Bill Paxton, who delighted and thrilled audiences with his performances in films including Twister, Titanic and the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, has died at the age of 61.
A statement released by his family read:
“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery. 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 Emmy-winning actor who picked up the award for his performance in TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys and also starred in movies The Terminator, Apollo 13 and True Lies, is survived by wife Louise Newbury and their two children.
Titanic director James Cameron paid tribute to Paxton with the following statement:
“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.”
Jim Beaver posted this message on Facebook:
“When you’re a guest actor on someone else’s series, you’re like a guest in their home, and you can only hope they treat you like a guest and not an interloper. Rarely does one get to make a connection in those brief encounters, even more rarely does a friendship grow out of it. I only had three episodes with Bill Paxton on BIG LOVE, yet the connection was strong. I saw him rarely — actors are always on the move, on the road, on the lam — but the connection stayed. The last time I saw Bill, I accidentally ran into him as I, a mere pedestrian at the time, walked past the red carpet at a premiere he was attending and he grabbed me and pulled me into the photo line with him. He was a joyous, dedicated, talented, friendly, deeply human man. I loved him.”
News of Paxton’s death has seem scores of other tributes flood social media and you can read just a selection of them below.
Bill Paxton was a versatile, likable, welcome, natural screen presence. Wonderful actor. Friendly fellow. Good man. #RestInPeace
— Richard Roeper (@richardroeper) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was perfect in everything he did. No one could steal a movie like he could. Just an incredible talent.
Thank you, Sir.
— Mundy (@dickfundy) February 26, 2017
— WendiLynnMakeup (@wendilynnmakeup) February 26, 2017
I have no words. Bill Paxton didn't just play my mentor on the show, he became one in real life. The world is a sadder place without him pic.twitter.com/46e4hMj8nR
— Brett Dalton (@IMBrettDalton) February 26, 2017
— Donnie Wahlberg (@DonnieWahlberg) February 26, 2017
#BillPaxton RIP. Thank you for everything. I grew up with your movies. Condolences to family.
— Peter Grabowski (@pogo3d) February 26, 2017
— Jamie Lee Curtis (@jamieleecurtis) February 26, 2017
So saddened by Bill Paxton's passing. Worked with him in '88. Sending good thoughts to his family. He was a real deal movie actor. #Respect
— Ben Stiller (@RedHourBen) February 26, 2017
— GaryW (@GW_12345) February 26, 2017
So profoundly sorry to hear that #BillPaxton has died. My family & I were such fans; we send our condolences and deepest sympathy to his.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton. One of my all time favorites. So so tragic. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton faced a Predator, an Alien and a Terminator. Beneath every role was a genuine kindness and love for life. He will be missed… pic.twitter.com/oOQtiY1n32
— Ziggy (@mrjafri) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton. We lost you WAY too soon. https://t.co/HOcxm8yewD
— Tony Goldwyn (@tonygoldwyn) February 26, 2017
— Lindsey Workman (@demon_dice) February 26, 2017
— Brad Everett Young (@BradEYoung) February 26, 2017
Sad to hear of the death of Bill Paxton. A fine actor!
— Ron (@ronniemac055) February 26, 2017
#BillPaxton a great actor in some of the best films. Prayers with his family.
— Cassie King (@secretlyshesays) February 26, 2017
Can't think of a film he was in that wasn't lifted the moment Bill Paxton came on screen. Gutted gutted gutted.
— Jim Paterson (@mrjimpaterson) 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
Heartbreaking news about Bill Paxton. So young. My heart goes out to his beautiful family. Life's so fragile, my friends. Make today matter.
— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was hands down one of the greatest guys that I have ever met. I feel lucky to have called him my friend. Bill, I love you. RIP.
— Aaron Paul (@aaronpaul_8) February 26, 2017
Rest In Peace Bill Paxton. Devastated. His work was always inspiring and beautiful.
