RIP Bill Paxton: 12 Things You May Not Know About The Beloved Actor

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Whether you saw his early work in “The Terminator,” or remember his heartfelt portrayal of the treasure hunter in “Titanic,” chances are you know of and will remember Bill Paxton.

The beloved actor, husband and father passed away on Saturday after complications from surgery. His family issued the following statement:

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.

To take a look back at his life and to celebrate his career we found some pretty great (and interesting) facts about this Hollywood nice guy.

Here are 12 things you might not know about the late, great Bill Paxton.

1. Paxton was born in Fort Worth, Texas.

Paxton was raised Catholic in Fort Worth, Texas where his father owned a lumber company. According to Los Angeles Magazine, Paxton’s father also made sure his kids had an appreciation for the arts—taking them to movies and museums.

2. He saw President John F. Kennedy the morning he was fatally shot.

Paxton was just 8 when he saw Kennedy speak to a crowd in the parking lot of the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth. A snapshot from the event shows Paxton hoisted on a man’s shoulders to get a better view of the president.

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The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealy Plaza

3. He met his wife of nearly 30 years on a bus.

The actor spoke to Los Angeles Magazine in 2010 about his wife Louise Newberry.

“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 paxton photo
Getty Images | Gareth Cattermole

4. They have two children: Lydia and James.

While Lydia is currently attending Duke University, James is a working actor, starring in USA’s “Eyewitness.” James also shared screen time with his dad in an episode of the CBS television series “Training Day.”

5. Paxton starred in several of James Cameron’s movies.

Cameron cast Paxton in several of his films including: “The Terminator,” “Aliens,” “True Lies” and of course, “Titanic.” A long-time friend, Cameron told Vanity Fair following the actor’s death, “It was a friendship of laughter, adventure, love of cinema, and mutual respect.”

ghosts of the abyss photo
Getty Images | Pascal Le Segretain

6. Paxton and Cameron went on an expedition to the actual Titanic.

That experience was filmed for a documentary called “Ghosts of the Abyss” released in 2003.

7. Paxton received three Golden Globe nominations for his role in HBO’s “Big Love.”

From 2006 to 2011 Paxton played the unforgettable Bill Henrickson, patriarch of a polygamist family in Utah starring alongside Ginnifer Goodwin, Chloe Sevigny and Jeanne Tripplehorn in “Big Love.”

8. He was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2012 for his performance in the History Channel’s miniseries “Hatfields & McCoys.”

Playing opposite Kevin Costner, Paxton won high praise as the bearded Randolph McCoy.

9. Paxton was in Pat Benatar’s “Shadow of the Night” music video.

The then-unknown actor played a German radio operator in this iconic World War II-inspired ’80s music video.

10. He played a villain on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Paxton played the role of the villainous John Garrett on the Marvel show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2014.

11. He also starred in a video game.

Part of a star-studded cast, Paxton played Kahn in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Exo Zombies alongside John Malkovich, Bruce Campbell, Jon Bernthal and Rose McGowan.

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12. Paxton was currently starring in “Training Day” on CBS.

No word yet what the network will do, but all 13 episodes of the first season have been filmed and only four have aired. While not met with great ratings initially, critics praised Paxton’s performance. With his death, a renewal for the show seems unlikely. But fans are glad to have at least a few more episodes to savor Paxton’s great work.