Bill Paxton Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (53)  | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (5)

Born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Died in Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, California, USA  (stroke following an aortic aneurysm repair and bicuspid aortic valve replacement surgery)
Birth NameWilliam Archibald Paxton
Nicknames Wild Bill
Height 6' (1.83 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Bill Paxton was born on May 17, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the son of Mary Lou (Gray) and John Lane Paxton, a businessman and actor (as John Paxton). Bill moved to Los Angeles, California at age eighteen, where he found work in the film industry as a set dresser for Roger Corman's New World Pictures. He made his film debut in the Corman film Crazy Mama (1975), directed by Jonathan Demme. Moving to New York, Paxton studied acting under Stella Adler at New York University. After landing a small role in Stripes (1981), he found steady work in low-budget films and television. He also directed, wrote and produced award-winning short films including Barnes & Barnes: Fish Heads (1980), which aired on Saturday Night Live (1975). His first appearance in a James Cameron film was a small role in The Terminator (1984), followed by his very memorable performance as Private Hudson in Aliens (1986) and as the nomadic vampire Severen in Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark (1987). Bill also appeared in John Hughes' Weird Science (1985), as Wyatt Donnelly's sadistic older brother Chet. Although he continued to work steadily in film and television, his big break did not come until his lead role in the critically acclaimed film-noir One False Move (1992). This quickly led to strong supporting roles as Wyatt Earp's naive younger brother Morgan in Tombstone (1993) and as Fred Haise, one of the three astronauts, in Apollo 13 (1995), as well as in James Cameron's offering True Lies (1994).

Bill died on February 25, 2017, in Los Angeles, from complications following heart surgery. He was 61.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Leslie Walter <leslie@snoopy.usask.ca>

Spouse (2)

Louise Newbury (12 May 1987 - 25 February 2017) ( his death) ( 2 children)
Kelly Lynn Rowan (2 October 1979 - 22 July 1980) ( divorced)

Trade Mark (2)

Frequently portrayed characters who are dead by the end of their respective films (i.e. The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Next of Kin (1989), Navy Seals (1990), Predator 2 (1990), Tombstone (1993), U-571 (2000), Vertical Limit (2000), Club Dread (2004))
Frequently worked with James Cameron

Trivia (53)

Bill had rheumatic fever in the seventh grade. This kept him hospitalized for a month and bedridden for four months. He had to take regular doses of penicillin until he was age 18.
As a teen, Bill caddied for golf great Ben Hogan in Fort Worth.
Had two children with Louise Newbury: James Paxton (born February 23, 1994) and Lydia (born December 19, 1997).
Co-authored and produced the short Scoop (1982), which won an Honorable Mention at the 1983 USA Film Festival.
Member of the 1980s rock band Martini Ranch. James Cameron directed a music video for their song "Reach" featuring many Cameron alumni (Kathryn Bigelow, Lance Henriksen, Jenette Goldstein).
Son of John Paxton.
Met his second wife Louise Newbury on a #13 bus in London.
Bill's paternal grandfather was a friend and neighbor to the great American painter Thomas Hart Benton.
Learned to speak German to prepare for his role in Pat Benatar's music video "Shadows of the Night" (1982).
Attended Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Texas, the same high school as John Denver and Lee Harvey Oswald (who left before he graduated).
Had earned the nickname "Wild Bill" among friends and co-stars for his apparently crazed sense of humor and his love for elaborate pranks.
Had appeared in five films with Michael Biehn: The Lords of Discipline (1983), The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986), Navy Seals (1990) and Tombstone (1993).
He was the first choice as Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code (2006). He turned down the role because he was already signed for Big Love (2006). Tom Hanks was cast for the film instead. Coincidentally, Hanks served as executive producer on Paxton's series "Big Love" (2006).
Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame during their annual induction gala at Austin Studios in Austin, Texas on March 9, 2007 for his career achievement in the motion picture film industry. The Texas Film Hall of Fame inductees are native-born Texans who have achieved excellence in their film career.
For his role on Tombstone (1993), he was trained by renowned Hollywood Gun Coach Thell Reed, who has also trained such actors as: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliot, Leonardo DiCaprio, Girard Swan, Michael Biehn and Ben Foster.
He was the only other actor, along with Lance Henriksen, to appear in the Alien, Predator and Terminator film series.
He was the only other actor to have been killed by a Terminator, an Alien, a Predator, the Grim Reaper and a serial killer.
At eight years old, Paxton was in the crowd waving when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, on the morning of November 22, 1963. There are pictures at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas where the young Paxton can clearly be seen astride the shoulders of an onlooker.
Utters the second line of dialog in The Terminator (1984) and, along with Brian Thompson and Brad Rearden, were the first hapless humans to confront the Terminator in the 'flesh'. Paxton was the punk with the blue spiky hairdo.
Worked as a parking lot attendant.
He appeared as a sheriff in the music video "Eat You Alive" by the rock band Limp Bizkit (2003).
He was of English, Scots-Irish/Northern Irish, Scottish, Austrian, German, French, Swiss, Dutch, and distant Welsh and Norwegian, descent.
Working on Texas Rising (2015), he found out that he is actually related to Sam Houston. "Sam Houston and I share common grandparents, going back six generations. His mother would be a great-aunt of mine. That makes Sam Houston and me second cousins four times removed".
He was originally cast as Stifler's father in American Pie 2 (2001), but had to leave the project due to his schedule. Chris Penn replaced him, but the character was deleted from the film.
He was the original choice for Mo in Hardware (1990). He was enthusiastic about the script, but Miramax and Palace Pictures did not know anything about him, so they did not contact his agent, and Paxton signed on for Navy Seals (1990) instead. Dylan McDermott got the role.
He was offered the role of Sgt. Proctor in Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (1985), which he turned down because the contract required him to also work in the future sequels. He ended up doing Aliens (1986) instead. The role went to Lance Kinsey.
He was considered for Matthew Broderick's role in Godzilla (1998).
He was considered for the lead role of Cliff Secord in The Rocketeer (1991), which went to Billy Campbell.
He almost got the lead role in Darkman (1990). He told his friend Liam Neeson about the audition. When Neeson got the the role, Paxton was so angry that he did not speak to Neeson for months.
He was considered for the role of Lance in Pulp Fiction (1994), which went to Eric Stoltz.
Having worked together on Weird Science (1985), John Hughes offered him the role of the garage attendant in Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986). However, Paxton turned it down because he felt the role was too small. He admits that he regrets turning it down because Hughes never offered him a role again.
He was considered for the lead role of Henry Hackett in The Paper (1994), which went to Michael Keaton.
He was considered for Tom Hulce's role in Parenthood (1989).
He was considered for the lead role of Alan Parrish in Jumanji (1995), which went to Robin Williams.
He turned down the role of Abraham "Abe" Ernswiler in The Battle of Shaker Heights (2003), which went to William Sadler.
He was briefly attached to the lead role of Bobby Cooper in U Turn (1997) when Sean Penn turned it down. About a week before filming, Paxton backed out; fortunately, Penn had become available.
He was considered for the role of Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park (1993), which went to Jeff Goldblum.
He was offered Steve Guttenberg's role in Cocoon (1985).
Was a distant relative of Sara Paxton.
At eight years old, Paxton was in the crowd when President John F. Kennedy gave what would be his final speech on November 22, 1963. In subsequent years, Paxton shared pictures taken of himself sitting on the shoulders of an onlooker who offered to help him get a better view of the president.
In July 1999, he was attached to star in "Mexicali", a spec script written by Paul Scheuring and Christian Gudegast about a retired stuntman who travels with his wife to the west coast of Mexico. While sailing off shore, they witness a murder, ostensibly committed by members of a drug cartel. Rest of story details the efforts of the stuntman, who becomes separated from his wife, to evade the traffickers and return safely to the U.S. Project was sold to Destination Films for mid- against high-six figures, who then hired Roger Avary to rewrite the original script. The day Avary showed up to their offices to hand deliver his first draft, the office workers were packing their stuff up into boxes because the company was going bankrupt.
After his tragic, unexpected death, storm chasers across the country united in forming his initials "B.P." using their GPS coordinates as tribute to his well-loved character from the movie Twister (1996).
When asked why the axe used by his character has the name "OTIS" carved into the handle, Paxton stated that he wanted the axe to have its own personality and to be unique.

