Acclaimed actor Bill Paxton left the world way to soon on February 25, 2017 due to a stroke during surgery. His death at the age of 61 was noted on the Oscar ceremony for that year, which was held the next day. Paxton would have celebrated his 65th birthday on May 17, 2020, so let’s celebrate his great career with a look back at his 15 greatest movies.
As a young boy in Texas, Paxton was in the crowd and can be seen in photographs the day JFK left his hotel to begin the motorcade in which he would eventually be assassinated.
Paxton struggled for nearly 10 years as an actor before he finally got noticed for a small but memorable role in the surprise science fiction hit “The Terminator” in 1984. In addition to launching his career Paxton formed an important working relationship on the film with its director James Cameron. As both of their careers rose in importance in the movie world the two of them would often work together again, and Cameron provided Paxton with some of the juiciest roles of his career as well as tremendous exposure in “Titanic,” which became the top all-time blockbuster in 1997.
After a long film career, Paxton would turn to TV in 2006 with a regular role on the TV series “Big Love” which featured him as a polygamist with three wives. He would earn three Golden Globe nominations for the show but was oddly always excluded when the Emmy nominations were announced each year. He would receive his only Emmy nomination in 2012 though for his role in the TV miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys” as the leader of the McCoy clan of in the story of two feuding families. He would lose that Emmy though to Kevin Costner, who played the leader of the Hatfields.
Tour our photo gallery featuring Paxton’s 15 greatest film performances, ranked from worst to best. Our list includes “Aliens,” “Apollo 13,” “Twister” and more.