R.I.P. Bill Paxton: 1955-2017

Over the weekend, we lost another icon. Beloved Hollywood staple Bill Paxton has died at the age of 61 following complications from surgery. He was one of the most recognizable character actors of the past fifty years, a reliable workhorse who easily slipped from big budget blockbusters to indie fare. After small roles in The Terminator and Weird Science, he appeared as the cowardly Private Hudson in Aliens — a performance that endeared him to audiences across the globe. He continued to play supporting characters throughout the early 1990s, when he began taking leading parts in successful efforts like Predator 2, One False Move, Twister, and Apollo 13. In 2001, he directed and starred in the thriller Frailty, further illustrating his numerous talents. Despite success as a lead, Paxton was more than happy to take his chameleon-like talents and return to supporting roles in Titanic and two of the Spy Kids movies. Eventually, he made the transition to television, headlining the 2006-11 HBO series Big Love (about a polygamist and his extended family) and later appearing as a villain on the ABC series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Most recently, he appeared on the television adaptation of Training Day. All of these roles will live forever, perhaps Paxton’s biggest legacy is how he was, by all accounts, one of the nicest people in showbiz. He leaves us far too soon, and will be much missed.