Remember Bill Paxton

Remember Bill Paxton

Austin Gilmore, Staff Writer

William Bill Paxton was an American actor and director born on May 17, 1955 in Fort Worth, TX. He recently passed away on February 25, 2017 in Los Angeles, CA. He was a well respected actor that appeared in many famous and well known films. Bill was also spotted in an extreme place that went down in history.

When Bill was 8 years old, he was in the crowd when John F. Kennedy gave what would be his final speech on November 22, 1963. There are pictures at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas where the young Paxton could be seen astride the shoulders of an unidentified man.

Paxton made his debut in the movie industry in the 70’s at only 18 years old, working as a set dresser for Roger Corman’s New World Pictures. The first film he appeared in was Crazy Mama in 1975. He landed a small role in the 1981 film Stripes, where he found steady work in low-budget films and television. His first James Cameron film that he appeared in was The Terminator in 1984. He played the punk with the blue spiky hair that confronted the terminator at the beginning of the movie. He made a memorable performance in Aliens as Private Hudson. He also played as the nomadic vampire Severen in Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark in 1987.

Bill continued to work steadily in film and television, but he got his big break when he received the lead role for the film One False Move in 1992. The next 4 years, he had main character roles in many different films. He played Wyatt Earp’s naive younger brother Morgan in Tombstone in 1993. In 1994, he appeared in James Cameron’s True Lies. In 1995, he played as Fred Haise, one of the 3 astronauts in Apollo 13. He made a huge role in the 1996 film Twister as Bill Harding.

He auditioned for many other films, however in the end, he thought some of the roles were either too small or he was simply replaced by someone else. He was considered to play Matthew  Broderick’s role in the 1998 film Godzilla. He was also considered to play the lead role in the 1995 film Jumanji, but the part went to Robin Williams. Bill was considered to play Dr. Ian Malcolm in the great 1993 film Jurassic Park, but the role instead went to Jeff Goldblum.

His experiences as a director are astonishing. He has great empathy for his actors in the films that he directed. He says that they trust him because they know that he has been on the front end of the camera. They know that he can help them if they are feeling nervous or need a little confidence boost.

He spent time with lots of people off camera whenever he got a chance. When they were filming the end of the last scene of Twister, the current owner of the house Harry Haywood, stated that Bill’s love for people was so obvious. Photos had been taken of Bill enjoying time with Haywood’s kids and nephews. Harry said that his kids loved Bill, and Bill loved them. HBO shared their thoughts on Bill on social media, We are extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Bill Paxton. Big Love was a seminal series for HBO for many years because of Bill’s extraordinary talent and grace. Off screen, he was as warm, smart, and fun as one could be. A true friend to so many at HBO. He will be greatly missed. Even Arnold Schwarzenegger, the star of The Terminator, tweeted: 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.

We all cared about Bill because of what he gave to the world with movies and television shows. He is a symbol of character that can never be replaced. He will never be forgotten nor will he be remembered as just some actor. He will be remembered as an inspiration to many people around the world. Thank you for everything you have done, Bill Paxton. Rest In Peace.