— hannah marks (@hannahmarks) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton is 1of my favorite actors.I was able 2tell him so when we met yrs ago.Paxton was wonderful in everything he did. He inspired us. pic.twitter.com/hAXR9unvb6
— Vincent D'Onofrio (@vincentdonofrio) February 26, 2017
This one hit me hard today. Bill Paxton was an ever present, extremely quotable, endlessly entertaining, fixture of my cinematic upbringing. pic.twitter.com/kUjATWOZ6q
— Kyle Hall (@marvelzombie616) February 26, 2017
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
I am stunned & saddened at the passing of Bill Paxton. I just worked with him recently. A warm and beautiful soul and a talented actor. RIP
— Lou Diamond Phillips (@LouDPhillips) February 26, 2017
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) February 26, 2017
Marvel is deeply saddened by the loss of Bill Paxton; his contributions to the Marvel Universe will be remembered fondly. pic.twitter.com/BDuNTTYrdJ
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton. Far too many great movies to list them all but 'Frailty' & 'A Simple Plan' will forever be two of my faves. pic.twitter.com/RgBRTyOm1y
— Lukeyash (@Movieguy88) February 26, 2017
Rest In Peace my sweet friend. pic.twitter.com/1QC7pzDZPz
— Julie Benz (@juliebenz) February 26, 2017
#BillPaxton Noooooooooooo I just watched Twister the other day…. My all time favorite movie 😢😢
— Megan McCullum⚓️ (@Megan0903) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton who's on an express elevator to heaven, going up
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton. He was a kind man and a true gentlemen. His light will be missed in this world. pic.twitter.com/V6RePyhtI9
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) February 26, 2017
— Brandon Anthony (@BAnthonyMusic) February 26, 2017
RIP. Bill Paxton one of the good guys of the film biz has departed for heavens gates
— Charles Wesley (@THEonlyCharlesW) February 26, 2017
Amazing actor. Terrible news. Too young. https://t.co/oIO8hCxs3i
— Zak Bagans (@Zak_Bagans) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was open, kind and talented. He had an engaging and engrossing charisma. So very sad that he is gone.
— John Carpenter (@TheHorrorMaster) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was notoriously one of the nicest people in the industry. He also gave us some of the all-time most iconic movie moments.
— Jordan Peele (@JordanPeele) February 26, 2017
I can't believe that Bill Paxton is gone. We lost another actor. Gonna watch Titantic, Aliens and Twister. RIP Bill Paxton.
— Justin Burnell 🎧 (@MyLifeAsJP989) February 26, 2017
You were a great friend to me, Bill. AND one of the finest actors to share a set with. Sending so much love to Bill Paxton's family.
— Charlize Theron (@CharlizeAfrica) 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
Bill Paxton….. RIP
One of my favorite actors.
You will be missed. pic.twitter.com/LVbRiKMIQF
— Kyle Hester (@KyleDHester) February 26, 2017
RIP #BillPaxton 'tis a sad day indeed.
— Andrew Sherry (@andysherry0404) February 26, 2017
Sad news about Bill Paxton – too young. Always humanity, decency and touches of humor shining through his work. RIP.
— Jeffrey Wright (@jfreewright) February 26, 2017
— Josh Wade (@joshwadeFM) February 26, 2017
No, Bill Paxton, no no no!!!! Ugh… R.I.P.
— Glenn Howerton (@GlennHowerton) February 26, 2017
Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man… Hanx.
— Tom Hanks (@tomhanks) February 26, 2017
This is heartbreaking – such a shock. Condolences to #BillPaxton family and friends. Hugs all around during this difficult time. 💔
— James & Tyler News🎬 (@PhilkasIWitness) February 26, 2017
I met w/Bill Paxton about a film he was directing & it was 1 of the most enlightening convos. A man who's seen it all. So sad #RIPBillPaxton
— Harry Shum Jr (@HarryShumJr) February 26, 2017
RIP Bill Paxton..
A wonderful actor, one of my favorites. You appeared in many of my favorite films growing up. Rest easy now.#BillPaxton
— Bec Thirt (@BECKY_THIRT) February 26, 2017
— Zach Braff (@zachbraff) February 26, 2017
— Teddy8827 (@TEKO8827) February 26, 2017
When I was a teenager I used to carry Bill Paxton's filmography in my wallet so I could cross each one out as I saw it. Love his work.
— Grant O'Rourke (@GrantORourke) February 26, 2017