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Veteran Actor Bill Paxton Dies at 61; Tom Hanks, Jordan Peele & More React

Bill Paxton
Paras Griffin, Getty Images

Hollywood is mourning the death of a phenomenal actor today. Bill Paxton, a veteran thespian of television and film, passed away on Saturday (Feb. 25) following complications from surgery. He was 61.

A family representative confirmed the sad news in a press release (via PEOPLE). It reads:

It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” a family representative said in a statement. “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. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.”

A Fort Worth, Texas native, Paxton has appeared in a slew of television shows and films since he began acting in the 1970s. Most people will remember first seeing Paxton as a street thug in The Terminator (1984) and the rotten older brother Chet in the hilarious cult teen comedy Weird Science (1985). But arguably, his breakout role came in 1986 when he played Private Hudson in the action-packed, sci-fi thriller Aliens in 1986. Paxton holds the distinction of being one of only two actors – Lance Henriksen being the other – to be killed by a Predator, a Terminator and a Xenomorph from the Alien series.

During his 30-year career, Paxton appeared in a variety of major films including Tombstone, Trespass, One False Move and Titanic. But in 1995, he appeared in the blockbuster flick Twister, which transformed him from being a versatile character actor into a charismatic leading man.

Paxton’s television credits include a leading role in HBO’s Big Love, for which he earned three Golden Globe nominations, as well as the mini-series Hatfields and McCoys, where he was nominated for an Emmy award. At the time of his death, Paxton starred in CBS’ Training Day, a television adaptation of the Denzel Washington flick of the same name.

Paxton’s final movie role will be in the thriller The Circle, which is currently in post-production, alongside Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.

“Bill Paxton was, simply, a wonderful man. A wonderful man,” tweeted Hanks.

The actor is survived by his two children, James and Lydia Paxton, and his wife of 30 years, Louise Newbury.

Bill Paxton was a fantastic actor and will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.

Watch Bill Paxton in Weird Science Clip

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