William “Bill” Paxton (May 17, 1955 – February 25, 2017) was an American actor and 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), and Titanic (1997). He also starred in the HBO series Big Love (2006–2011) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.
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 Chet 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).
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.
Personal life and death
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 heart surgery.
|1983||Taking Tiger Mountain||Billy Hampton|||
|1983||The Lords of Discipline||Gilbreath|||
|1984||Streets of Fire||Clyde the Bartender|||
|1984||The Terminator||Punk Leader|||
|1985||Weird Science||Chet Donnelly|||
|1986||Aliens||Private William Hudson|||
|1988||Pass the Ammo||Jesse Wilkes|||
|1989||Next of Kin||Gerald Gates|||
|1989||Back to Back||Bo Brand|||
|1990||Brain Dead||Jim Reston|||
|1990||The Last of the Finest||Howard ‘Hojo’ Jones|||
|1990||Predator 2||Jerry Lambert|||
|1991||The Dark Backward||Gus|||
|1992||The Vagrant||Graham Krakowski|||
|1992||One False Move||Dale ‘Hurricane’ Dixon|||
|1993||Indian Summer||Jack Belston|||
|1993||Boxing Helena||Ray O’Malley|||
|1994||Frank and Jesse||Frank James|||
|1995||The Last Supper||Zachary Cody|||
|1995||Apollo 13||Fred Haise|||
|1996||Twister||Bill “The Extreme” Harding|||
|1996||The Evening Star||Jerry Bruckner|||
|1998||A Simple Plan||Hank|||
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Professor Gregory O’Hara|||
|2000||U-571||Lieutenant Commander Mike Dahlgren|||
|2000||Vertical Limit||Elliot Vaughn|||
|2002||Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams||Dinky Winks|||
|2003||Ghosts of the Abyss||Narrator|||
|2003||Resistance||Major Theodore ‘Ted’ Brice|||
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Dinky Winks|||
|2004||Club Dread||Coconut Pete|||
|2005||Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D||Edgar Mitchell|||
|2005||The Greatest Game Ever Played||Director|
|2007||The Good Life||Robbie|||
|2013||Red Wing||Jim Verret|||
|2014||Million Dollar Arm||Tom House|||
|2014||Edge of Tomorrow||Master Sergeant Farell|||
|2016||Term Life||Detective Keenan|||
|2016||Mean Dreams||Wayne Caraway|||
|2017||The Circle||Mae’s father||Post-production|
|1983||Deadly Lessons||Eddie Fox||Television film|
|1985||An Early Frost||Bob Maracek||Television film|
|1985||The Atlanta Child Murders||Campbell||Television film|
|1986||Fresno||Billy Joe Bobb||Television miniseries|
|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||A Bright Shining Lie||John Paul Vann||Television film|
|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||Recurring role, 6 episodes|
|2015||Texas Rising||Sam Houston||Television miniseries|
|2015||The Gamechangers||Jack Thompson||Television film|
|2017||Training Day||Detective Frank Roarke|
|2015||Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare||Kahn||Exo Zombies|
|1980||“Fish Heads“||Barnes & Barnes||main character|
|2003||“Eat You Alive“||Limp Bizkit||Sheriff|
Awards and nominations
- “Bill Paxton Dead at 61”. TMZ. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- “Bill Paxton dead at 61”. NY Daily News. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- “BREAKING NEWS: Twister and Titanic star Bill Paxton dies at age 61”. Mail Online. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- “Bill Paxton Biography”. FilmReference.com. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- Spitznagel, Eric (January 8, 2010). “Bill Paxton Can Defend Polygamy, But He Can’t Defend Sarah Palin”. Retrieved July 19, 2015.
- Wilonsky, Robert (March 28, 2007). “The Day Bill Paxton Saw John F. Kennedy”. Dallas Observer Blogs. Retrieved January 28, 2014.
- DiBlasi, Loren (May 25, 2012). “Live With Kelly: Bill Paxton ‘Hatfields & McCoys’ Interview”. Recapo. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
- Bill Paxton at the Internet Movie Database
- “Zadzooks: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Havoc – Exo Zombies review”. The Washington Times. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- Andreeva, Nellie (February 26, 2016). “Bill Paxton To Star In ‘Training Day’ Pilot”. Deadline. Retrieved January 6, 2017.
- Paxton dies at age 61
- Petit, Stephanie; Lara, Maria Mercedes. “Bill Paxton Dead at 61 Due to Complications from Surgery”. People movies. Time Inc. Retrieved February 26, 2017.
- Saperstein, Pat; Lang, Brent (February 26, 2017). “Bill Paxton, ‘Titanic’ and ‘Big Love’ Star, Dies at 61”.
- “Filmography for Bill Paxton”.
- Night Warning (cast & crew) at AllMovie
- Lin, Kristian (September 28, 2011). “”Taking Tiger Mountain” in Dallas”.
- Resistance (cast & crew) at AllMovie
- “Plots and Personalities Collide on a Tropical Island”. The New York Times. September 15, 2006.
- Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D (cast & crew) at AllMovie
- Lee, Maggie. “Shanghai Calling”.Variety
- Makuch, Eddie (April 22, 2015). “GTA Drama Casts Daniel Radcliffe and Bill Paxton”. gamespot.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 23, 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bill Paxton.|