61 (passed away Feb. 26th, 2017)
May. 17th, 1955
Fort Worth, Texas, USA
Bill Paxton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Bill Paxton moved to Los Angeles at 18 where he found work in the film industry as a set dresser for 'Roger Corman's New World Pictures. He made his film debut in the Corman film Crazy Mama (1975) directed by 'Jonathan Demme'. Moving to New York, he studied acting under 'Stella Adler' at New York University.
After landing a small role in Stripes (1981), Paxton found steady work in low-budget films and TV. He also directed, wrote and produced award-winning short films including Fish Heads (1982) which aired on Saturday Night Live (1975). His first appearance in a 'James Cameron' film was a small role in The Terminator (1984) followed hard by his very memorable performance as Private Hudson in Aliens (1986) and as the nomadic vampire Severen in 'Kathryn Bigelow's Near Dark (1987). Bill also appeared in 'John Hughes' Weird Science (1985), as Wyatt's sadistic older brother Chet.
Although he continued to work steadily in film and TV, his big break did not come until his lead role in the critically acclaimed film-noir One False Move (1992). This quickly led to strong supporting roles as Wyatt Earp's naive younger brother Morgan in Tombstone (1993) and as Fred Haise, one of the three astronauts in Apollo 13 (1995), as well as in James Cameron's offering True Lies (1994).
- Son of 'John Paxton (II)' (qv).
- Bill had rheumatic fever in the 7th grade. It kept him hospitalized for a month and bed-ridden for four months. He had to take regular doses of penicillin until he was 18.
- Member of the 1980s rock band Martini Ranch. 'James Cameron (I)' (qv) directed a video for their song "Reach" featuring many Cameron alumni ('Kathryn Bigelow' (qv), 'Lance Henriksen' (qv), 'Jenette Goldstein' (qv)).
- Attended Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Texas. The same high school as 'John Denver' (qv) and 'Lee Harvey Oswald' (qv) (who left before he graduated).
- Inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame during their annual induction gala at Austin Studios in Austin, Texas on March 9, 2007 for his career achievement in the motion picture film industry. The Texas Film Hall of Fame inductees are native-born Texans who have achieved excellence in their film career.
- Directed the theatrical short 'Fish Heads (1982)' which won a Special Award at the 1982 Melbourne Film Festival.
- He has earned the nickname "Wild Bill" among friends and co-stars for his apparently crazed sense of humor and his love for elaborate pranks.
- Bill's paternal grandfather was friend and neighbor to the great American painter, Thomas Hart Benton.