Aliens, Apollo 13, Big Love, Titanic, Tombstone and Twister, and who had just begun starring in new CBS series Training Day, has died following complications from surgery. He was 61.
I got a chance to spend some time with Paxton in 2015, when he was a featured guest at the Sun Valley Film Festival. We spent some some-on-one time backstage and he lit up an early morning coffee talk at NextStage Theater in Ketchum, where no subject was off topic. He was generous, ribald and full of life. A little-known detail of Paxton's personal life, which he talked about at length, was when, at the age of 8, he was in a Fort Worth, Texas crowd watching President John Kennedy on the same day Kennedy was assassinated.
"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker," read a family statement Sunday morning. "Bill's passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family's wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father."
Actor Bill Paxton, best known for roles in