Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton

Born: May 17, 1955
Died: February 25, 2017 (at age 61)
Birthplace: Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.

William "Bill" Paxton (May 17, 1955 - February 25, 2017) was an American actor and film director. The films in which he appeared include The Terminator (1984), Weird Science (1985), Aliens (1986), Predator 2 (1990), True Lies (1994), Apollo 13 (1995), Twister (1996), Titanic (1997), U-571 (2000), Edge of Tomorrow (2014) and Nightcrawler (2014). Paxton also starred in the HBO drama series Big Love (2006-2011). In 2013, he received an Emmy Award nomination for his performance in the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.

Early life

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 8-year-old Paxton being lifted above the crowd are on display at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas. On the Marc Maron podcast, Paxton revealed at the age of 13 he contracted rheumatic fever which had damaged his heart. During his teens, Paxton worked as a paper delivery boy with Mike Muir.


Among Paxton's earliest roles were a minor role as a punk thug in The Terminator (1984), a supporting role as the lead protagonist's bullying older brother Chet in John Hughes' Weird Science (1985), and Private Hudson in Aliens (1986).

He directed several short films, including the music video for Barnes & Barnes' novelty song "Fish Heads", which aired during Saturday Night Live's low-rated 1980-1981 season. 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.

Music career

Main article: Martini Ranch

In 1982, Paxton and his friend Andrew Todd Rosenthal formed a new wave musical band called Martini Ranch. The band released its only full length album, Holy Cow, in 1988 on Sire Records. The album was produced by Devo member Bob Casale and featured guest appearances by two other members of that band. The music video for the band's single "Reach" was directed by James Cameron.


Paxton worked with director James Cameron on True Lies (1994) and Titanic (1997), the latter of which was the highest-grossing film of all time at its release. In his other roles, Paxton played Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead in Twister (1996), and lead roles in dark dramas such as One False Move (1992) and A Simple Plan (1998).


Paxton directed the feature films Frailty (2001), in which he starred, and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005). Four years after appearing in Titanic, he joined Cameron on an expedition to the actual Titanic. A film about this trip, Ghosts of the Abyss, was released in 2003. He also appeared in the music video for Limp Bizkit's 2003 song "Eat You Alive" as a sheriff.

His highest profile television performances received much positive attention, including his lead role in HBO's Big Love (2006-2011), for which Paxton received three Golden Globe Award nominations. Paxton also received good reviews 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.

In 2014, he played the role of the villainous John Garrett in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a supporting role in Edge of Tomorrow (2014). He starred 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.

Personal life

Paxton was married from 1979 to 1980 to Kelly Rowan. In 1987, he married Louise Newbury; together, they had two children, James and Lydia.

In February 2017, a few weeks prior to having cardiac surgery, and ultimately his death, Paxton stated in an interview with Marc Maron that he had a damaged heart valve, the result of suffering from rheumatic fever in his youth.


On February 25, 2017, Paxton died at the age of 61 from what was initially reported as being complications following heart surgery. A representative for the family released the following statement to the press on February 26:

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.

On March 6, 2017, Paxton's cause of death was officially revealed as being a stroke resulting from complications from his heart and aorta surgery that he underwent on February 14, 2017.

