Actor Bill Paxton’s Cause of Death Released And It’s More Common Than Doctors Once Thought

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Simplemost may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.

Actor Bill Paxton’s death happened as a result of a stroke following heart surgery, according to his death certificate released in March.

Bill Paxton photo
Getty Images | Christopher Polk

On the certificate, published by TMZ, examiners actually listed three causes of the 61-year-old actor’s death on Feb. 25. Doctors listed a stroke as Paxton’s immediate cause of death. The stroke appeared to be a complication from a Feb. 14 surgery to replace a heart valve and repair an aortic aneurysm. These factors were listed as the underlying cause of Paxton’s death.

What Is An Aortic Aneurysm?

The aorta is our body’s largest blood vessel and resides in the heart. Sometimes, the aorta walls can weaken and cause a leak, causing blood to seep into the body. These leaks can push blood flow away from major organs, including the brain and kidneys. These leaks can also lead to heart attack and possibly death.

Doctors monitor these leaks and if they become too large, surgery is ordered to repair or replaced the damaged valve.

Stroke Is A Common Complication

In these cases, even though the surgery is necessary, there are risk factors to consider. A stroke—blocked blood flow to the brain—is one of the more common side effects.

In fact, a recent study shows that severe strokes are more common than doctors previously thought.

In a 2014 study published in Circulation, doctors found that 17 percent of patients suffered a post-aortic valve surgery stroke. This finding was nearly double the number found in a review of previous studies from the Society for Thoracic Surgery database.

Also according to this study, about five percent of patients undergoing valve surgery died while still in the hospital. Doctors concluded that strokes were “more common than previously reported” and strokes are associated with increased length of hospital stay and death.

Bill Paxton Remembered For Many Roles

The world was shocked by Paxton’s sudden death on Feb. 25.  The actor’s family released a press statement with the following announcement:

It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery. 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.

Getty Images

RELATED: How To Spot The Critical Signs Of A Brain Aneurysm

Paxton starred in many films including “Weird Science,” “Titanic,” “Twister,” “Aliens,” and “True Lies.” He also starred in the HBO series “Big Love” and most recently had a role in the CBS series “Training Day.”

Here are some other facts that you might not know about the beloved actor.

1. Paxton Was Born In Fort Worth, Texas.

His father owned a lumber company in Fort Worth, Texas. His father raised his children Catholic and made sure they had an appreciation for the arts.

Paxton Cameron Arrives For The Screening Of Ghosts Of The Abyss
Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain

2. He Saw President John F. Kennedy The Morning The President Was Shot

Paxton was just 8 when he saw the late president speak in the parking lot of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. Check out the picture below of Paxton on a man’s shoulders at the speech.

3. He Met His Wife On A Bus

Paxton was married to Louise Newberry for nearly 30 years, and they have to two children together.

He spoke to Los Angeles Magazine in 2010 about their relationship. “She knew me when I was struggling. She was a student. We met on a bus in London. I’ve seen her give birth. I was with her when her father died. Then we mixed our blood watching these two kids grow up,” he said.

Titanic 3D - World Premiere - Outside Arrivals
Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole

4. He Has Two Children: James And Lydia

James Paxton, 23, is an actor, starring in USA’s “Eyewitness.” Lydia, 19, is a student at Duke University.


5. He Went On An Expedition To The Actual Titanic

The expedition was filmed for the documentary “Ghosts of the Abyss.”


RELATED: Tom Hanks Shares His Advice For A Lasting Marriage

Click here to learn more facts about the late, great Bill Paxton.