Beloved Actor Bill Paxton Has Died At 61

Bill Paxton as Brock Lovett in Titanic

2016 was absolutely brutal in regards to celebrity deaths. Tons of legends passed last year, including Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, and Alan Rickman. In fact, tonight's Academy Award ceremony will have a rather lengthy in memoriam tribute. But 2017 will also take beloved figures in the world of film. And it's unfortunately already happened, as acclaimed actor Bill Paxton has died at the young age of 61 years old.

This news comes to us from TMZ, who is reporting that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complication from surgery. Although details are scarce, it certainly seems like the loss was unexpected. So while his many fans will surely be affected by this morning's news, we should put his loved ones at the front of our mind. Paxton is survived by his wife of 30 years Louise Newbury and two children.

Bill Paxton has had a long and impressive career in Hollywood. While he might not be a household name, you are basically guaranteed to have caught the actor in one project or another. Casual audiences will likely recognize Paxton for his role as Brock Lovett in Titanic. While not a character who interacted with Jack and Rose during their time together on the ship, his quest to find the Heart of the Ocean helped to frame the film's overall narrative.

Additionally, Paxton has done a fair amount of iconic action films. He has the distinct honor of interacting with a Terminator, A Xenomorph, and a Predator through his roles in The Terminator, Aliens, and Predator 2 respectively. That's enough to impress to the most hardcore of nerds, which is yet another reason why his loss will likely be felt by many. And of course, he played a starring role opposite Helen Hunt in Twister. We also remember him well from various other films, including Weird Science, Frailty and more recently, Edge of Tomorrow.

But Bill Paxton has also had significant success on the small screen. He played the lead role in HBO's Big Love for all five seasons, earning him a well deserved three Golden Globe nominations. He also received an Emmy nomination for his work in The History Channel's Hatfields & McCoys in 2012.

Bill Paxton's sudden passing will likely also affect CBS's new series Training Day. The crime thriller, which serves as a follow up to the film of the same name, just premiered this month. Paxton has one of the lead roles in the new series, playing Detective Frank Roarke opposite newcomer Justin Cornwell. The new series currently has six episodes in the can, so it's unclear how exactly the show would move forward without Paxton. Will Training Day end after these episodes? Will CBS even bother airing the rest of the upcoming episodes in the wake of Paxton's death? Be sure to check back with us here at CinemaBlend for updates as the story unfolds.

With the Academy Awards airing tonight, it's unclear if they'll be able to fit Bill Paxton into the in memoriam. We may just have to wait another year before he is memorialized for the film community.

Bill Paxton was a truly impressive actor who has an outstanding amount of projects in his resume. He brought a consistent level of professionalism and realism to his roles, and his loss will surely affect the millions of people who have seen his work. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this time.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.