Date of Birth: May 17, 1955
True Lies, Apollo 13, Twisteryou may remember the hit films, but there's a good chance you may not remember the guy who had a role to play in all of them — Bill Paxton. Often confused for another Bill (Pullman), this Fort Worth, Texas, native is one of Hollywood's best kept secrets.
Like many before him, Paxton got his first break in Tinseltown working for B-Movie king Roger Corman where he began as a set dresser before being handed a small role in 1975's Crazy Mama. A bit underwhelmed by his own acting prowess, Paxton decided to head to New York to study acting under famed drama coach Stella Adler.
With a few more tricks under his belt, Paxton headed back to Hollywood and straight into the movies with a sideline in directing and producing award-winning short films as well as music when he cut an album with the rock group Martini Ranch ("group" is stretching it a bit since there were only two members). Oh yes, he also just happened to have a meaty little role in a really big movie about a really big shipTitanic. Paxton reunited with Titanic director James Cameron in Ghosts of the Abyss (2002), an IMAX documentary in which he and Cameron go under the ocean in a sub to revisit the sunken ship.
In 1998, Paxton received a Golden Globe nomination for his leading performance in the TV production A Bright Shining Lie (1998). His directorial debut, the feature film Frailty (2001) earned him nominations from The Online Film Critics Society, the Chicago Film Critics Association, and the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films. The latter awarded him a 2003 Filmmaker's Showcase Award. He starred in Haywire (2012) alongside Antonio Banderas and Channing Tatum, in The Colony (2013) with Kevin Zegers and Laurence Fishburne and in 2 Guns (2013) with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg.
In 2014, Bill acted in the drama Million Dollar Arm and the action film The Edge of Tomorrow (2014). He also appeared in Nightcrawler.
Bill's most recent projects include Term Life with Vince Vaughn and the thriller Mean Dreams.
His final film credit is the sci-fi drama The Circle (2017) with Emma Watson and Tom Hanks.
Bill passed away on February 25, 2017 at the age of 61. He suffered a stroke after heart surgery.
Filmography:The Circle (2017)