His experiences working behind the camera influenced Paxton's decision to pursue acting, which led him to relocate to New York City where he studied under Stella Adler.
In most movies, Paxton cut a morally upright figure, the character actor equivalent of a Kevin Costner or Gary Cooper.
But he earned the best reviews of his career for roles that upended his persona.
Bill Paxton, the versatile actor who appeared in films including “Aliens” and “Titanic” and played a polygamist on HBO’s “Big Love,” died Saturday from complications following heart surgery. A representative for his family released a statement saying, “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.” With a Texas twang and grizzled visage, Paxton often found himself playing military men and cowboys.
He was closely associated with James Cameron, playing a punk leader in “The Terminator,” as well as an ill-fated soldier in “Aliens,” a venal car dealer in “True Lies” and a treasure hunter in “Titanic.” Paxton earned an Emmy nomination for the 2012 miniseries “Hatfields & Mc Coys,” and was starring as a morally ambiguous detective in the CBS series “Training Day” at the time of his death.
and Paxton's family has released a statement saying that "It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery.
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.
Paxton has the distinction of being one of only two actors, the other being Lance Henriksen, who has starred alongside an Alien, a Predator, and a Terminator.
He further holds a distinct honor of being the only actor to have been "killed" by all three, as each of his characters in these films meets his end during conflict with the lead antagonists.
The series, a reboot of the 2001 film, also stars Justin Cornwell, Katrina Law, Drew Van Acker, Lex Scott Davis, Julie Benz, Christina Vidal, and Marianne Jean-Baptiste.
‘s first season wrapped before Paxton’s unexpected death, so the actor will still be featured throughout the rest of the season.
His other memorable movie appearances included Twister and Apollo 13, appearing alongside Kevin Bacon and Tom Hanks.