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Bill Paxton Was Nervous About Heart Surgery That Led to His Death, Director Doug Liman Says

Bill Paxton, who died on Saturday, February 25, at the age of 61, was nervous about the surgery that ultimately led to his death, director Doug Liman said in an interview with the New York Daily News.

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Liman, who directed the actor in the 2014 Tom Cruise action film Edge of Tomorrow, told the Daily News on Sunday, February 26, that he’d talked to Paxton weeks ago about his upcoming operation.

The Aliens star was set to reprise his role as Master Sergeant Farell in Liman’s planned Edge of Tomorrow sequel and was worried, according to the director, but assured Liman that he’d be ready to get to work on the set.

The Daily News reported that the Titanic and Twister star sent Liman an email on January 29 that read, “Thanks for the good wishes. It will help me face this ordeal. Don’t worry ‘Sgt Farrell’ will be ready to report for duty.”

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“Even facing major surgery, his optimism for the future was infectious,” Liman told the Daily News. “He was talking about the future, things we hoped to do together.”

As Us Weekly previously reported, Paxton died on Saturday after his procedure. A source told Us that Paxton died after suffering a stroke post–heart surgery.

“It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” his rep said in a statement to Us. “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. 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.”

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Stars including Paxton’s Apollo 13 costars Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon, as well as longtime friends Rob Lowe and Titanic director James Cameron, paid tribute to the actor on Sunday.

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