9 interesting things you never knew about Bill Paxton

Credit: WENN
The late Bill Paxton – Credit: WENN

Hollywood actor Bill Paxton has passed away at the age of 61, it’s been reported.

According to the BBC, Paxton suffered from post-heart surgery complications and is survived by his wife, Louise, and two children.

But instead of mourning the actor’s passing, we thought it’d be fitting to talk about his career highlights and interesting things about the man on and off screen.

1. Before he was famous

Before making it as a big-time actor, Paxton, like many other famous faces, earned his money doing a low paid, regular job like us normies – he was a car park attendant.

2. One of a kind

Not only was he, alongside Lance Henriksen, the only other actor to have featured in the ‘Alien’, ‘Predator’, and ‘The Terminator’ franchises, he was also the ONLY one to have been bumped off on-screen by a Xenomorph, a Predator, and a Terminator. Henriksen’s Bishop doesn’t count in ‘Aliens’ because he’s not technically a human that can be killed, nor did he ‘die’.

Credit: 20th Century Fox
Paxton in James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’ – Credit: 20th Century Fox

3. London love

In typical Hollywood romcom fashion, Bill met his second wife, Lousie Newbury, while travelling on a number 13 bus in London. The pair hit it off and remained married for 30 years until his death, during which period the couple had two children.

4. “Wild Bill”

Paxton was commonly known amongst both co-stars and friends as “Wild Bill”, due to his bonkers sense of humour and elaborate pranks he’d play on them. It’s safe to say that his out-there personality often came across on the big screen too; with memorable appearances in ‘Aliens’ as the jive-talking Hudson, as well as some utterly zany antics in ‘Weird Science’.

5. Memorabill moments

Speaking of which, arguably one of his most recognised characters in pop culture was as Chet Donnelly in 1985 classic ‘Weird Science’, where he gives a slightly unhinged performance that would make even a modern day Nicholas Cage seem conventional.

6 . He was almost Tom Hanks

When the Dan Brown thrillers were adapted for cinema, Paxton was the first choice to play Robert Langdon in Ron Howard’s ‘The Da Vinci Code’, which was subsequently offered to Tom Hanks after Bill had already signing on to do television series ‘Big Love’. While the actor never got any acclaim from the Academy in terms of nominations, he did earn three Golden Globe nods for his ‘Big Love’ part in 2007, 2008, and 2010.

7 . Witnessing history

On 22 November, 1963, when the star was a young man, he stood in the street crowds that greeted President John F. Kennedy as he exited the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, before his infamous assassination.

8. Modern day TV hero

Even though Bill’s last official credit will be in James Pondsoldt’s ‘The Circle’, a sci-fi drama starring Emma Watson, Karen Gillan, and Tom Hanks; the TV series adaptation of ‘Training Day’, as Detective Frank Rourke and alongside Justin Cornwell, is his final leading role. The show, based on David Ayer’s hard-hitting crime drama with Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke, is currently halfway through airing its debut series in the US.

Credit: Warner Bros.
‘Training Day’ co-stars Paxton & Justin Cornwell – Credit: Warner Bros.

9. Man of many roles

In a career spanning over 40 years he had an impressive 93 acting credits to his name. There have been plenty of films that have defined Paxton’s career, as well as many that are underrated. The obvious big hitters such as Hudson in James Cameron’s ‘Aliens’, Chet in ‘Weird Science’, Bill Harding in disaster flick ‘Twister’ as well as Brock Lovett in ‘Titanic’ made him a household name.

Yet there were plenty of other roles he should be remembered for, both big and small, including ‘Streets of Fire’, ‘Trespass’, ‘Tombstone’, ‘True Lies’, ‘A Simple Plan’, ‘Vertical Limit’, and recent Tom Cruise actioner ‘Edge of Tomorrow’.

Paxton also appeared as a recurring character in Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’