According to People Magazine, Paxton won an Emmy “for his work in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys, began acting in the 1970s. His earliest acting credits include minor roles in blockbusters such as Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986).”
He also played such characters as “Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead role in the 1996 hit Twister and as treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic (1997),” People Magazine reported.
4. Paxton Was Born in Texas & Attended an Award Show Just Weeks Ago
Paxton attended the 48th NAACP Image Awards at Pasadena Civic Auditorium on February 11, 2017 in Pasadena, California.
According to Daily Variety, Paxton was born in Fort Worth, Texas. At age 18, he went to Hollywood and “found work as a set dresser for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures” before studying acting in New York, Daily Variety reported.
As a young boy, Paxton was in the crowd “that welcomed President John F. Kennedy in Texas on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, hours before Kennedy was killed in Dallas,” reported ABC 7 New York.
He was an on-set prankster who earned the nickname “wild Bill” for his joking around, Daily Variety reported.
5. Paxton Was Married Twice & Had Two Children
Paxton was married for 30 years to Louise Newbury. He is survived by two children, James and Lydia Paxton.
He was previously married to Kelly Rowan from 1979 to 1980. Although many sites say that Paxton was married to the Kelly Rowan of OC fame, her representative says that is not true and Paxton was not married to that Kelly Rowan.
Paxton’s son, James, is also an actor who stars in USA Network’s Eyewitness. You can read more about Paxton’s children here:
Read more about Bill Paxton in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: