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R.I.P. Bill Paxton

William “Bill” Paxton died Saturday, February 25, 2017, at the age of 61. Young. Too young to die from “complications from surgery.” Bill had an extensive career in Hollywood. Often he played soldiers and characters who did not survive. Although he generally appeared in action/adventure films, Bill did appear in a few paranormal-themed films.


The most successful of these films was Aliens (1986). Premiering on July 18, 1986, Alien was a blockbuster sequel with a production budget of $18.5 million dollars. It grossed $77 million dollars in the United States and $45.9 million worldwide. That may not seem like a lot of ticket revenue; however, it made $43 million dollars in video rentals. That’s impressive! Bill played “Private Hudson” in the James Cameron production. Rated R, it has a running time of 2 hours and 17 minutes. This science fiction film finds space marines being dispatched to a moon colony in search of survivors and alien creature.


Bill lives on as “Chet Donnelly” in John Hughes’ coming-of-age, 80s sci-fi comedy teen flick Weird Science. Writing about the film and placing it at #8 in “Pretty in Pink at 30: The Best and Worst Films of John Hughes,” Variety states: “But it’s Bill Paxton who steals the show as the world’s worst older brother.” Catch his performance!

Others to watch include the 80s TV series The Hitchhiker, “Made for Each Other”; Mortuary (1983); and Frailty (2002).


Although Bill’s acting legacy will endure, the haunting photograph of him as an 8-year-old boy standing outside the Hotel Texas watching President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, that captivates visitors to the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas.