Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bill Paxton 1955-2017

Bill Paxton; actor, director, and fan-favorite…has passed away at 61.

Born in Fort Worth, Texas…to a father who worked as an occasional actor, Bill Paxton broke into the movie business when then little-known director James Cameron cast him as a punk thug in his sci-fi horror film which was destined to become a classic…TERMINATOR in 1981. With his knack for playing a character who was out-of-control but totally in-control at all times, it was a role that got him noticed and would begin a very successful career in collaborating with Cameron. Cameron would cast Paxton as the sarcastic Pvt. Hudson in the smash-hit ALIENS (1986), and then in his spy-thriller TRUE LIES (1994), and in his history-making TITANIC (1997). Paxton would re-join Cameron for his documentary film GHOSTS OF THE ABYSS (2003) which explored the Titanic wreck.

He would appear in some of the most popular films of our time playing characters vital to their stories. He would play Morgan Earp in TOMBSTONE (1993), Astronaut Fred Haise in APOLLO 13 (1995), and would play the lead-role in the thriller TWISTER (1996). Other notable roles included ONE FALSE MOVE (1992), A SIMPLE PLAN (1998), and EDGE OF TOMORROW (2014). He would also appear in STRIPES (1981), STREETS OF FIRE (1984), WEIRD SCIENCE (1985), COMMANDO (1985), NAVY SEALS (1990), PREDATOR 2 (1990), FRANK AND JESSE (1994), MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1998), U-571 (2000), CLUB DREAD (2004), THUNDERBIRDS (2004), and NIGHTCRAWLER (2014).

He would receive acclaim for his television performances, including an Emmy nomination for his role in HATFIELDS & MCCOYS, and three Golden Globe nominations for his role in BIG LOVE. He would appear as a super-villain of sorts in Marvel’s AGENTS OF SHIELD. As a director, he would helm feature films such as FRAILTY (2001), and THE GREATEST GAME EVER PLAYED (2005).


Bill Paxton was one of those actors who could play anything, and he did it so well every role seemed to be the one he was born to play. It didn’t matter if he was a punk, treasure hunter, soldier, astronaut, or cowboy…he stepped into every role as easily as we step in and out of a pair of shoes, and he played the characters we wanted to be. His greatest role was that of a fan-favorite; everyone liked him…which likely began in 1986 in ALIENS. As a wee-lad, this Blogger and his brother loved his role as Pvt. Hudson. He was the most human character of the doomed squad, reacting the way we would have reacted, but when the fight came he was the one we wanted to have by our side at all times. He brought us joy, comfort, and happiness…and he leaves us as one of the most unique character actors ever to grace the screens.

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