In devastating news this morning, Bill Paxton has passed away at the age of 61. The actor reportedly died from a fatal stroke after undergoing heart surgery, confirmed by both TMZ and People. His family issued the following statement:
“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 Texas-born actor and director — who leaves behind a wife and two children — began his career in 1975 and found early success in Hollywood with The Terminator and Aliens. He would go on to re-team with James Cameron on True Lies and Titanic, along with other tentpoles like Apollo 13 and Twister, as well as dramas such as Sam Raimi‘s A Simple Plan. Along with leading the series Big Love and earning an Emmy nomination for his role in the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys, Paxton recently found a resurgence on the silver screen in supporting turns in Haywire, Nightcrawler and Edge of Tomorrow.
He made a memorable impression in his many supporting roles, but it was his directorial debut Frailty that introduced his immense talent behind the camera. Before the so-called The McConaissance occurred, Paxton showed Matthew McConaughey’s range, as well as his own, in the unsettling psychological thriller. Paxton was the rare talent that could exude both charm and unpredictability — Near Dark also comes specifically to mind — and his warmth will be greatly missed on screen. His final role will be seen this April in James Ponsoldt‘s The Circle, playing the father of Emma Watson‘s character.
Below one can listen to his recent career-spanning interview with Marc Maron, recorded just earlier this month.