Deaths and Obituaries

Bill Paxton: A Tribute to His Prolific Career in Film and Television

Bill Paxton: A Tribute to a Versatile and Beloved Star.!!!

Bill Paxton was one of those rare actors who could play any role, from a heroic astronaut to a villainous vampire, with charisma and conviction.

He was also a passionate filmmaker who directed, wrote and produced several acclaimed projects.

He left behind a legacy of diverse and impressive works that spanned four decades and touched millions of fans.

Bill Paxton was born on May 17, 1955, in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of Mary Lou (Gray) and John Lane Paxton, a businessman and actor.

Moreover, he had two siblings, Bob and Ann. He grew up in a Catholic household and attended Arlington Heights High School.

In addition to that he was interested in movies and filmmaking from a young age, and made his own short films with his friends.

He also witnessed a historic event when he was eight years old.

Bill was in the crowd when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth on the morning of his assassination on November 22, 1963.

He moved to Los Angeles at the age of 18, where he found work as a set dresser for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures.

Notably, he made his film debut in the Corman film Crazy Mama (1975), directed by Jonathan Demme.

He then moved to New York, where he studied acting under Stella Adler at New York University.

He also formed a new wave band called Martini Ranch, and released an album called Holy Cow in 1988.

Notably, he died on February 25, 2017, in Los Angeles, due to complications from surgery.

He was 62 Years Old at the time of his death He was survived by his wife, Louise Newbury, whom he married in 1987, and his two children, James and Lydia.

Additionally, he was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Hollywood Hills, California.

He was 5 feet 11 inches (180 cm) tall and weighed about 165 lbs (75 kg).

An image illustration of Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton: Know more about the Actor.
PHOTO Source | Instagram

Profile Summary

NameBill Paxton
Birth NameWilliam Paxton
Birth DateMay 17, 1955
Birth PlaceFort Worth, Texas, U.S.
Death DateFebruary 25, 2017
Death PlaceLos Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of DeathComplications from surgery
Resting PlaceForest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, California, U.S.
OccupationActor, filmmaker, musician
Years Active1975-2017
SpouseLouise Newbury (m. 1987)
ChildrenJames Paxton, Lydia Paxton
ParentsMary Lou (Gray) Paxton, John Lane Paxton
SiblingsBob Paxton, Ann Paxton
ReligionRoman Catholic
Height5 feet 11 inches (180 cm)
Weight165 lbs (75 kg)
Zodiac SignTaurus

His Early Life, Family, Ethnicity, Education And Religion

Bill Paxton hailed from a diverse ancestral background, encompassing Austrian, Dutch, English, French, German, Norwegian, Scotch-Irish, Scottish, Swiss, and Welsh roots.

Notably, his great-great-grandfather, Elisha Franklin Paxton, served as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton’s educational journey included St. Anne’s Catholic School and Arlington Heights High School.

A sports enthusiast and avid filmmaker, he played football and baseball while nurturing his love for movies and filmmaking, inspired by directors like Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford.

Upon graduating, Paxton embarked on a career in Los Angeles, initially working as a set dresser for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures.

He honed his acting skills at the University of Southern California, the Herbert Berghof Studio, and later, under Stella Adler at New York University.

Simultaneously, he pursued his musical interests, forming the new wave band Martini Ranch and releasing an album named “Holy Cow” in 1988.

Remaining faithful to his Roman Catholic upbringing, Paxton regarded his faith as a source of strength and comfort throughout his life.

Paxton’s Personal Life, Marriages, And Children

In his personal life, Paxton experienced two marriages.

His first, to actress Kelly Rowan, occurred in 1979 but concluded a year later.

His enduring marriage was to Louise Newbury, whom he met in London in 1982.

Married in 1987, they welcomed two children, James Paxton (born 1994) and Lydia Paxton (born 1997).

Both successful in their own right, James pursued acting, featuring in films like “Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over” and TV shows like “The Son,”.

While Lydia focused on her studies and pursued a career as a singer-songwriter.

Bill and Louise’s union was characterized by happiness, longevity, and public appearances at red carpet events.

Paxton often expressed his gratitude for having Louise, describing her as the greatest woman he ever met.

Bill’s Professional Career

Bill Paxton’s extensive career spanned four decades, with notable roles in various genres and mediums.

Beginning as a set dresser, he transitioned to acting with his film debut in “Crazy Mama” (1975).

The mid-1980s marked his rise to prominence with roles in cult classics like “Weird Science,” “Aliens,” and “Near Dark.”

