Bill Paxton, the Texas-born actor who starred in such hits as “Aliens,” “Twister” and “Titanic,” and led CBS’s new and reboot of “Training Day,” died Saturday at age 61.
“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” a representative for the family said in a statement released early on Sunday. “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,” the statement continued. “We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”
Paxton wrapped production in December on the first season of the cop drama “Training Day,” based on the Oscar-winning Denzel Washington movie. The show premiered on Feb. 2 but has struggled in the ratings.
A native of Fort Worth, Texas, Paxton first emerged on screen in early roles like a punk leader in 1984’s “The Terminator.” He went on to prominent roles such as the sarcastic Private Hudson in 1984’s “Aliens,” frontier lawman Morgan Earp in the 1993 Western “Tombstone,” storm-chaser Bill Harding in the 1996 blockbuster “Twister” and astronaut Fred Haise in 1995’s “Apoll0 13” — for which he shared a SAG Award for best ensemble.
Paxton re-teamed with “Aliens” director James Cameron on the 1997 mega-blockbuster “Titanic,” playing – modern-day ship explorer seeking to recover the wreckage of the famous sunken cruise liner.
In the last decade, Paxton has increasingly worked in TV. He earned three Golden Globe nominations playing the patriarch of a bigamist Utah family in the HBO series “Big Love.” He also earned another nomination starring as Army veteran John Paul Vann in the 1998 HBO movie “A Bright Shining Lie.”
“We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Paxton,” HBO said in a statement. “‘Big Love’ was a seminal series for HBO for many years due to Bill’s extraordinary talent and grace. Off screen, he was as warm, smart and fun as one could be.”