Bill Paxton, who died at the age of 61 on Saturday, February 25, due to surgery complications, played numerous unforgettable roles throughout his decades-long career. In the wake of the tragic news, Us Weekly has rounded up the actor’s five best onscreen moments, which you can revisit in the video above.
After Paxton starred in the James Cameron–directed film The Terminator, the legendary director tapped the actor to star in Aliens, the sequel to the 1979 sci-fi movie Alien. Paxton played space Marine Private Hudson, starring alongside Sigourney Weaver‘s Ellen Ripley, Michael Biehn‘s Corporal Dwayne Hicks, Paul Reiser‘s Carter J. Burke and Lance Henriksen‘s Bishop. The film, which was nominated for seven Oscars and won two, is widely regarded by fans and critics as one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time.
Apollo 13 (1995)
Paxton played astronaut Fred Haise in Ron Howard‘s docudrama, opposite Tom Hanks‘ Jim Lovell and Kevin Bacon‘s Jack Swigert. The movie, which dramatized the aborted 1970 space mission, was nominated for nine Oscars, including Best Picture, and won two: Best Film Editing and Best Sound. “The accomplishment of Apollo 13, all the stuff [Howard] did, all the research and the eye for detail to tell that story, to bring it to life … I still think Ron Howard is a very underrated director,” Paxton told Entertainment Weekly in 2015.
The Fort Worth, Texas, native and actress Helen Hunt starred as storm chasers researching tornadoes in the Jan de Bont–directed action flick. While filming Twister, the duo were temporarily blinded by electronic lamps used to reduce the exposure and make the sky look gloomy. “These things literally sunburned our eyeballs. I got back to my room, I couldn’t see,” Paxton told EW at the time.
Paxton reunited with director Cameron for the fictionalized account of the RMS Titanic, which sank in the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg. The iconic movie, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, received a historic 14 Oscar nominations and won 11, including Best Picture and Best Director. Paxton played Brock Lovett, a modern-day treasure hunter.
Big Love (2006 to 2011)
Paxton earned three Golden Globe nominations for his role as a polygamist Mormon businessman with three wives, played by Chloë Sevigny, Jeanne Tripplehorn and Ginnifer Goodwin. The critically acclaimed HBO drama earned several awards and nominations during its five-season run, including a 2009 nomination for the Golden Globe award for Best Television Series — Drama.
Watch the video above to revisit Paxton’s best onscreen moments.
Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!