Bill Paxton – the actor known for a wide array of roles over the course of his 40-year career in Hollywood – has passed away unexpectedly.
He was 61 years old.
Paxton’s family broke the news of the beloved TV and film star’s death in a statement issued just moments ago.
“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” the statement reads.
Details are scarce, and the statement offered no information with regard to the nature of the surgical procedure.
Paxton starred in some of the biggest blockbusters of the ’80s and ’90s, including Twister, Titanic, and Aliens.
He also gave unforgettable performances in a number of highly-acclaimed films that have since come to be considered classics.
Tombstone, Apollo 13, and A Simple Plan are just a few of Bill’s roles that made him one of the all-time greats in the business.
In addition to his film work, Paxton was also a highly regarded television actor, especially within the last decade.
He played the lead in HBO’s critically-acclaimed and fan-beloved polygamy drama Big Love for five seasons.
Paxton was also nominated an Emmy for his work in the 2012 miniseries The Hatfields and the McCoys.
Bill was starring in the CBS series Training Day at the time of his death.
“Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable,” the statement from the Paxton family reads.
Born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1955, Paxton was present at the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.
A photo of an 8-year-old Bill being lifted onto his father’s shoulders still hangs in a museum commemorating the assassination.
Paxton played a number of bit parts in low-budget films upon first moving to Hollywood before landing his big break.
It was after making the acquaintance of a young director named James Cameron on the set 1984’s The Terminator that his career really took off.
Paxton went on to star in some of Cameron’s best-known films, including Titanic, a movie that shattered every box office record in the books.
Upon its release in 1997, no film had made nearly as much money as the epic love story, which remains a classic two decades later.
Among action film fanatics, Paxton’s varied and widely successful body of work has earned him this fun distinction:
He is one of only two actors to be confronted by a Terminator (The Terminator), a Xenomorph (Aliens), and a Predator (Predator 2).
Tributes to Paxton from family, friends, and fans began pouring in on Twitter just minutes after news of his death went public.
Instantly, grieving fans have made him the world’s number one trending topic, which is a testament to the impact of his life.
Paxton is survived by a wife and two children. Our thoughts are with them and all of his family and friends at this time.
UPDATE: The actor reportedly underwent heart surgery and died of a stroke afterward, according to TMZ.