Paxton at the 2014 WonderCon
May 17, 1955
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
William "Bill" Paxton (born May 17, 1955) is an American actor and film director. He gained popularity after starring in a number of films, including Apollo 13, Weird Science, Twister, Aliens, True Lies, and Titanic. Paxton starred in the HBO series Big Love (2006–2011) and was nominated for an Emmy Award for the miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.
Paxton was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the son of Mary Lou (née Gray) and John Lane Paxton, a businessman, lumber wholesaler, museum executive, and occasional actor. He was raised Roman Catholic, his mother's religion.
Paxton was in the crowd waving when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, on the morning of his assassination, November 22, 1963. There are pictures at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas where 8-year-old Paxton can be seen lifted above the crowd.
Some of Paxton's earliest roles include a minor role as a punk thug in The Terminator (1984) and as a supporting role as a bully older brother in John Hughes' Weird Science (1985). He would have a much more significant supporting role in the sci-fi blockbuster Aliens (1986). In addition to The Terminator and Aliens, Paxton has collaborated with director James Cameron on True Lies (1994) and Titanic (1997), which was the highest grossing film of all time at its release. Four years after appearing in Titanic, he joined James Cameron on an expedition to the actual Titanic. A film about this trip, Ghosts of the Abyss, was released in 2003.
Paxton has appeared in many other films. Some of his most notable performances include playing Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead role in the successful Twister (1996), lead roles in dark dramas such as One False Move (1992) and A Simple Plan (1998), and, more recently, a supporting role in Edge of Tomorrow (2014).
Paxton has also received acclaim for some of his television performances. Most notably, he had the lead role in HBO's Big Love (2006-2011), for which Paxton received two Golden Globe nominations. Paxton also received attention for his performance in the History Channel's miniseries Hatfields & McCoys (2012), for which he was nominated for an Emmy Award, alongside co-star Kevin Costner.
Paxton has also directed a number of short films, including Fish Heads, which aired during Saturday Night Live's low-rated 1980–1981 season. He directed the feature films Frailty (2001), in which he also starred, and The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005).
In 1988, Paxton and the vocalist/guitarist Andrew Todd Rosenthal formed a short-lived rock duo Martini Ranch.
|1980||Fish Heads||Main Character||Short film|
|1983||Taking Tiger Mountain||Billy Hampton|
|1983||Deadly Lessons||Eddie Fox||Television film|
|1983||Lords of Discipline, TheThe Lords of Discipline||Gilbreath|
|1984||Streets of Fire||Clyde the Bartender|
|1984||Terminator, TheThe Terminator||Punk Leader|
|1985||Early Frost, AnAn Early Frost||Bob Maracek|
|1985||Atlanta Child Murders, TheThe Atlanta Child Murders||Campbell||Television film|
|1985||Weird Science||Chet Donnelly|
|1986||Fresno||Billy Joe Bobb|
|1986||Aliens||Private William Hudson|
|1989||Next of Kin||Gerald Gates|
|1989||Back to Back||Bo Brand|
|1990||Brain Dead||Jim Reston|
|1990||Last of the Finest, TheThe Last of the Finest||Howard 'Hojo' Jones|
|1990||Predator 2||Jerry Lambert|
|1991||Dark Backward, TheThe Dark Backward||Gus|
|1992||Vagrant, TheThe Vagrant||Graham Krakowski|
|1992||One False Move||Dale 'Hurricane' Dixon|
|1993||Indian Summer||Jack Belston|
|1993||Boxing Helena||Ray O'Malley|
|1994||Frank and Jesse||Frank James|
|1995||Last Supper, TheThe Last Supper||Zachary Cody|
|1995||Apollo 13||Fred Haise|
|1996||Evening Star, TheThe Evening Star||Jerry Bruckner|
|1998||Bright Shining Lie, AA Bright Shining Lie||John Paul Vann||Television film|
|1998||Simple Plan, AA Simple Plan||Hank|
|1998||Mighty Joe Young||Professor Gregory 'Gregg' O'Hara|
|2000||U-571||Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren|
|2000||Vertical Limit||Elliot Vaughn|
|2002||Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost Dreams||Dinky Winks|
|2003||Ghosts of the Abyss||Narrator|
|2003||Eat You Alive||Sheriff||Uncredited|
|2003||Resistance||Major Theodore 'Ted' Brice|
|2003||Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over||Dinky Winks|
|2004||Club Dread||Coconut Pete|
|2005||Greatest Game Ever Played, TheThe Greatest Game Ever Played||Director|
|2005||Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D||Edgar Mitchell||Short film|
|2007||Good Life, TheThe Good Life||Robbie|
|2013||Red Wing||Jim Verret|
|2014||Edge of Tomorrow||Master Sergeant Farrell Bartolome|
|2014||Million Dollar Arm||Tom House|
|1986||Miami Vice||Detective Vic Romano||Episode: "Streetwise"|
|1987||The Hitchhiker||Trout||Episode: "Made for Each Other"|
|1993||Tales from the Crypt||Billy DeLuca||Episode: "People Who Live in Brass Hearses"|
|2003||Frasier||Ernie||Episode: "Analyzed Kiss"|
|2006–2011||Big Love||Bill Henrickson||53 episodes|
|2012||Hatfields & McCoys||Randolph McCoy||3 episodes|
|2013||JFK: The Day That Changed Everything||Narrator||Documentary|
|2014||Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.||John Garrett||6 episodes|
|2015||Texas Rising||Sam Houston|
Awards and nominations
- "Bill Paxton Biography". FilmReference.com. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- Spitznagel, Eric (January 8, 2010). "Bill Paxton Can Defend Polygamy, But He Can't Defend Sarah Palin". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- Wilonsky, Robert (March 28, 2007). "The Day Bill Paxton Saw John F. Kennedy". Dallas Observer Blogs. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
- DiBlasi, Loren (May 25, 2012). "Live With Kelly: Bill Paxton 'Hatfields & McCoys' Interview". Recapo. Retrieved May 27, 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bill Paxton.|
- Bill Paxton at the Internet Movie Database
- Bill Paxton at the TCM Movie Database
- Bill Paxton at AllMovie
- Bill Paxton and Bill Paxton - Movie Director at The Numbers
- Bill Paxton on National Public Radio in 2005
- Bill Paxton on National Public Radio in 2002