Sad news on Oscar Day: Beloved actor Bill Paxton passed away unexpectedly at the age of 61 due to complications following surgery.
His family put out the following statement:
“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” a family representative said in a statement. “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.”
Paxton had a bevy of classic film credits to his name. Some pointed out he had the distinction of being “the only man to be killed by the Terminator, Alien and Predator, yet fly around the moon, survive an F5 and explore the Titanic.”
— Andrew Heister (@andrew_heister) February 26, 2017
Actors who had worked with Paxton took to Twitter to honor his passing.
Arnold was in the movies Terminator and True Lies with him with Jamie Lee Curtis co-starring with him in the latter.
Bill Paxton could play any role, but he was best at being Bill – a great human being with a huge heart. My thoughts are with his family.
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 26, 2017
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— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) February 26, 2017
Paxton’s three other Apollo 13 co-stars remembered him fondly.
Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man… Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) February 26, 2017
Very sad today to hear the passing of Bill Paxton. My heart goes out to his family & his many friends. Rest In Peace my friend. God bless pic.twitter.com/3lOJ5G3v8p
— Gary Sinise (@GarySinise) February 26, 2017
Some of my favorite memories are of floating around in a tiny vessel with big hearted,hilarious,brilliant Bill Paxton. Sad day.
— Kevin Bacon (@kevinbacon) February 26, 2017
His Twister co-stars honored his memory.
He made this movie great–he acted his heart out. What a talented man. My thoughts are with his family. pic.twitter.com/rUcmmYME3h
— Helen Hunt (@HelenHunt) February 26, 2017
Very sad to hear about Bill Paxton. His talent, enthusiasm and energy were unique. Our thoughts are with his family pic.twitter.com/W4IVuILHxv
— Cary Elwes (@Cary_Elwes) February 26, 2017
Real life storm chasers always felt a special kinship to Paxton for his role as a storm chaser in the movie Twister, and they remembered his influence.
Storm chasers honor their heroes. RIP Bill Paxton, you defined a generation of young meteorology nuts. pic.twitter.com/MvgussJoR8
— Sean Ernst (@Sean_Ernst_Wx) February 26, 2017
— Freddy McKinney – WX (@FreddyMcKinneyR) February 26, 2017
“Jo, things go wrong. You can’t explain it, you can’t predict it.” RIP Bill Paxton … pic.twitter.com/dUE4khGNWg
— Jennifer McDermed (@McDermedKMBC) February 26, 2017
So sad to hear about Bill Paxton’s passing. Twister was such a big reason why I got into weather. I’ll miss you Bill, The Extreme. pic.twitter.com/wvPWPdMjZq
— Jack Gerfen (@WCIA3Jack) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton’s latest work was on the TV adaptation of “Training Day,” which just premiered on CBS a few weeks ago.
We were just two guys on top of the world. Rest easy my friend pic.twitter.com/R0ZwB0zv5q
— Justin Cornwell (@justin_cornwell) February 26, 2017
Rest In Peace my sweet friend. pic.twitter.com/1QC7pzDZPz
— Julie Benz (@juliebenz) February 26, 2017
Director James Cameron, who worked with Paxton on many films including The Terminator, Aliens, and Titanic, put out a statement honoring his friend.
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. He came in to work on set, and I slapped a paint brush in his hand and pointed to a wall, saying “Paint that!” We quickly recognized the creative spark in each other and became fast friends. What followed was 36 years of making films together, helping develop each others projects, going on scuba diving trips together, watching each others kids growing up, even diving the Titanic wreck together in Russian subs. It was a friendship of laughter, adventure, love of cinema, and mutual respect. 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. I hope that amid the gaudy din of Oscar night, people will take a moment to remember this wonderful man, not just for all the hours of joy he brought to us with his vivid screen presence, but for the great human that he was.
The world is a lesser place for his passing, and I will profoundly miss him.
One cool little non-Hollywood factoid about Paxton is that he saw John F. Kennedy’s final speech on the day he was killed.
Paxton, a Fort Worth, Texas native, begged his father to take him and his brother to see JFK speak on that fateful day in Dallas, Nov. 22, 1963.
Kennedy was delivering a speech to the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, but before he did that, he gave a speech to a crowd of thousands outside the hotel he and his wife, Jackie, were staying. An 8-year-old Paxton was in the crowd.
“It was amazing to see President Kennedy because I had mostly seen him on television in black and white, and there he was in living color and I couldn’t believe how red his hair was,” Paxton said in a previous interview at Texas Christian University. “And he was in very good spirits. He made a joke about Jackie not being there because she took a little bit longer to get ready, but she looked a lot better.”
So sad to hear of Bill Paxton.
Here he is—the kid lifted up—at JFK’s hotel the morning of 11.22.63 pic.twitter.com/UqTGStLmo6
— Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett) February 26, 2017
Paxton leaves behind a wife of 30 years and two children in their 20s. Watch the heart-warming story of how Paxton met his wife that he shared only a few weeks ago.
— Hiddlestruck (@HisHiddleness) February 26, 2017
Game over, man, game over. RIP, Bill Paxton. You will be missed.
What are your favorite Bill Paxton film roles? Tell us in the comments below!
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