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Bill Paxton, star of Aliens and Apollo 13, dies at 61

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Syfy Wire Staff
Feb 26, 2017

Bill Paxton, longtime beloved genre star of such sci-fi classics as The Terminator (1984), Aliens (1986) and Apollo 13 (1995), has died. He was 61.

Cause of death was due to complications from surgery, according to Vulture.

Where to begin with Mr. Paxton? So many memorable roles, so many amazing characters. He was the punk who dared confront a naked Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator (1984).

He was Chet, the worst big brother of all time, in John Hughes' Weird Science (1985).

He was Pvt. Hudson, the excitable and ever-quotable Marine in Aliens (1986).

He was Severen, the charming yet sadistic vampire in Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark (1987).

And that's just scratching the surface. He was assaulted yet again by Arnold Schwarzenegger in James Cameron's True Lies (1994) and led the modern-day narrative of Cameron's Titanic (1997). He faced off against a Predator in a Los Angeles subway in Predator 2 (1990) and joined Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon for Apollo 13 (1995). He chased tornadoes in Jan de Bont's Twister (1996) and taught Tom Cruise how to fight in Edge of Tomorrow (2014).

Bill Paxton was also an accomplished director, having called the shots and starred in the gothic horror film Frailty (2001) and chronicled the 1913 U.S. Open in The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).

His television credits include HBO's long-running Big Love (2006-2011), Hatfields & McCoys (2012) and a recent stint on Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..

Oh, he also tended bar in Walter Hill's Streets of Fire (1984), managed to avoid Arnold's wrath in Commando (1985), joined Patrick Swayze for Next of Kin (1989), appeared with Judd Nelson in the cult classic-ish The Dark Backward (1989), went hunting for gold in Walter Hill's Trespass (1992), played Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), loved a giant ape (and Charlize Theron) in Mighty Joe Young (1998), found himself in one doozy of a moral dilemma in Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan (1998), climbed a big snowy mountain in Vertical Limit (2000), and had many, many other cinematic adventures.

Up until his death, Paxton was seen as Detective Frank Rourke on CBS' Training Day.

What's your all-time favorite Bill Paxton role?

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