Bill Paxton, actor of movies like Titanic, Aliens, and Twister, died on Saturday due to post-op complications after surgery, according to TMZ. The actor was only 61 years old. Recent updates from TMZ indicate that the actor suffered a fatal stroke after undergoing heart surgery.
Family members of Bill Paxton released a statement via Variety that touched upon Paxton’s career in Hollywood.
“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.”
Paxton is survived by his wife Louise Newbury and his two children. His son James Paxton is also an actor and has guest-starred in his father’s new show Training Day.
While Bill Paxton is perhaps most well-known for his role as treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic and tornado chaser Bill Harding in Twister, he has played roles in several popular sci-fi films like Aliens, The Terminator, Apollo 13, Predator 2, and Edge of Tomorrow. Paxton recently starred in the TV follow-up of the Denzel Washington movie Training Day, which premiered on February 2 on CBS. His last movie screen performance would be as Emma Watson’s father in sci-fi thriller The Circle, a film which reunites Paxton with his Apollo 13 co-star Tom Hanks.
Another great star of the Alien franchise that has also recently passed away is British thespian John Hurt. Hurt died on January 25 this year, three days after his 77th birthday. Hurt had starred in the 1979 Alien, the first movie of the franchise, while Paxton played Private Hudson, a space marine, in Aliens, the 1986 sequel directed by James Cameron.
Throughout his career, Paxton has been involved in several projects connected to Cameron. Cameron wrote the screenplay for The Terminator and True Lies, two films which Paxton had starred in. And nearly a decade after Cameron directed the actor in Aliens, the two teamed up again for Titanic, which remains to this day the second highest-grossing movie worldwide, only behind Cameron’s other film, Avatar, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com.
Shortly after hearing the news of his friend’s decease, James Cameron wrote about his 36-year-old friendship with Paxton in an email to Vanity Fair.
“I’ve been reeling from this for the past half hour, trying to wrap my mind and heart around it. Bill leaves such a void. He and I were close friends for 36 years, since we met on the set of a Roger Corman ultra-low budget movie.”
Cameron also spoke of the late actor’s kindness towards the people around him and Bill Paxton’s penchant for writing letters, an anachronism in the digital age.
“Bill wrote beautiful heartfelt and thoughtful letters, an anachronism in this age of digital shorthand. He took good care of his relationships with people, always caring and present for others. He was a good man, a great actor, and a creative dynamo…The world is a lesser place for his passing, and I will profoundly miss him.”
While most audiences might remember the actor best for his performances in movies of the 80s and 90s, Paxton also made several memorable turns in TV shows after the 2000s. In addition to the actor’s recent role in CBS’s Training Day, Paxton also starred in HBO’s Big Love, a show about a polygamist and his relationship with his three wives, and ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Friends and co-stars of Bill Paxton, including Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Charlize Theron, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Rob Lowe, have all expressed their sadness over the death of the actor. Many remember him fondly as a “great friend,” a wonderful actor, and just a generous, kind-hearted individual all-around.
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]