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Bill Paxton: A Look Back at His Life, Career and Tragic Death

Herbie J Pilato

Photo byDigitalTrends.com


Actor Bill Paxton died on February 15, 2017, from a stroke that occurred 11 days after he underwent surgery to replace a heart valve and repair damage to his aorta. According to a 2022 report by The Guardian, Paxton's family sued who they believed was an inexperienced physician who performed risky, unconventional, unnecessary surgery on the actor at Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles.

In the years since the lawsuit’s filing, the defendants countered that Paxton and his loved ones consented to the surgery despite knowing its risks. They denied that Paxton’s demise resulted from negligence.

A Closer Look at Paxton's Life and Career

Bill Paxton found fame on the the big screen in the 1990s due to roles like Morgan Earp in Tombstone (1993), Fred Haise in Apollo 13 (1995), the lead in the 1996 hit Twister, and as treasure hunter Brock Lovett in Titanic (1997). The Texas native, who was nominated for an Emmy for his work in the TV mini-series Hatfields and McCoys, began acting in the 1970s. His earliest acting credits include minor roles in blockbusters such as Terminator (1984) and Aliens (1986).

A Significant Moment in Time From Paxton's Youth

At eight years old, Bill Paxton was in the crowd waving when President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Texas, on that fateful morning of November 22, 1963. There are images at the Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas where the young Paxton can clearly be seen astride the shoulders of an onlooker.

Lasting Impression

Bill Paxton was a celebrated actor and a dedicated family man who will be forever cherished by those in his inner circle and his countless fans around the world.

One group, in particular, will always hold a special place in their hearts for Paxton. After his tragic, unexpected passing, storm chasers across the country united in forming his initials "B.P." using their GPS coordinates as a tribute to his beloved character from the Twister film.

[Note: Unless otherwise indicated, certain facts and information in this article were resourced from various entertainment news and media outlets including Britannica.com, History.com, HollywoodReporter.com, IMDb.com, Variety.com, and Wikipedia.org.]

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Herbie J Pilato is the author of several books about pop culture including RETRO ACTIVE TELEVISION, THE 12 BEST SECRETS OF CHRISTMAS, MARY: THE MARY TYLER MOORE STORY, TWITCH UPON A STAR, GLAMOUR, GIDGETS AND THE GIRL NEXT DOOR, DASHING, DARING AND DEBONAIR, and NBC & ME: MY LIFE AS A PAGE IN A BOOK, among others. He's also a TV writer/producer, and has worked for Reelz, Bravo, E!, TLC, and hosted THEN AGAIN WITH HERBIE J PILATO, the hit classic TV talk show (which premiered on Amazon Prime in 2019).

Los Angeles, CA

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