Bill Paxton

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Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton 2014 WonderCon (cropped).jpg
Paxton at the 2014 WonderCon
BornWilliam Paxton
(1955-05-17) May 17, 1955 (age 59)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
OccupationActor, director
Years active1975–present
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Bill Paxton
Bill Paxton 2014 WonderCon (cropped).jpg
Paxton at the 2014 WonderCon
BornWilliam Paxton
(1955-05-17) May 17, 1955 (age 59)
Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.
OccupationActor, director
Years active1975–present

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.

Early life[edit]

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.[1] He was raised Roman Catholic, his mother's religion.[2]

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.[3][4]


Paxton in August 2011

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 three 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).

Paxton was cast in a music video for the 1982 Pat Benatar song "Shadows of the Night", in which he appeared as a Nazi radio officer. He also appears in the Limp Bizkit video Eat You Alive.

In 1988, Paxton and the vocalist/guitarist Andrew Todd Rosenthal formed a short-lived rock duo Martini Ranch.

Paxton stars alongside Jon Bernthal, Rose McGowan and John Malkovich as a playable character in the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014) downloadable "Exo Zombies" mode.


Paxton at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con International.


1975Crazy MamaJohnUncredited
1980Fish HeadsMain CharacterShort film
1983Night WarningEddie
1983Taking Tiger MountainBilly Hampton
1983Deadly LessonsEddie FoxTelevision film
1983MortuaryPaul Andrews
1983Lords of Discipline, TheThe Lords of DisciplineGilbreath
1984Streets of FireClyde the Bartender
1984Terminator, TheThe TerminatorPunk Leader
1985Early Frost, AnAn Early FrostBob Maracek
1985Atlanta Child Murders, TheThe Atlanta Child MurdersCampbellTelevision film
1985CommandoIntercept Officer
1985Weird ScienceChet Donnelly
1986FresnoBilly Joe Bobb
1986AliensPrivate William Hudson
1987Near DarkSeveren
1989SlipstreamMatt Owens
1989Next of KinGerald Gates
1989Back to BackBo Brand
1990Brain DeadJim Reston
1990Last of the Finest, TheThe Last of the FinestHoward 'Hojo' Jones
1990Navy SEALsDane
1990Predator 2Jerry Lambert
1991Dark Backward, TheThe Dark BackwardGus
1992Vagrant, TheThe VagrantGraham Krakowski
1992One False MoveDale 'Hurricane' Dixon
1993Indian SummerJack Belston
1993Boxing HelenaRay O'Malley
1993TombstoneMorgan Earp
1994Frank and JesseFrank James
1994True LiesSimon
1994Future ShockVince
1995Last Supper, TheThe Last SupperZachary Cody
1995Apollo 13Fred Haise
1996TwisterBill Harding
1996Evening Star, TheThe Evening StarJerry Bruckner
1997TitanicBrock Lovett
1998Bright Shining Lie, AA Bright Shining LieJohn Paul VannTelevision film
1998Simple Plan, AA Simple PlanHank
1998Mighty Joe YoungProfessor Gregory 'Gregg' O'Hara
2000U-571Lt. Commander Mike Dahlgren
2000Vertical LimitElliot Vaughn
2001FrailtyDad MeiksDirector
2002Spy Kids 2: Island of Lost DreamsDinky Winks
2003Ghosts of the AbyssNarrator
2003Eat You AliveSheriffUncredited
2003ResistanceMajor Theodore 'Ted' Brice
2003Spy Kids 3-D: Game OverDinky Winks
2004Club DreadCoconut Pete
2004HavenCarl Ridley
2004ThunderbirdsJeff Tracy
2005Greatest Game Ever Played, TheThe Greatest Game Ever PlayedDirector
2005Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3DEdgar MitchellShort film
2007Good Life, TheThe Good LifeRobbie
2011HaywireJohn Kane
2012Shanghai CallingDonald
2013The ColonyMason
20132 GunsEarl
2013Red WingJim Verret
2014Edge of TomorrowMaster Sergeant Farrell Bartolome
2014Million Dollar ArmTom House
2014NightcrawlerJoe Loder


1986Miami ViceDetective Vic RomanoEpisode: "Streetwise"
1987The HitchhikerTroutEpisode: "Made for Each Other"
1993Tales from the CryptBilly DeLucaEpisode: "People Who Live in Brass Hearses"
2003FrasierErnieEpisode: "Analyzed Kiss"
2006–2011Big LoveBill Henrickson53 episodes
2012Hatfields & McCoysRandolph McCoy3 episodes
2013JFK: The Day That Changed EverythingNarratorDocumentary
2014Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.John Garrett / The Clairvoyant6 episodes
2015Texas RisingSam Houston

| Video Games

| 2014 | Call of Duty Advanced Warfare

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearAssociationCategoryNominated workResult
1987Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActorAliensWon
1988Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActorNear DarkNominated
1995CableACE AwardsBest Actor in a Dramatic SeriesTales from the CryptNominated
1995Saturn AwardsBest Supporting ActorTrue LiesNominated
1996Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureApollo 13Won
1997Saturn AwardsBest ActorTwisterNominated
1998Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion PictureTitanicNominated
1999Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Miniseries or Television FilmA Bright Shining LieNominated
2003Saturn AwardsBest DirectorFrailtyNominated
2006Satellite AwardsBest Actor – Television Series DramaBig LoveNominated
2007Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Television Series DramaBig LoveNominated
2007Satellite AwardsBest Actor – Television Series DramaBig LoveNominated
2008Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Television Series DramaBig LoveNominated
2009Satellite AwardsBest Actor – Television Series DramaBig LoveNominated
2010Golden Globe AwardsBest Actor – Television Series DramaBig LoveNominated
2012Primetime Emmy AwardsOutstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or a MovieHatfields & McCoysNominated
2013Screen Actors Guild AwardsOutstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television MovieHatfields & McCoysNominated


  1. ^ "Bill Paxton Biography". Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  2. ^ Spitznagel, Eric (January 8, 2010). "Bill Paxton Can Defend Polygamy, But He Can't Defend Sarah Palin". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  3. ^ Wilonsky, Robert (March 28, 2007). "The Day Bill Paxton Saw John F. Kennedy". Dallas Observer Blogs. Retrieved 2014-01-28. 
  4. ^ DiBlasi, Loren (May 25, 2012). "Live With Kelly: Bill Paxton 'Hatfields & McCoys' Interview". Recapo. Retrieved May 27, 2012. 

External links[edit]