He found the name in Pasadena when he was there scouting for locations to film. Paxton met a homeless man and offered to give him some money. The homeless man did not want charity, so Paxton instead offered to buy the use of the man's name for his movie. The homeless man's name was Otis.
Completed filming the thirteen commissioned episodes of Training Day (2017) before his untimely death.
Revealed via the Tony Blackburn, Sounds of the 60s broadcast, 18 March 2017, the comparative rhythmical similarity of a 1963 song "Just like Eddie", by Heinz Burt, to the performance within Club Dread (2004) by the late Bill Paxton.
After his career had been going slow for a couple of years, he requested to be included in the promotional tour of 2 Guns (2013) together with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, in order to get himself in the picture again. It seemed to have worked, as he was subsequently cast in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2013) and the sci-fi blockbuster Edge of Tomorrow (2014).
He passed away from a stroke following an aortic aneurysm repair and bicuspid aortic valve replacement surgery he had on February 14, 2017. He was three months away from what would have been his 62nd birthday on May 17.
Bill and Glenne Headly played the parents of Emma Watson's character in The Circle (2017). The film was released in April 2017. Bill died in February of that year, about two months before the film's release, and Glenne died in June of that year, less than two months after. The Circle was Bill's final film, while Glenne has one more credit, Just Getting Started (2017).
Following his untimely death, he was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.
Commando (1985) is the only film that he appeared in with Arnold Schwarzenegger that did not involve James Cameron.
He was considered for the role of Lt. Gabriel Cash in Tango & Cash (1989) that went to Kurt Russell.
He was considered for the role of Jake Brigance in A Time to Kill (1996) that went to Matthew McConaughey.
He was considered for the role of John Nada in They Live (1988) that went to Roddy Piper.

Personal Quotes (9)

It's very liberating to be naked in front of a hundred people, but there's nothing sexual about lovemaking on a movie set...
. . . but it was movies I had always wanted to be in. I'm into the whole thing, not just performing. I love watching what goes on behind the camera. My heroes are Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd -- complete filmmakers.
I want people to re-evaluate me. My dream would be to make films like Clint Eastwood did... You have to be a self-starter out here at a certain point. It's important to take the reigns or, otherwise, you can be regaled to obscurity so quickly.
I've always loved movies about con men. I think con men are as American as apple pie.
I support the troops. This is tough time right now. I think a lot of people in our industry are afraid to speak out. I had a drink with Sean Penn the other night. He went over to Baghdad in December just to see for himself what was going on. And that guy is as American as anybody I ever met.
[on auditioning for The Doors (1991)] I read my ass off. At the time, I was doing Navy Seals (1990) and I flew up with short hair and a mustache to read for the lead. [Oliver Stone's] response was, "Well, I just don't see it".
[on James Cameron] This guy has more integrity than anyone I ever met in my life.
Anyone who's worked very hard on a craft or an art to get a certain precision in terms of execution and performance wants to get past all that stuff that holds you up - your ego, all the doubts.
[on his experiences as a director] I have great empathy for my actors. They trust me because they know that I have been on the front end of the camera.

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