RIP Bill Paxton, Likable Film Star

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Bill Paxton with Helen Hunt in 1996’s Twister

You never saw him receive big accolades from the film industry for his acting roles. But Bill Paxton, who died Saturday (Feb. 25) due to complications from surgery, was in some of the biggest movie blockbusters of all-time.

The list of films that the handsome, likable actor had roles in, big and small, include huge favorites: 1997’s Titanic, 1996’s Twister, 1986’s Aliens, 1995’s Apollo 13, 1984’s The Terminator and 1994’s True Lies. Many of these films were at or near the top of the annual box-office results. Twister, for instance, opened on May 17, 1996. Its opening weekend of $41 million was enormous at the time and singlehandedly expanded Hollywood’s annual summer blockbuster season beyond the traditional Memorial Day weekend.

William Paxton was born on May 17, 1955, in Fort Worth, TX. Though rarely a leading man, he carved out a successful career, occasionally appearing in as many as three or four feature films in a calendar year. He earned three Golden Globe nominations for Best Actor in the HBO series Big Love.

Watch Paxton in a rare leading role in 1996’s Twister opposite Helen Hunt

His film co-star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, posted on Twitter…

Paxton had just debuted on a CBS TV series, Training Day, on February 2, 2017, which was based on the 2001 film of the same name.

Paxton’s classic rock connection, you ask? He had a short-lived rock duo called Martini Ranch, whose music video was directed by none other than his Titanic and Terminator pal, James Cameron.

And if you skip to the :59 second mark of Pat Benatar‘s “Shadows of the Night” music video you’ll see Paxton as a–go figure–young Nazi officer. Hey, he needed the work…

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