A dark, cloudy Oscars Sunday just got a lot darker. Woefully underrated actor Bill Paxton has died due to complications from surgery. He was only 61.
People magazine published the following statement provided by a family rep:
“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.”
Paxton was starring in a TV reboot of the 2001 thriller Training Day (which should be required viewing for all Angelenos) but was probably best known for starring roles in ensemble action-dramas such as Twister, Aliens and Apollo 13 (and being turned into a huge pile of shit as one of the meanest older siblings in history in Weird Science). From 2006 to 2011, he played polygamist Bill Henrickson on the HBO drama Big Love, a complex role that showcased his abilities as a dramatic actor and provided a sympathetic look at a nontraditional family structure. As a fan of the show — his performance in particular — I highly recommend a binge session in his honor.