Sunday, February 26, 2017
Tribute 2017: Bill Paxton (1955 - 2017)
Today, I find myself writing another tribute that I thought for certain would not come for many years, or even more than decade from now.
The press has reported today the death of one of my favorite actors, Bill Paxton (1955-2017), an actor who has had the distinction of -- in his long and impressive career -- having fought the Terminator, the Alien, and the Predator.
That note of trivia only tells a piece of the Bill Paxton story, though it is an important piece for sci-fi and horror fans such as myself.
Paxton had a small role as a violent punk in James Cameron's The Terminator (1984), a major role, as the highly-quotable Hudson in Aliens (1986), and as a cop he faced off against the predator in L.A. in Predator 2 (1990).
Mr. Paxton collaborated many times with Mr. Cameron, also starring in True Lies (1994) and Titanic (1997), bot huge box office hits of the nineties.
More recently, audiences have enjoyed Mr. Paxton's work in series such as Big Love (2006-2011), and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2014).
Mr. Paxton's other genre credits include such films as Mortuary (1983), Weird Science (1985), Near Dark (1987), Mighty Joe Young (1998), and Edge of Tomorrow (2014). Outside the genre, he also had unforgettable roles in Sam Raimi's A Simple Plan (1998), and U-571 (2000).
It is terrible to lose Mr. Paxton at the youthful age of 61. He never failed to bring energy, humor and humanity to his roles. Many of his characters, like Hudson, have become touchstones for a generation of movie (and horror) fans.
Bill Paxton will be terribly missed, even though his work shall be remembered and appreciated for years to come.
I extend my deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.
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