Bill Paxton, action star and one of James Cameron’s regular collaborators, has passed away at the age of 61. Paxton was one of the big action stars of the ’80s and ’90s and continued to take on gun-toting roles right up to his death. These are the roles he will be most remembered for.
One of Paxton’s earliest appearances was as a spiky-haired punk in “Terminator” who ended up being one of the first on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s kill list. This appearance started a long relationship between Paxton and Cameron that would continue for 13 years.
The following year, Paxton had another bit role in a Schwarzenegger action film, playing a military air traffic controller in “Commando.”
“Weird Science” (1985)
Picking on the nerds of John Hughes’ comedy, Paxton plays older brother Chet. He gets his comeuppance when stars Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith’s science-made woman Lisa transform him into a giant turd.
It was in 1986 that Paxton got his big break in James Cameron’s “Aliens.” In his Saturn Award winning performance as Private Hudson, he immortalized himself in sci-fi history with the famous cry of “Game over, man! Game over!”
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“Near Dark” (1987)
Paxton rejoined “Aliens” alumni Jeanette Goldstein and Lance Henriksen in Kathryn Bigelow’s bloody, Western-inspired vampire horror movie. Paxton kills as a member of the depraved undead family, having a great time being extremely evil.
“Navy SEALS” (1990)
In 1990, Paxton got to play a soldier with some backbone, namely elite sniper Floyd Dane in “Navy Seals.” He also got to rejoin “Aliens” co-star Michael Biehn to take down bad guys as a military unit.
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“Predator 2” (1990)
That same year, he also appeared in “Predator 2” as a fresh-faced, dirty talking LAPD detective. Getting bravely sliced up by the creature made him the only person in movie history to be killed off by a Terminator, Alien, and Predator.
In 1993, Paxton expanded to Westerns. He starred alongside Kurt Russell as Morgan Earp, one of Wyatt Earp’s two lawman brothers (the other was Sam Elliott) in “Tombstone.” As is often the case for Paxton’s roles, Morgan died tragically before the end of the movie.
“True Lies” (1994)
A year later, Paxton reunited with Cameron for “True Lies,” where he played a lying seducer who, like his character in “Terminator,” draws the wrath of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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“Apollo 13” (1995)
In 1995, Paxton’s career hit its peak starting with a role in his first Best Picture-nominated film, “Apollo 13.” He played lunar module pilot Fred Haise on the infamous mission that went horribly wrong.
Next, he starred in the 1996 box office hit “Twister,” where he and Helen Hunt played a team of storm chasers who are faced with the most powerful and destructive tornado the world has ever seen.
Paxton then starred in Cameron’s legendary “Titanic” as Brock Lovett, the leader of the submarine team that finds Jack’s sketches of Rose within the Titanic’s sunken ruins. That leads the elderly Rose to return to the underwater wreck to tell Lovett’s team of her doomed romance aboard the famous ship.
Though he didn’t have an abundance of directing credits, the most interesting is definitely horror movie “Frailty.” Paxton also starred as a religious man who thinks he’s touched by God to kill demons only he can see, and who brings his young sons in on the job.
“Club Dread” (2004)
Slasher comedy “Club Dread,” created by the Broken Lizard comedy troupe behind “Super Troopers,” saw Paxton play the stoner musician and owner of its tropical resort, Coconut Pete.
“Big Love” (2006-2011)
HBO’s influential drama “Big Love” found Paxton as a fundamentalist Mormon who has three wives. The acclaimed series netted him three Golden Globe nominations for the role.
“Hatfields & McCoys” (2012)
The History miniseries depicted the famous feud, with Paxton leading the McCoys as Randall McCoy. He starred alongside Kevin Costner, who won a Golden Globe for his role.
“Edge of Tomorrow” (2014)
Alien invasion action movie “Edge of Tomorrow” gave Paxton a chance to flex his Southern accent muscles. He repeatedly busts Tom Cruise as a Kentucky sergeant who takes no crap from anyone.
As a freelance camera man chasing ambulances in Los Angeles, Paxton runs afoul of Jake Gyllenhaal as a rival who’ll do anything to get ahead.
“Texas Rising” (2016)
A Texas native himself, Paxton played one of its most famous sons in History Channel’s miniseries “Texas Rising.” The series covered the Battle of the Alamo and the creation of the Texas Rangers, with Paxton playing Sam Houston.
Read original story Bill Paxton’s 20 Best Roles, From ‘Aliens’ to ‘Titanic’ to ‘Big Love’ (Photos) At TheWrap
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