• Bill Paxton was an American actor and director, who became famous through his roles in the films “Apollo 13” and “Twister”, and the TV drama series “Big Love.” • He started his career in 1974 as a production assistant, and gained more projects in the 1980s, including the sci-fi hit “Aliens” in 1986. • In the 1990s he starred in the movie “Tombstone” in 1993 and “True Lies” in 1994, before he gained more fame for his performances in the movie “Apollo 13” in 1995, and “Twister” in 1996. • In 2006, he decided to focus more on television, and subsequently starred in the drama series “Big Love.” • Paxton died on 25 February 2017 from a stroke following a heart surgery.
Born in Forth Worth, Texas, Paxton is the son of Mary Lou Gray and John Lane Paxton. His father worked in their family’s lumber business, and also did some acting, appearing in the “Spider-Man” movies with Toby Maguire.
Paxton attended Arlington Heights High School, and after matriculating flew to England for college, studying in Richmond College. He then also studied for awhile at New York University, before he moved to Los Angeles to become an actor, and where he studied under the mentorship of Stella Adler, but decided to leave after two years.
Paxton’s career started in 1974 when he moved to Los Angeles and tried to find work in the film industry. His first job was as a production assistant in an industrial film, and later on he found work as a set dresser. It wasn’t until 1975 that he was cast in a support role in the film “Crazy Mama.”
In the 1980’s Paxton gained more projects, and starred in a couple of films including “The Lord of Discipline” in 1983, “The Terminator” in 1984, and the sci-fi hit “Aliens” in 1986. In 1992, he made a memorable appearance in the movie “One False Move”, leading the film alongside Billy Bob Thornton. His early years as an actor helped establish his career, and also increased his net worth considerably.
Eventually, Paxton gained more lead roles in the ‘90s, initially in the movies “Tombstone” in 1993 and “True Lies” in 1994, before he gained more fame for his performances in the movie “Apollo 13” in 1995, and “Twister” in 1996, significantly raising his net worth.
Paxton appeared in more movies in the 2000s, starring in films including “Vertical Limit”, “Ghosts of the Abyss”, and “Thunderbirds.” Then in 2006, he decided to focus more on television, and subsequently starred in the drama series “Big Love.”
The HBO series became a huge hit, with the story revolving around Paxton’s character Bill Henrickson who’s involved in a polygamous relationship. He starred alongside Jeanne Tripplehorn, Chloe Sevigny, and Ginnifer Goodwin as his wives, and received multiple nominations for Best Actor from various award-giving bodies. The success of the show also helped elevate his career, and tremendously increased his wealth.
After the success of “Big Love”, Paxton continued to appear in other television series, including “Hatfields & McCoys” in 2012, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in 2014, and “Texas Rising” in 2015.
Before he passed away, Paxton also joined the film “The Circle”, which became his final film appearance. The movie was released two months after his passing.
Bill Paxton’s Net Worth
Based on authoritative sources, Paxton’s net worth is reported to be over $40 million as of early 2018. His longstanding career in the film industry, in which he appeared in more than 60 movies and over 20 television productions, provided the main source of his wealth.
Bill Paxton’s Family
Paxton was married to Kelly Rowlan from 1979 to 1980. Later on, he remarried in 1987 to Louise Newbury and together they had two children, James and Lydia, and remained together until his demise.
Bill Paxton’s Death
Paxton died on 25 February 2017 from a stroke following a heart surgery. Prior to his death, he opened up in an interview that he had a damaged heart valve due to rheumatic fever he had suffered during his youth.
Paxton had surgery to have a heart valve and aorta operated on, but complications arose afterwards that cost him his life at the age of 61. He is interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Date Of Birth
May 17, 1955
Film producer, Film director, Actor
New York University
Louise Newbury, Kelly Rowan
James Paxton, Lydia Paxton
John Paxton, Mary Lou Paxton
Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie, Satellite Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama, Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama, Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a...
Aliens, Titanic, Frailty, Twister, The Terminator, Edge of Tomorrow, Weird Science, True Lies, Apollo 13, Tombstone, One False Move, Near Dark, Nightcrawler, U-571, A Simple Plan, Vertical Limit, Mighty Joe Young, 2 Guns, Predator 2, Club Dread, Next of Kin, Haywire, The Greatest Game Ever Played, T...
Texas Rising, Hatfields & McCoys, America in Primetime, Big Love, Fresno, The Atlanta Child Murders, The Six O'Clock Follies, Biography, Festival Pass with Chris Gore
[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.
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 James Cameron] This guy has more integrity than anyone I ever met in my life.
[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".
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.
I've always loved movies about con men. I think con men are as American as apple pie.
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.
. . . 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.
It's very liberating to be naked in front of a hundred people, but there's nothing sexual about lovemaking on a movie set...
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 has English, and smaller amounts of Scots-Irish, Austrian, German, French, and Swiss, ancestry.
Appeared on Limp Bizkit's video, "Eat You Alive". [September 2003]
Worked as a parking lot attendant.
Utters the very first 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.
As an eight-year-old, he 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 unidentified man.
Is the only other actor, along with Lance Henriksen, to have been killed by a terminator, an alien, and a predator on screen. Bill was also killed by his character's own son in Frailty (2001).
Is the only other actor, along with Lance Henriksen, to appear in the Alien, Predator and Terminator film series.
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.
Was the first choice as Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code (2006). He turned the part down 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 show "Big Love (2006).