The only actor to be taken down by an Alien Terminator and Predator lost his life on February 26, 2017 to surgery complications.
Bill Paxton’s film debut was in 1975 with the movie “Crazy Mama.” After a small role in “Stripes,” he wrote, directed and produced a few short films. One of those was called “Fish Heads”, which actually aired on Saturday Night Live.
There was a total of four movies that Bill Paxton worked with James Cameron the first being Terminator in 1984. It was when Bill played Wyatt’s older brother Chet in the 1985 film, “Weird Science” that I developed my love for him. In 1998, Bill told the Los Angeles Times he thought of himself as an underdog to show business, but from 1981 to 2000, 1999 was the only year he didn’t have at least one movie appearance. In fact, through most of the nineties, he averaged three movies a year. Aside from Tombstone, I skipped most of them. True Lies, Apollo 13, Twister, and even Vertical Limit were not really my hustle. However, they were all amazing movies and combined won countless Awards.
It was not until 2002 that Bill came back into my life when my son used him as a reason to talk me into seeing Spy Kids 2. It worked because even my seven-year-old knew that Val Kilmer was the sole reason for me watching Tombstone, Bill Paxton was just an added bonus I didn’t know I was getting when I entered the theater. By 2003, I was anxiously awaiting for another Dinky Wings appearance in Spy Kids 3-D.
From 2006 to 2011, Paxton played a polygamist on HBO’s drama “Big Love”, which scored him three Golden Globe nominations. In 2012, Paxton also received an Emmy nomination for his role in History’s mini-series The Hatfield’s and the McCoy’s. He played Randall McCoy, who was of course the patriarch of the McCoy’s. Bill’s actual first claim to fame was a photograph of his eight year old self being lifted above the crowds to see JFK emerging from the hotel in Texas on the morning of his assassination. That picture is still on display at a museum in Dallas.
Like when we lost JFK, today we mourn the loss of amazing actor,writer, and father. Bill shared great joy in having his son, James, guest star in an episode 8 of “Training Day.” That show is Bill’s most recent and final contribution to his television fans. Movie buffs still have “Circles”, which is expected to hit theaters in late April. Rob Lowe, who worked with him in the 1995 film, “Frank and Jesse”, couldn’t have said it better by saying “his filmography speaks for itself.”
How did I miss a movie with Rob Lowe and Bill Paxton? Guess there’s going to be a Netflix search in my near future.
The people closest to Bill want to let us all know that Bill’s passion for the Arts was felt by all who knew him. His warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. My heart goes out to his children, James and Lydia, and his wife, Louise. To quote James Cameron” the world is a lessor place.”