By Lindsey Bahr, AP
LOS ANGELES — Bill Paxton, a prolific and charismatic actor who had memorable roles in such blockbusters as “Apollo 13” and “Titanic” while also cherishing his work in “One False Move” and other low-budget movies and in the HBO series “Big Love,” has died from complications due to surgery. He was 61.
A family representative issued a statement Sunday on the death but provided no further details.
Paxton’s death added a sad note to Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremonies. Paxton was never nominated but appeared in several Oscar-winning movies and was beloved and respected throughout Hollywood and beyond. Although his death was not noted in the “In Memoriam” section on Sunday, his name was mentioned by its host, Jennifer Aniston.
Actress Ginnifer Goodwin, who starred in “Big Love” with Paxton, said on the Oscar red carpet: “Bill had the biggest heart. He was more alive than the others. I’m having a lot of trouble understanding his being gone from my life and the world.”
Paxton, a Fort Worth, Texas, native, appeared in dozens of movies and television shows and seemed to be around when history was made both on and off screen. As a boy, he was in the crowd that welcomed President John F. Kennedy in Texas on the morning of Nov. 22, 1963, hours before Kennedy was killed in Dallas. As a young man, he worked in the art department for “B” movie king Roger Corman, who helped launch the careers of numerous actors and filmmakers.
Paxton’s movie credits included some of the signature works of the past 40 years, from “Titanic” and “Apollo 13” to “The Terminator and “Aliens.” Television fans knew him for his role as a polygamist, with three wives who expected the best from him, in the HBO series “Big Love” for which he received three Golden Globe nominations.
Paxton was currently starring in the CBS drama “Training Day” which premiered Feb. 2. The network has not yet announced whether it will continue to air the completed episodes.
Paxton is survived by his wife of 30 years, Louise Newbury, and their two children.
His first marriage, to Kelly Rowan, ended in divorce. ‘I’m a regionalist and a populist’