The Best Of Bill Paxton, RIP 1955 – 2017
Bill Paxton unexpectedly passes at 61.
Unfortunate and unexpected, Actor Bill Paxton passed away due to complications from surgery. He leaves behind a legacy of iconic, memorable roles that many of us will always remember. As we all mourn his passing, let us try to remember some of our favorite Bill Paxton characters and how he made an impact on the entertainment industry.
“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.”
The Polygamous Mormon From HBO’s “Big Love”
HBO raised controversy with this series that highlighted the more extremist sects of the Mormon religion. As Bill Henrickson, Bill Paxton attempted to hide his polygamous lifestyle while pretending to be a normal, hardworking member of society. The show was dark and sometimes depressing but also one of Paxton’s best performances.
Randall McCoy From The History Channel Miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys”
The brief miniseries appealed more to history buffs but alongside Kevin Costner, Bill Paxton showed his more grizzled side. “Hatfields & McCoys” received mostly positive reviews but was an acquired taste for those who lacked interest in low profile history.
The Vampire Severen From The Cult Classic “Near Dark”
I remember getting my hands on a copy of this during a period where there was more scarcity among lesser known films. It’s certainly not a stellar film and the performances are somewhat comical. But it’s interesting depiction of vampires made this gory horror film captivating for nostalgic cinephiles.
The Tornado Chasing Meteorologist From “Twister”
“Twister” was considered a visual spectacle for its time and it’s still a classic go to for mindless entertainment. It gave meteorology an edge with the rebellious depiction of storm chasers and brought focus to storm chasing in real life. Alongside Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton played yet another Bill that tried to settle down but couldn’t resist his reckless nature. An unbelievable adventure for sure, but highly entertaining for its time.
The “Titanic” Treasure Hunter Brock Lovett
Was anyone else upset that Brock had to watch his life’s work be thrown into the ocean? As the motive for connecting the past to the present, the treasure hunting Brock Lovett kept us asking, “What happened to the heart of the ocean?” While the Oscar winning film received much praise, to this day I’m still angry at Brock for letting some old lady throw away millions of dollars.
The Sleezy, Wimpy Car Salesman Simon From “True Lies”
This may be my favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger film and the supporting cast is what makes “True Lies” such an action-oriented masterpiece. Everyone just fits into their roles so well and the subplot of Bill Paxton’s character Simon is one of this film’s strongest attributes. Providing comic relief and acting as a surprise catalyst for the story, this sleezy car dealer is one of my favorite Paxton performances.
Wyatt’s Obnoxious Alpha Male Brother Chet from “Weird Science”
The John Hughes classic created a pubescent teenager’s fantasy as two social outcasts brought their dream girl to life. The adventures of Wyatt, Gary, and Lisa were the focus of the film but Wyatt’s older brother Chet provided comic relief while acting as an opposing force to their accomplishments. Chet was the epitome of terrible older brothers with a militant personality that exuded alpha male.
The Only Actor To Be Killed By An Alien, Predator, And Terminator
The roles may be small but fans of this killer trinity have made this iconic fact known. Two hit James Cameron films, “The Terminator” and “Aliens,” featured Bill Paxton in two very charismatic roles. His role in “Aliens” is the most recognizable with the line “Game over man!” being one of the most memorable quotes from the movie. His small role in “The Terminator” was short-lived to say the least. And while his role in “Predator 2” may have been the largest, the film was less memorable in comparison to the Schwarzenegger classic. Regardless, the honor of being killed by all three, is a movie trivia question that has stood the test of time.
Bill Paxton was a name that many of us will remember. At the age of 61, he was definitely taken too early but will leave behind many memories throughout cinematic history.