Actor and Filmmaker Bill Paxton dies at 61


Mekayla Phan, Features Editor

The beloved actor of 90’s blockbuster movies such as Weird ScienceTwister, Titanic and Apollo 13, Bill Paxton died due to surgery complications at age 61.

On Sunday (Feb. 26), a family representative released this statement: “It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from [heart] surgery.” According to a Rolling Stones report, Paxton died on the previous Saturday. He suffered a fatal stroke during the post-operation difficulties.

Weeks before his death, Paxton revealed that he had suffered from severe rheumatic fever (a small noncontagious fever marked by inflammation and pain in joints) when he was 13. This condition caused him to be bedridden for 6 months, and  permanently damaged his heart valves.

Paxton did not announce his condition, but told his director friend Doug Liman (“Edge of Tomorrow”)  that though he was worried about the surgery, he would be back to work soon. He emailed to Liman: “Thanks for the good wishes. It will help me face this ordeal. Don’t worry ‘Sgt Farell’ will be ready to report for duty.”

“Even facing major surgery, his optimism for the future was infectious. He was talking about the future, things we hoped to do together,” Liman says.

Moments after the statement was released, social media flooded with tribute tweets and love for the late actor. He is survived by his wife Louise Newbury and their two children James and Lydian.  “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,” his family said. “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable…”

His family asked the public to respect their wishes to let them mourn for his loss in privacy.

Paxton was an underrated director, and an actor who appeared in many roles from the “The Terminator” to “Aliens” to “Predators” and “Weird Science.” He starred in the critically-acclaimed HBO series “Big Love,” and had a recurring role in “Agents of S.H.I.E.LD.” He passed away too soon, but will never be forgotten in our hearts.