Bill Paxton, the versatile actor who appeared in films including "Aliens" and "Titanic" and played a bigamist on HBO's "Big Love," has died from complications following a surgical procedure. He was 61.
With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself playing military men and cowboys. He was closely associated with James Cameron, playing an ill-fated technician in "Aliens" for the filmmakers, as well as a venal car deal in "True Lives" and a treasure hunter in "Titanic."
Paxton anchored a few films, portraying a tornado-chasing scientist in the box office smash "Twister" (1996), and a wildlife refuge director in the flop, "Might Joe Young" (1998). In most movies, Paxton cut a morally upright figure, the character actor equivalent of a Kevin Costner or Gary Cooper. But he earned the best reviews of his career for roles that upended his persona. He was gripping as a family man trying to hide stolen money in Sam Raimi's "A Simple Plan" (1998), and similarly effective playing against type as an ethically compromised lawman in Carl Franklin's "One False Move" (1992).
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A representative for his family released a statement asking for privacy and saying, "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. "
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