He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1975 Crazy Mama John Uncredited
1981 Stripes Soldier
1982 Night Warning Eddie
1983 Taking Tiger Mountain Billy Hampton
1983 Lords of Discipline, TheThe Lords of Discipline Gilbreath
1983 Mortuary Paul Andrews
1984 Streets of Fire Clyde the Bartender
1984 Impulse Eddie
1984 Terminator, TheThe Terminator Punk Leader
1985 Weird Science Chet Donnelly
1985 Commando Intercept Officer
1986 Aliens Private William Hudson
1987 Near Dark Severen
1988 Pass the Ammo Jesse Wilkes
1989 Slipstream Matt Owens
1989 Next of Kin Gerald Gates
1989 Back to Back Bo Brand
1990 Brain Dead Jim Reston
1990 Last of the Finest, TheThe Last of the Finest Howard 'Hojo' Jones
1990 Navy SEALs Dane
1990 Predator 2 Jerry Lambert
1991 Dark Backward, TheThe Dark Backward Gus
1992 Vagrant, TheThe Vagrant Graham Krakowski
1992 One False Move Dale 'Hurricane' Dixon
1992 Trespass Vince
1993 Monolith Tucker
1993 Indian Summer Jack Belston
1993 Boxing Helena Ray O'Malley
1993 Tombstone Morgan Earp
1994 True Lies Simon
1994 Frank and Jesse Frank James
1994 Future Shock Vince
1995 Last Supper, TheThe Last Supper Zachary Cody
1995 Apollo 13 Fred Haise
1996 Twister Bill "The Extreme" Harding
1996 Evening Star, TheThe Evening Star Jerry Bruckner
1997 Traveller Bokky
1997 Titanic Brock Lovett
1998 Simple Plan, AA Simple Plan Hank
1998 Mighty Joe Young Professor Gregory O'Hara
2000 U-571 Lieutenant Commander Mike Dahlgren
2000 Vertical Limit Elliot Vaughn
2001 Frailty Dad Meiks Also director
2002 Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams Dinky Winks
2003 Ghosts of the Abyss Himself/Narrator
2003 Resistance Major Theodore 'Ted' Brice
2003 Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over Dinky Winks
2004 Club Dread Coconut Pete
2004 Thunderbirds Jeff Tracy
2004 Haven Carl Ridley
2005 Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D Edgar Mitchell Short film
2005 Greatest Game Ever Played, TheThe Greatest Game Ever Played Director
2007 Good Life, TheThe Good Life Robbie
2011 Haywire John Kane
2012 Shanghai Calling Donald
2013 The Colony Mason
2013 2 Guns Earl
2013 Red Wing Jim Verret
2014 Million Dollar Arm Tom House
2014 Edge of Tomorrow Master Sergeant Farell
2014 Nightcrawler Joe Loder
2015 Pixies Eddie Beck Voice role
2016 Term Life Detective Keenan
2016 Mean Dreams Wayne Caraway
2017 The Circle Mae's father In post-production


Year Title Role Notes Ref.
1983 Deadly Lessons Eddie Fox Movie
1985 Early Frost, AnAn Early Frost Bob Maracek Movie
1985 The Atlanta Child Murders Campbell Movie
1986 Fresno Billy Joe Bobb Miniseries (4 episodes)
1986 Miami Vice Detective Vic Romano Episode: "Streetwise"
1987 The Hitchhiker Trout Episode: "Made for Each Other"
1993 Tales from the Crypt Billy DeLuca Episode: "People Who Live in Brass Hearses"
1998 Bright Shining Lie, AA Bright Shining Lie John Paul Vann Movie
2003 Frasier Ernie Episode: "Analyzed Kiss"
2006-11 Big Love Bill Henrickson Lead role (53 episodes)
2012 Hatfields & McCoys Randolph McCoy 3 episodes
2013 JFK: The Day That Changed Everything Narrator Documentary
2014 Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. John Garrett 6 episodes
2015 Texas Rising Sam Houston Miniseries
2015 The Gamechangers Jack Thompson Movie
2017 Training Day Detective Frank Roarke Lead role (7 episodes)

Music videos

Year Title Artist Role Notes Ref.
1980 "Fish Heads" Barnes & Barnes Main character Director
1982 "Shadows of the Night" Pat Benatar Nazi officer
1987 "Touched by the Hand of God" New Order
1988 "Reach" Martini Ranch Main character
2003 "Eat You Alive" Limp Bizkit Sheriff

Video game

Year Title Role Notes Ref.
2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Kahn Exo Zombies

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Title Result Ref.
1987 Saturn Awards Best Supporting Actor Aliens Won
1995 CableACE Awards Best Actor in a Dramatic Series Tales from the Crypt Nominated
1996 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Apollo 13 Won
1998 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Titanic Nominated
1999 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film A Bright Shining Lie Nominated
2003 Saturn Awards Best Director Frailty Nominated
2006 Satellite Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Big Love Nominated
2007 Satellite Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Big Love Nominated
Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Big Love Nominated
2008 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Big Love Nominated
2009 Satellite Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Big Love Nominated
2010 Golden Globe Awards Best Actor - Television Series Drama Big Love Nominated
2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie Hatfields & McCoys Nominated
2013 Screen Actors Guild Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie Hatfields & McCoys Nominated

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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