Bill Paxton

Bill Paxton

Infobox actor
name = Bill Paxton

caption = Bill Paxton, April 2007
birthdate = birth date and age|1955|5|17
birthname = William Paxton
birthplace = Fort Worth, Texas
yearsactive = 1974–present
sagawards = Best Cast - Motion Picture
1995 "Apollo 13"
awards = Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor (film)
1986 "Aliens"
spouse = Kelly Rowan (1979-1980)
Louise Newbury (1987-)

William "Bill" Paxton (born May 17, 1955) is an American actor and film director. He gained in popularity after his staring roles in the movies Apollo 13 and Twister. He is currently working on the third season of the HBO series Big Love which will premiere on January 25, 2009.


Early life

Paxton was born in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton, who was a businessman, lumber wholesaler, museum executive, and occasional actor. [ [ Bill Paxton Biography (1955-) ] ] Paxton was raised in his mother's Catholic religion. [ [ | Web Exclusive ] ] [ [ - for Catholic Teenagers ] ] [ [ Actor Bill Paxton : NPR ] ] Paxton attended Arlington Heights High School in Fort Worth, Texas and then Texas State University (called Southwest Texas State at that time) in San Marcos, TX and then moved to Los Angeles and began working for director Roger Corman as a set designer on his films. Exposure to films and actors at that age influenced his decision to pursue acting and led Paxton to relocate to New York City, where he studied with Stella Adler.


Paxton has played many distinctive and memorable characters including the sneering older brother Chet in John Hughes' "Weird Science"; the loud-mouthed Colonial Marine Private William Hudson in James Cameron's "Aliens"; astronaut Fred Haise in Ron Howard's "Apollo 13"; the sadistic vampire Severen in Kathryn Bigelow's film "Near Dark"; tornado researcher Bill Harding opposite Helen Hunt in the blockbuster "Twister"; the treasure hunter to whom Rose's story is told in "Titanic" and the sleazy car salesman in "True Lies". Notable is the performance Paxton delivered in Carl Franklin's critically acclaimed "One False Move". Paxton has the unique distinction of being the only actor who has played characters killed by an Alien (as Private Hudson in "Aliens"), a Predator (as Jerry Lambert in "Predator 2"), and a Terminator (as the punk leader in "The Terminator", he also had a cameo role in Terminator 2 as a resistance soldier but was not killed). (Lance Henriksen would be worthy of this distinction but for the word 'kill': his android character was dismembered but still functional and he requested deactivation in the sequel.)

James Cameron gave Paxton the nickname "Knuckles." In a local bar during the filming of "True Lies", Paxton warned off a disgruntled local by donning an iron knuckleduster given to him by Lance Henriksen.

Paxton appeared as a treasure hunter searching for a diamond at the wreckage of the "Titanic" in the 1997 film. Four years later, he joined James Cameron on an expedition to the actual "Titanic"; a film about this trip, "Ghosts of the Abyss", was released in 2003.

In 1988, he and vocalist/guitarist Andrew Todd formed the short-lived rock duo Martini Ranch. They recorded and released an album entitled "Holy Cow" (the band's only release), which included input from Devo members Mark Mothersbaugh, Bob Casale and Alan Myers (all of whom contributed to the album's modest hit "How Can the Labouring Man Find Time For Self-Culture?"), along with Cindy Wilson of the B-52's as a back-up vocalist and actor Judge Reinhold is credited as a whistler on "Reach". Paxton has also directed a number of short films, including "Fish Heads", which aired during Saturday Night Live's low-rated 1980-1981 season on the episode hosted by Ellen Burstyn (with musical guests Aretha Franklin and Keith Sykes). He has also directed feature films: "Frailty" and "The Greatest Game Ever Played".

Paxton is often confused with Bill Pullman, an actor known for similar roles as Paxton. This is parodied in both "the Simpsons" when the audience at the cinema confuse them and Homer corrects them on the matter and when Paxton hosted Saturday Night Live in 1999.

Paxton is performing in the HBO drama "Big Love" as Bill Henrickson, the head of a polygamous family in Utah. He was nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Television Drama in 2007 for the role.Cite web|url=|title=Hollywood Foreign Press Association 2008 Golden Globe Awards For The Year Ended December 31 2007|accessdate=2007-12-13|publisher=HFPA|year=2007]

Personal life

Paxton married Louise Newbury in 1987, and they have two children, James (born 1994) and Lydia (born 1997).

An 8 year old Paxton was in the crowd waving when President Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Ft. Worth the morning of Nov. 22, 1963. There are pictures at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas where the young Paxton can clearly be seen astride the shoulders of an unidentified man. [ [ Unfair Park - The Day Bill Paxton Saw John F. Kennedy ] ]


*Golden Globes 2008 Best Actor in a Television Series - Drama "Big Love"


*"Crazy Mama" (1975)
*"Fish Heads" (1980)
*"Stripes" (1981)
*"Night Warning" (1983)
*"Taking Tiger Mountain" (1983)
*"Deadly Lessons" (1983)
*"Mortuary" (1983)
*"The Lords of Discipline" (1983)
*"Impulse" (1984)
*"Streets of Fire" (1984)
*"The Terminator" (1984)
*"An Early Frost" (1985)
*"The Atlanta Child Murders" (1985)
*"Commando" (1985)
*"Weird Science" (1985)
*"Fresno" (1986)
*"Aliens" (1986)
*"Near Dark" (1987)
*"Pass the Ammo" (1988)
*"Slipstream" (1989)
*"Next of Kin" (1989)
*"The Last of the Finest" (1990)
*"Brain Dead" (1990)
*"Back to Back" (1990)
*"Navy Seals" (1990)
*"Predator 2" (1990)
*"The Dark Backward" (1991)
*"The Vagrant" (1992)
*"One False Move" (1992)
*"Trespass" (1992)
*"Monolith" (1993)
*"Indian Summer" (1993)
*" Future Shock" (1993)
*"Boxing Helena" (1993)
*"Tombstone" (1993)
*"Frank and Jesse" (1994)
*"True Lies" (1994)
*"The Last Supper" (1995)
*"Apollo 13" (1995)
*"Twister" (1996)
*"The Evening Star" (1996)
*"Titanic" (1997)
*"Traveller" (1997)
*"A Bright Shining Lie" (1998)
*"A Simple Plan" (1998)
*"Mighty Joe Young" (1998)
*"Twister...Ride it Out" (1998)
*"U-571" (2000)
*"Vertical Limit" (2000)
*"Frailty" (2001)
*"" (2002)
*"Ghosts of the Abyss" (2003)
*"" (2003)
*"Resistance" (2003)
*"Club Dread" (2004)
*"Thunderbirds" (2004)
*"Haven" (2004)
*"The Greatest Game Ever Played" (2005)
*"Big Love" (2006)
*"The Good Life" (2007)
*"The Slammin' Salmon" (2008)


External links

* [ Bill Paxton interview on]
*imdb name|id=0000200|name=Bill Paxton
* [ Bill Paxton page on Yahoo! Movies]
* [ Fish Heads Video]

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