Through the 1990s, Paxton continued his success with diverse roles in blockbuster and independent films, including “Tombstone,” “True Lies,” “Apollo 13,” “Twister,” and “A Simple Plan.”

He also ventured into directing, writing, and starring in “Frailty” (2001).

His television contributions included starring in HBO’s “Big Love” (2006-2011) and the History channel miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys” (2012), receiving accolades for both performances.

Paxton also appeared in various TV shows such as “Tales from the Crypt,” “Miami Vice,” “Frasier,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

At the time of his death, Paxton was engaged in several projects, including the CBS crime drama series “Training Day” (2017), where he portrayed Frank Rourke, a corrupt and rogue cop.

His Awards And Achievements

Bill Paxton amassed numerous accolades for his contributions to film and television, including:

  • A Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor for Aliens (1986)
  • A Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture for Apollo 13 (1995)
  • A Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television for A Bright Shining Lie (1998)
  • A Golden Satellite Award for Best Actor in a Miniseries or a Motion Picture Made for Television for Frailty (2001)
  • Three Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama for Big Love (2007, 2008, 2010)
  • An Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie for Hatfields & McCoys (2012)
  • A Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie for Hatfields & McCoys (2012)
  • A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6831 Hollywood Boulevard, in 2017

Net Worth And Sources of Income

At the time of his passing, Bill Paxton’s estimated net worth was $40 million, sourced from his thriving career as an actor and filmmaker, investments, and endorsements.

As one of Hollywood’s highest-paid actors, he earned an average of $10 million per film and received a salary of $175,000 per episode for his role in Big Love.

Paxton owned several properties, including a mansion in Ojai, California, and a ranch in Texas.

His diverse investments also included a collection of vintage cars.

Bill’s Philanthropic Ventures

Known for his generosity, Bill Paxton actively supported various charitable causes and organizations, including The:

  • American Heart Association.
  • The American Stroke Association.
  • The American Cancer Society.
  • The Make-A-Wish Foundation.
  • The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
  • The International Myeloma Foundation, and Lupus LA.

He made financial contributions to events such as The:

  • Screen Actors Guild Foundation.
  • The Hollywood Charity Horse Show.
  • The Art of Elysium, and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

Paxton participated in numerous events and campaigns.

Some of which include the Stand Up To Cancer telethon, the Race to Erase MS gala, the Global Green USA pre-Oscar party, and the No Kid Hungry campaign.

Additionally, he supported troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, emphasizing his dedication to veterans and their families.

Friendship with James Cameron

Bill Paxton shared a profound and enduring friendship with director James Cameron, originating from their collaboration on The Terminator (1984).

This camaraderie extended to several film projects, including Aliens (1986), True Lies (1994), Titanic (1997), and Ghosts of the Abyss (2003).

Both enthusiasts of deep-sea exploration, they embarked on expeditions such as the Bismarck expedition in 2002 and the Mariana Trench expedition in 2012.

Cameron fondly remembered Paxton as a great friend, collaborator, artist, and human being, highlighting his creativity, energy, and passion for exploration.

Love for History and Art

Bill Paxton, a dedicated reader and history enthusiast, demonstrated a profound interest in the Civil War.

He collected memorabilia and artifacts related to the conflict, visiting historical sites and battlefields.

Paxton also expressed a passion for painting and drawing, creating numerous artworks exhibited in galleries and museums.

His love for history and art, he believed, played essential roles in understanding and expressing human culture and humanity.

Final Film Role

In The Circle (2017), a sci-fi thriller based on Dave Eggers’ novel, Bill Paxton delivered his last film performance as Vinnie, the father of Emma Watson’s character.

Filming his scenes in September 2016, a few months before his unexpected passing, Paxton approached his role with professionalism and grace, unaware of his heart condition at the time.

Emma Watson, expressing deep fondness, described Paxton as a wonderful person and a father figure on set.

The film, dedicated to Paxton’s memory, included a tribute to him in the end credits.

ALSO READ: Kate Mara Age, Height, Weight, Husband, Children, Early Life, Education, Career, Awards, Net Worth & Philanthropic Ventures

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Bill Paxton

Q: What was Bill Paxton’s cause of death?

A: Bill Paxton passed away on February 25, 2017, due to complications from surgery.

He underwent heart surgery to repair a damaged valve and an aortic aneurysm, experiencing a stroke after the procedure at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He was 62 Years Old.

About the author

Benson Clyde

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