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Bill Paxton, Late Star of ‘Big Love’ and ‘Titanic,’ Leaves Behind Strong Legacy, Questions About ‘Training Day’

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Bill Paxton Dead at 61
(left to right): Bill Paxton as Frank Rourke and Justin Cornwell as Kyle Craig in CBS’ ‘Training Day’ (Darren Michaels/CBS via Getty Images)

 

Before all the Oscars hoopla got underway yesterday, TMZ dropped the bombshell that actor Bill Paxton, whose onscreen credits had included Titanic, Apollo 13, Aliens, and HBO series Big Love, had died from complications following surgery. He was 61.

Paxton’s family told TMZ, “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable.” Tributes from fellow actors poured onto social media following the news.

Over the course of a four-decade career, Paxton made occasional forays into leading man territory (Twister), but made a name for himself as one of the best foils and character actors in the business. He was nominated for an Emmy for his turn opposite Kevin Costner in the 2012 mini-series, Hatfields & McCoys.

Paxton had most recently been starring in CBS’ TV adaptation of Training Day, for which he’d already finished filming on the first 13-episode season. The network has yet to announce a decision on the fate of the series.

The actor’s final onscreen turn will come in The Circle, out on April 28, starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson.

Here’s what Hanks said of his co-star:

For a look back at more of Paxton’s most memorable roles, watch the video from CNN below.

 

RealClearLife