In terms of LEGENDARY - Bill Paxton was in a league of his own!
He left behind a VERY impressive screen career that spanned nearly 4 decades. 1975-2017. That is impressive (beyond terms of a Hollywood career!) NO argument in that, ANY part he played?? Leading or not! Whatever character he played? He played remarkably! SOO remarkably in fact... It would bring him front & center in whatever role he tackled - for whatever film he was in!! This one (I'll admit), was a shock!! BIIIG SHOCK! Stars 'THAT' big in the constellation- aren't supposed to die out (especially SO early!!) Paxton's death hit me like that of legend Philip Seymour Hoffman. Thus - I am STILL in shock & disbelief!! I first saw him as 'Chet,' in legend John Hughes' film, 'Weird Science.' Then in 'Near Dark,' which 'to this DAY'- contains amongst the BEST curdling scenes in motion picture history. Upon that?? I was 'hooked'!! And he 'fast' became one of my ALL-TIME favorites!!
Bill Paxton was born on May 17, 1955, in Fort Worth, Texas... Growing up on this plot of property. The house Paxton grew up in was demolished & this one rebuilt.. The soil is the same though! Thanks to Katie JoHanson for the photo (and alllll the help from Texas:)!! He was best described as an energetic kid who absolutely LOVED a great prank! He was in the crowd and amongst the last few to see Prez Kennedy's final speech - before he was assassinated.. On the morning of November 22, 1963. In this photo - you can see Paxton elevated above the crowd (circled by me.) That photo is on display at the 6th Floor Museum, (just in case you eevver happen to be in Dallas with absolutely nadda to do! It's an option for yah! No doubt he got the acting tic from his father (who was a bit actor if the right part sparked his fancy.. and was filming in Ft. Worth.)
When he headed home to Texas - he enjoyed the food here at this restaurant... & his menu choice? The Cheese Enchilada Dinner!!
After graduating from Arlington Heights High School .. He began to eye a serious career in acting. In 1973 - he hopped the pond to England, studying at the famed Richmond College.
By January of 1974 - Paxton decided to move back to the States. He moved out to Los Angeles to... 'better secure a foot in the industry door.' After a few weeks in L.A. - he made a phone call to his dad (who had a few connects in Hollywood - from his 'bit' acting in Texas.) He obtained his first job in L.A. as a production assistant on a project being done by Encyclopedia Britannica. Experience matters in this industry. After the 'Encyclopedia gig,' he worked a couple of films making cameos and doing uncredited roles.. And as a set dresser for a bit. With Paxton's talent howev, it didn't take long until he got a speaking role in the 1975 film, 'Crazy Mama.' After that - Paxton wanted to expand on his talent, & moved to NYC. There he attended New York University & studied under the famed acting coach Stella Adler, at her acting studio branch of NYU, in NYC. (Same as 'Next of Kin' brother, & legend Patrick Swayze, & 'The Godfather', Marlon Brando.) He left after just 2 years citing.. 'I just saw no point in a degree - or where I would ever put that on an application of any kind.'
He returned to Los Angeles where he promptly began auditioning and getting bit parts here and there. Mostly in 'B' films, & 'C' films. By his own admission... 'I never knew there was such a thing as 'C' films, till I found myself 'IN ONE!'
As the 1980's rolled in - so did Paxton's luck!! Ker Channng!! In 1981 - he landed in an 'A' film with some MEGA talent alongside him. Legends John Candy, Bill Murray, & Harold Ramis!! He got a role in 'Stripes' and played a small part as a soldier. In 1984 as a bartender in 'Streets of Fire.' Then?? KER CHANG! As a punk leaader in the hit film 'Terminator.' 1985, however, was Paxton's paydirt - when he landed a starring role in legend John Hughes film, 'Weird Science.' As Chet - the overbearing older brother.
By 1986 - Paxton had made a name for himself within the industry co-fines. He was cast in the very first episode of 'Miami Vice.' 1987 - Near Dark.. 1989 - Next of Kin.. From that to 'Titanic', 'Twister', 'Tombstone', & on and ON! History looks 'sweeeeet' on his impressive resume.
Jump to 2017... Paxton was just down this driveway, in Ojai, Cali. In mid-February, Paxton began having intense chest pains. Upon seeing his doc - it was discovered he'd need surgery. If all went well?? His ticker would be back tickin to perfect timing by March. Paxton had told several friends he was worried. As urban legends go?? Your worst fears always catch up with you sooner or later... And sadly? This would prove to be the case for Paxton.
Paxton was just 61 young years old.. You can leave your virtual flowers here.
RIP Bill! WHAT A LEGEND you were!!